Quietly Coercing a Vassals and Fiefdoms Future for All of Us While Hyping Economic Development

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I actu­al­ly am not nos­tal­gic for the cas­tles, moats, or medieval armor. For one thing I like to cook, but not with­out cen­tral­ized plumb­ing or over an open hearth. No, I keep think­ing of terms from the Mid­dle Ages because pub­lic poli­cies being qui­et­ly enact­ed in the Unit­ed States as well as oth­er coun­tries via K-12 edu­ca­tion remind me a great deal of the pre­vi­ous­ly accept­ed rela­tion­ships between ordi­nary peo­ple and polit­i­cal pow­er that was the hall­mark of those times. Polit­i­cal author­i­ties dic­tat­ed what we could be, know, and what we must do while promis­ing to take care of us and to meet our basic needs. It’s always fas­ci­nat­ing to me to lis­ten to an elect­ed politi­cian, their advi­sors, or col­lege pro­fes­sors lay­ing out a ‘new’ view of 21st cen­tu­ry ‘rights’ and respon­si­bil­i­ties and nev­er quite grasp­ing this is all a rever­sion back to a much ear­li­er view of cit­i­zen­ship and the enti­tled pre­rog­a­tives of those who hold polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic pow­er.

Stat­ed sim­ply, through­out his­to­ry, peo­ple with pow­er will col­lude to keep it and expand it using the coer­cive pow­er of the pub­lic sec­tor over peo­ple, their behav­ior, and their prop­er­ty. They do it for their own per­son­al ben­e­fit as well as the ben­e­fit of those who empow­ered them. Either by elect­ing them, appoint­ing them, or sim­ply bankrolling them. I am actu­al­ly not phi­los­o­phiz­ing here with­out a pur­pose. This was one of those rare weeks when I got a chance to ask the kind of leg­is­la­tors who get invit­ed to Edu­ca­tion Com­mis­sion of the States meet­ings (see last post) if the Com­mon Core was real­ly about Work­force Readi­ness and didn’t var­i­ous non-hyped state and fed­er­al ini­tia­tives tie K-12 as now about career prepa­ra­tion for all stu­dents in a polit­i­cal­ly-dri­ven view of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment in the future?

I got a yes answer from some rather shocked peo­ple who prob­a­bly wish I had stayed home with my doc­u­ments. I sus­pect each of you would get a sim­i­lar answer if you get to quiz leg­is­la­tors, may­ors, or rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Governor’s office in your state. The dif­fer­ence is I had the chance, used it respect­ful­ly, but against the back­ground of the kind of doc­u­men­ta­tion of the open­ly-laid out vision I am going to lay out here today. Just in case any of us get a chance to but­ton­hole some­one dur­ing the hol­i­day par­ties or as leg­is­la­tures or city coun­cils recon­vene after the New Year. Because I under­stand how all this fits into a dirigiste 21st Cen­tu­ry econ­o­my (the French term for such polit­i­cal direc­tion), I am pay­ing atten­tions to sites and sources that are prob­a­bly not on your radar. We are about to rem­e­dy that.

I explained that Con­gress had nation­al­ized the K-12 edu­ca­tion vision back in July 2014 and tied it tight to a Work­force vision for all stu­dents and states in this post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priority-economic-citizenship-for-some-officially-sanctioned-status-as-prey-for-most-of-us/ . On Novem­ber 20, 2014 a webi­nar on “Real­iz­ing Inno­va­tion and Oppor­tu­ni­ty in WIOA: A Play­book for Cre­at­ing Effec­tive State Nation­al Skills Coali­tion Plans” went over this detailed report. http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/2014–11-NSC-WIOA-state-report.pdf WIOA remains news to most peo­ple because an announce­ment that Con­gress has laid out a detailed plan to “improve the nation’s work­force devel­op­ment sys­tem” would have poor PR val­ue, espe­cial­ly with the open embrace and advo­ca­cy for crony­is­tic “sec­tor part­ner­ships” of indus­try and the relat­ed Career Path­ways in a giv­en state.

