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Charlotte Thomson IserbytNec­es­sary for the shift from academics 
to lim­it­ed learn­ing for life­long labor

It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” — Justice Louis Brandeis, 1932

In 1972, Flori­da’s Asso­ciate Com­mis­sion­er of Edu­ca­tion, Cecil Gold­en, said:

What we’re doing should soon become very vis­i­ble.” How­ev­er, he esti­mates it will take sev­en to ten years before the pro­gram is com­plete­ly operational.…
“Gold­en says it may sound like a lot of gib­ber­ish at this point, but “when we bring it all togeth­er” it should pro­duce a more flex­i­ble and rel­e­vant edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem.… “He said many peo­ple in the State Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion are work­ing inde­pen­dent­ly on var­i­ous facets and aspects of the pro­gram and, like those assem­bling the atom bomb, “very few of them under­stand exact­ly what they are build­ing, and won’t until we put all the parts togeth­er.” “Schools to Try New Pro­gram,” The Ledger (Tal­la­has­see), 7/27/72 [bold added]

Was Flori­da “one sin­gle coura­geous state” (a pilot) or were there many oth­ers? And did the cit­i­zens of Flori­da vote on this mon­u­men­tal change which would affect edu­ca­tion for­ev­er? Com­mis­sion­er Gold­en was talk­ing about the use in edu­ca­tion of the com­put­er­ized Plan­ning, Pro­gram­ming, Bud­get­ing Sys­tem (PPBS), being imple­ment­ed nation­wide today. How­ev­er, Gold­en was too opti­mistic about any­one fig­ur­ing it out “until we put all the parts together.”

Evi­dent­ly there were many tra­di­tion­al admin­is­tra­tors and teach­ers who had fig­ured it out and who resist­ed this total shift from aca­d­e­mics to PPBS and its Skin­ner­ian out­comes/per­for­mance-based edu­ca­tion! The parts have been put togeth­er since 1985, at least. How­ev­er… still… nobody, except a hand­ful of aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly-ori­ent­ed teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors, under­stands exact­ly what they are build­ing! Or “wants to under­stand what they are building?”

How is it pos­si­ble that since 1972…over a peri­od of 52 years.… nobody, except a few teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors, has yet fig­ured “it” out?

Martha Spauld­ing, researcher of edu­ca­tion­al and con­sti­tu­tion­al issues from New Hamp­shire, has fig­ured “it” out and she hit the jack­pot with dis­cov­er­ing the Jus­tice Bran­deis quote. Martha wrote to me:

…I want­ed to make sure you see the anal­o­gy that I made to the con­cept of “New Fed­er­al­ism” [block grants] and Out­come Based Edu­ca­tion and Skinner’s lab­o­ra­to­ry rats being the peo­ple in the States.

I wasn’t aware of the term New Fed­er­al­ism until you men­tioned it, Char­lotte. Here’s what I found about Nixon’s “New Fed­er­al­ism”:

’New Fed­er­al­ism is a polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of devo­lu­tion, or the trans­fer of cer­tain pow­ers from the Unit­ed States fed­er­al gov­ern­ment back to the states. The pri­ma­ry objec­tive of New Fed­er­al­ism, unlike that of the eigh­teenth-cen­tu­ry polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of Fed­er­al­ism, is the restora­tion to the states of some of the auton­o­my and pow­er which they lost to the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment as a con­se­quence of Pres­i­dent Franklin Roo­sevelt’s New Deal.’

’As a pol­i­cy theme, New Fed­er­al­ism typ­i­cal­ly involves the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ing block grants to the states to resolve a social issue. The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment then mon­i­tors out­comes but pro­vides broad dis­cre­tion to the states for how the pro­grams are imple­ment­ed. Advo­cates of this approach some­times cite a quo­ta­tion from a dis­sent by Louis Bran­deis in New State Ice Co. v. Lieb­mann:’

’It is one of the hap­py inci­dents of the fed­er­al sys­tem that a sin­gle coura­geous state may, if its cit­i­zens choose, serve as a lab­o­ra­to­ry; and try nov­el social and eco­nom­ic exper­i­ments with­out risk to the rest of the country.’

Isn’t it inter­est­ing that they seem to be using out­come-based “Fed­er­al­ism” with the states being their lab­o­ra­to­ries for their exper­i­ments on “New Federalism”?

They are treat­ing states and the peo­ple in Amer­i­ca like rats in a cage used for exper­i­men­ta­tion and Jus­tice Bran­deis proud­ly used this anal­o­gy in a U.S. Supreme Court deci­sion. Wouldn’t B.F. Skin­ner be proud?”

Robert McNamara

Robert McNa­ma­ra

I respond­ed to Martha that now she could research PPBS, espe­cial­ly by read­ing my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of Amer­i­ca where I includ­ed much doc­u­men­ta­tion on the Skin­ner­ian out­comes-based sys­tem first devel­oped by Russ­ian Wass­i­ly Leon­tief. This sys­tem would be imple­ment­ed by Robert McNa­ma­ra, when he was Pres­i­dent of Ford Motor Com­pa­ny, and short­ly there­after it was used by fed­er­al gov­ern­ment (U.S. Office of Edu­ca­tion and Dept. of Defense dur­ing the Viet­nam War.) PPBS is relat­ed to Man­age­ment By Objec­tives (MBO) and Total Qual­i­ty Man­age­ment (TQM). It sub­se­quent­ly extend­ed its total­i­tar­i­an ten­ta­cles into all fed­er­al, state and local departments/agencies—very use­ful for cur­rent UN Agen­da 21 (Region­al­ism which is Com­mu­nism). I told Martha to be sure to read Mary Thomp­son’s great speech in 1972 regard­ing PPBS in my book, pages 110–111.

Now, take a look at the fol­low­ing very recent excel­lent arti­cle relat­ed to the role of the late Robert McNa­ma­ra in the instal­la­tion of “THE INPUT/OUTPUT MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEM” we are look­ing at today. From a report titled “The Dic­ta­tor­ship of Data: Robert McNa­ma­ra epit­o­mizes the hyper-ratio­nal exec­u­tive led astray by num­bers,” by Ken­neth Cuki­er and Vik­tor May­er-Schön­berg­er, May 31, 2013, in Tech­nol­o­gy Review we can learn:

Big data is poised to trans­form soci­ety, from how we diag­nose ill­ness to how we edu­cate chil­dren, even mak­ing it pos­si­ble for a car to dri­ve itself. Infor­ma­tion is emerg­ing as a new eco­nom­ic input, a vital resource. Com­pa­nies, gov­ern­ments, and even indi­vid­u­als will be mea­sur­ing and opti­miz­ing every­thing possible.

But there is a dark side. Big data erodes pri­va­cy. And when it is used to make pre­dic­tions about what we are like­ly to do but haven’t yet done, it threat­ens free­dom as well. Yet big data also exac­er­bates a very old prob­lem: rely­ing on the num­bers when they are far more fal­li­ble than we think. Noth­ing under­scores the con­se­quences of data analy­sis gone awry more than the sto­ry of Robert McNamara.

McNa­ma­ra was a num­bers guy. Appoint­ed the U.S. sec­re­tary of defense when ten­sions in Viet­nam rose in the ear­ly 1960s, he insist­ed on get­ting data on every­thing he could. Only by apply­ing sta­tis­ti­cal rig­or, he believed, could deci­sion mak­ers under­stand a com­plex sit­u­a­tion and make the right choic­es. The world in his view was a mass of unruly infor­ma­tion that—if delin­eat­ed, denot­ed, demar­cat­ed, and quantified—could be tamed by human hand and fall under human will. McNa­ma­ra sought Truth, and that Truth could be found in data. Among the num­bers that came back to him was the “body count.”

My friend Martha Spauld­ing might have won­dered what all of this has to do with Com­mon Core and the restruc­tur­ing of edu­ca­tion into the Sovi­et Poly­Tech­ni­cal glob­al work­force train­ing sys­tem that spins off prof­its for the glob­al elite. So I told her some impor­tant his­to­ry about how it all came about.

Pres­i­dent Rea­gan, who had run on a plat­form promis­ing to get rid of the U.S. Dept. of Edu­ca­tion, appoint­ed T. H. Bell of Utah as Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion (even though Bell had in 1978 tes­ti­fied before Con­gress in favor of the cre­ation of the U.S. Dept. of Edu­ca­tion!) Need­less to say, the U.S. Dept. of Edu­ca­tion still exists and con­trols the whole show, includ­ing Com­mon (Com­mu­nist) Core, life­long work­force train­ing, and tax-fund­ed school choice/charters with no elect­ed vot­er rep­re­sen­ta­tion on school boards. (See the many arti­cles on my blog where I’ve writ­ten on this topic.)

All of the above nefarious/treasonous activ­i­ty could not have tak­en place with­out the imple­men­ta­tion in the nation’s schools of McNa­ma­ra and T.H. Bel­l’s PPBS and its accom­pa­ny­ing com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy to “mea­sure” and “reme­di­ate” (based on Skin­ner­ian oper­ant con­di­tion­ing meth­ods) your chil­dren’s and their teach­ers so that they would exhib­it the pre­scribed state-sanc­tioned thoughts, actions, and beliefs. This is all spelled out in Prof. Ben­jamin Bloom’s book All Our Chil­dren Learn­ing” (see page 180). Each citizen’s poten­tial impor­tance to the cor­po­ra­tions would be assessed to deter­mine how use­ful they would be to the UN “technocrats/change agents” involved in chang­ing Amer­i­ca’s Cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem to a Com­mu­nist planned econ­o­my. (Go to and type in the word “Con­clu­sions” in the search box to down­load the Carnegie land­mark book Con­clu­sions and Rec­om­men­da­tions for the Social Stud­ies, 1934, which calls for using the schools to change Amer­i­ca’s Cap­i­tal­ist eco­nom­ic sys­tem to a planned econ­o­my, and in some instances for the seiz­ing of pri­vate property.)