I have a lot more to lay out and we need to keep mov­ing. This past week, CCSSO, one of the for­mal spon­sors of the Com­mon Core so it can tout itself as the more polit­i­cal­ly palat­able “state-led ini­tia­tive” released its Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Options: Mak­ing Career Prepa­ra­tion Work for Stu­dents. The Task Force made 3 rec­om­men­da­tions in this detailed report. First, “Enlist the employ­er com­mu­ni­ty as a lead part­ner in defin­ing the path­ways and skills most essen­tial in today’s econ­o­my.” In my book, I explained the 1976 Turchenko vision of how to take con­trol of West­ern economies while still appear­ing cap­i­tal­is­tic and this CCSSO doc­u­ment fits right in. Sec­ond­ly, “Set a high­er bar for the qual­i­ty of career prepa­ra­tion pro­grams, enabling all stu­dents to earn a mean­ing­ful post­sec­ondary degree or cre­den­tial.”

I am the last per­son who thinks col­lege is appro­pri­ate for all peo­ple, but politi­cians skip over the part of this vision that now sees a 6th grade lev­el of math and lit­er­a­cy skills as all any­one will need in the 21st Cen­tu­ry. The third rec­om­men­da­tion is to “Make career readi­ness mat­ter to schools and stu­dents by pri­or­i­tiz­ing it in account­abil­i­ty sys­tems.” Account­abil­i­ty is much like accred­i­ta­tion. It is a large­ly invis­i­ble means to make some­thing manda­to­ry in the class­room with­out ade­quate­ly dis­clos­ing the changed real­i­ty to stu­dents, par­ents, or tax­pay­ers. Now in read­ing that report, there is no inkling that any of these ideas are any­thing oth­er than state employ­ees try­ing to meet indus­try needs and sat­is­fy that much-hyped skills gap.

We know bet­ter though. We are not just aware of WIOA, but also all the fed­er­al pro­grams at Labor and Edu­ca­tion man­dat­ing this shift to a reen­vi­sioned Career Tech­ni­cal Edu­ca­tion for all stu­dents. I laid out all the fed­er­al man­dates here. Even more fas­ci­nat­ing in all the cal­cu­lat­ed deceit going on to pre­vent a wide­spread accu­rate per­cep­tion of the true nature of the shifts involved is a men­tion that the South­ern Region­al Edu­ca­tion Board had a Com­mis­sion on Career and Tech­ni­cal Edu­ca­tion also pur­su­ing this agen­da. Now that got my atten­tion since I have been fol­low­ing Gene Bot­toms’ work since he first devel­oped his K-12 vision of Techa­demics while work­ing for the Geor­gia Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion in the 70s.

I knew from my research of the back­ground for Every­day Math that the Sovi­et Union had adopt­ed the same gen­er­al idea for its typ­i­cal stu­dent at the same time in the 70s. (The sto­ry and cite are in Chap­ter 3 of my book in the inter­view with Isaak Wirszup). Now we have a CCSSO doc­u­ment want­i­ng to “align edu­ca­tion and the econ­o­my” in pre­cise­ly the treat­ment of peo­ple as “human cap­i­tal” that gov­ern­ments have the pow­er to dic­tate to and manip­u­late as what the USSR envi­sioned. Need­less to say, the phrase “got­ta find that” apt­ly described my thought process. Sure enough, I found “Career Path­ways Con­nect­ing High School, Work-Based Learn­ing and Post­sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion.” Here’s a link, com­plete with a futile com­mand “Do Not Dis­sem­i­nate.” I can see why giv­en who is list­ed as involved. http://publications.sreb.org/2014/FINAL_CTEReportExecSumSREBBd061914.pdf

Why, there’s Texas, con­firm­ing it did not need the Com­mon Core. June Atkin­son from North Car­oli­na is also on board, which would rather explain why she chose to pro­tect the Col­lege Board this week over APUSH. That makes more sense if you have a doc­u­ment con­nect­ing the revised AP cours­es to this CTE vision. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/CTE-AP_FINAL.pdf From my state of Geor­gia, there is the head of the State Board of Edu­ca­tion, which is fas­ci­nat­ing since a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee after months of hear­ings decid­ed recent­ly that K-12 cur­ricu­lum super­vi­sion should be the juris­dic­tion of that Board, not the elect­ed leg­is­la­ture. No effec­tive recourse for rebel­lion is one way to put it. Also, two-time Broad Foun­da­tion win­ning school dis­trict Super, Alvin Wilbanks, who was the first to tell us that the Com­mon Core was real­ly about remak­ing the nature of the tra­di­tion­al high school. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/listening-in-on-the-confessional-drumbeat-of-the-common-cores-true-purpose-jettisoning-traditional-high-school/

If you live in a south­ern state from Texas to Vir­ginia, includ­ing Okla­homa, you will want to check that list for the offi­cials list­ed. I want to make sure though that the pres­ence as con­sul­tants of peo­ple like Marc Tuck­er, who head­ed the con­tro­ver­sial nation­al standards/ School to Work attempt in the 90s and Antho­ny Carnevale, who were both with the Carnegie-cre­at­ed Nation­al Cen­ter on Edu­ca­tion and the Econ­o­my to align the US to the Sovi­et vision of edu­ca­tion, are not missed. Before his cur­rent perch at George­town, Carnevale has been pur­su­ing this vision for decades as I laid out here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/anesthetizing-any-ability-to-blow-up-or-contaminate-a-chosen-politically-useful-narrative/ The list­ed David Stern is a sub­se­quent direc­tor of the same cen­ter poly­tech vision­ary Robert Beck (Chap­ter 4 in the book) pre­vi­ous­ly led.

We have also met Aneesh Chopra before in his pre­vi­ous capac­i­ty as this country’s first Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer. Remem­ber I explained his alarm­ing new book Inno­v­a­tive State: How New Tech­nolo­gies Can Trans­form Gov­ern­ment? http://agenda21news.com/2014/09/journey-center-core-yields-yoke-citizen-centric-governance-force-shared-vision/ All of this hyp­ing of STEM learn­ing and using com­put­ers as an essen­tial com­po­nent of class­work makes more sense once we appre­ci­ate that STEM is sim­ply a more polit­i­cal­ly palat­able descrip­tion to obscure the shift away from sub­ject con­tent to CTE embed­ded in group aca­d­e­m­ic tasks for all. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/CTEYourSTEMStrategy-FINAL.pdf is the fed­er­al­ly sanc­tioned rev­e­la­tion from a year ago.

In case some­one real­ly wants one more smok­ing gun firm­ly link­ing the Com­mon Core to this CTE vision, here’s a 2 page sol­id con­fes­sion for us. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/IntegratingCTE-CCSS-Mar2012.pdf

This was a link heavy post because all of this is quite doc­u­mentable. Most of the peo­ple involved in all these reforms have no incen­tive to con­nect these dots. We par­ents and tax­pay­ers though have no choice if we want to escape a future of us and our chil­dren func­tion­ing as vas­sals liv­ing in a dirigiste fief­dom. All planned around an illu­so­ry utopi­an vision of chang­ing people’s per­son­al­i­ties and men­tal mod­els to vol­un­tar­i­ly accept a far more col­lec­tivist vision where we each exist to meet oth­er people’s needs.

The extent to which all of this comes togeth­er with a Bespoke Fit makes much more sense once we are aware that the glob­al name for this type of K-12 edu­ca­tion for this kind of direct­ed econ­o­my and soci­ety has a name. Pro­duc­tive Learn­ing.

Next time we will exer­cise our still exist­ing priv­i­lege to deny any oblig­a­tion to accept this vision with feal­ty, bow­ing, or gen­er­al homage.

No won­der there is such an intense desire to lim­it the capac­i­ty to read flu­ent­ly.