Sec­re­tary Bell wrote a book about the need for Edu­ca­tion­al Sys­tems Man­age­ment in 1974. Accord­ing to the head of the Utah Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, who was a close asso­ciate of Bell’s in the ear­ly 1970s, if the Sen­ate Com­mit­tee that con­firmed T.H. Bell as Sec­re­tary­of Edu­ca­tion had read Bell’s A Per­for­mance Account­abil­i­ty Sys­tem for School Admin­is­tra­tors, it is unlike­ly Bell would have been con­firmed. Bell’s book stated:

The Need for a Man­age­ment System
Under the pres­sure of the free-enter­prise sys­tem and the unremit­ting demand that large cor­po­ra­tions earn prof­its and pay div­i­dends to stock­hold­ers, man­age­ment effi­cien­cy through ori­en­ta­tion to results has led to devel­op­ment of man­age­ment sys­tems such as the one described in this book. Most of the suc­cess­ful cor­po­ra­tions in the Unit­ed States now use annu­al­ly adopt­ed objec­tives as a means of focus­ing the ener­gies and efforts of man­agers on the attain­ment of goals that are wide­ly known and broad­ly accept­ed. Although the prob­lems of edu­ca­tion­al man­age­ment are obvi­ous­ly quite dif­fer­ent from those of the pri­vate sec­tor, there is much to be learned from industry’s sys­tems approach in gain­ing more effi­cien­cy in edu­ca­tion­al management.The out­comes are quite sim­i­lar…. (p. 21)

Use of Tests in Needs Assessments
The eco­nom­ic, soci­o­log­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal aspects of stu­dents must be tak­en into account as we look at their edu­ca­tion­al needs and accom­plish­ments, and for­tu­nate­ly there are a num­ber of atti­tude and inven­to­ry scales that can be used to assess these admit­ted­ly dif­fi­cult to mea­sure outcomes….

Most of these efforts to man­age edu­ca­tion try to cen­ter in one place an infor­ma­tion cen­ter that receives reports and makes avail­able to all mem­bers of the man­age­ment team var­i­ous types of infor­ma­tion use­ful to managers….

School man­age­ment by objec­tives demands more use of edu­ca­tion­al tests and mea­sures.” (p. 33–35) [empha­sis added] For those who may doubt the legit­i­ma­cy of long­time edu­ca­tion researchers’ con­cerns over this com­put­er­ized PPBS edu­ca­tion­al man­age­ment sys­tem, read on…

In 1984 School­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy, Vol. 3, Plan­ning for the Future: A Col­lab­o­ra­tive Mod­el, An Inter­pre­tive Report on Cre­ative Part­ner­ships in Tech­nol­o­gy—An Open Forum by Dustin H. Heuston, World Insti­tute for Com­put­er-Assist­ed Teach­ing (WICAT) was pub­lished (South­east­ern Region­al Coun­cil for Edu­ca­tion­al Improve­ment: Research Tri­an­gle Park, North Car­oli­na, 1984) under a grant from the U.S. Office of Edu­ca­tion, HEW, Nation­al Insti­tute of Edu­ca­tion. An excerpt from “Dis­cus­sion: Devel­op­ing the Poten­tial of an Amaz­ing Tool” in School­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy follows:

We’ve been absolute­ly stag­gered by real­iz­ing that the com­put­er has the capa­bil­i­ty to act as if it were ten of the top psy­chol­o­gists work­ing with one stu­dent.… You’ve seen the tip ofthe ice­berg. Won’t it be won­der­ful when the child in the small­est coun­ty in the most dis­tant area or in the most con­fused urban set­ting can have the equiv­a­lent of the finest school in the world on that ter­mi­nal and no one can get between that child and the cur­ricu­lum? We have great moments com­ing in the his­to­ry of edu­ca­tion.” [bold added] 

So, thank you Martha for your astute obser­va­tion regard­ing the changes in our gov­ern­men­tal struc­ture par­tial­ly due to Jus­tice Bran­deis’s 1932 rul­ing and to its ram­i­fi­ca­tions (unwant­ed exper­i­men­tal pur­pos­es) from Pres­i­dent Nixon to present-day Pres­i­dent Obama.

These are changes which have basi­cal­ly ignored the wish­es of the Amer­i­can peo­ple by first requir­ing the send­ing of their tax mon­ey to the fed­er­al lev­el and then, gra­tu­itous­ly, the return­ing it to us with strings (reg­u­la­tions) attached!

This is sure­ly not the Fed­er­al­ism about which Pres­i­dent James Madi­son so elo­quent­ly wrote.

For more infor­ma­tion, please refer to fol­low­ing addi­tion­al entries in my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of Amer­i­ca regard­ing Plan­ning, Pro­gram­ming and Bud­get­ing Sys­tems (PPBS). Just use the index and you will find a wealth of infor­ma­tion. You can down­load a copy of my book online for free at Stay in touch with cur­rent edu­ca­tion reform agen­das by read­ing my blog, with its time­ly dai­ly updates: