Exposed: Harvard’s Kennedy School Charged With Producing Technocrats

Harvard Kennedy School for Public Policy is legendary in the world of academics. The problem is that it pumps out Technocrats, according to one student.  He states that the curriculum is “designed to produce elite technocrats. If you are interested in effecting meaningful change in pursuit of a better society, the Kennedy School is not for you.”  ⁃ TN Editor

As this year’s accepted students weigh the decision to commit to a Kennedy School education, they may recall the essay question that they answered in their application:

“The Harvard Kennedy School motto, echoing the President for whom the School is named, is ‘Ask what you can do.’ Please share with the Admissions Committee your plans to create positive change through your public leadership and service.”

We enter the Kennedy School asking what we can do to create positive change. We expect our education here to help. A piece of advice from a soon-to-be graduate: It won’t.

The Kennedy School curriculum is designed to produce elite technocrats. If you are interested in effecting meaningful change in pursuit of a better society, the Kennedy School is not for you.

The Kennedy School curriculum is based on a model of politics that occurs within the bounds of existing power relations. Policymaking, we learn, is the art of accepting the status quo and finding “solutions” within it. There is no critical examination of the systems that produce the problems in the first place and certainly no attempt to change them. Our job is to design top-down, incremental solutions that may provide some benefit at the margins.

Like the fish that doesn’t know what water is, the underlying model of politics at the Kennedy School is so ubiquitous that it is difficult to spot. We embody the technocratic mindset whenever we precondition policies on what is acceptable to those who already hold power. We do this when we plan to heal our cities through artificial intelligence and Google partnerships, or when we speak of race and gender only in terms of diversity hiring and representation at the top, or when we find all of our development answers in randomized controlled trials and social entrepreneurship, or when we exalt “big data” as the ultimate solution for local governments, or when we try to nudge our way to healthier living.

Innovation, data, and efficiency aren’t necessarily bad. The problem at the Kennedy School, and wherever technocracy predominates, is that it becomes perceived as the only legitimate solution, crowding out critical assessments of the deeper causes of problems and the potential for meaningful shifts in power. Why fight for redistribution when we can solve poverty with an app?

While marketing itself as apolitical, technocracy becomes guardian of the status quo. Unsurprisingly, a wealthy, powerful school trains alumni to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

In a master of public policy student’s first year, more than a quarter of all required credits are reserved for statistics. The same for economics. Two requirements, on top of this, are dedicated to professional and managerial skills. And the MPP is considered less technical. Of the master of public administration in international development’s requirement-heavy curriculum, almost every class is economics or statistics.

In the spring policy analysis course, the MPP’s foundational training for the flagship skill of “policy analysis,” students are explicitly taught to design solutions that appeal to the existing arrangement of stakeholder power. Of the case studies carefully selected as aspirational models when I took the course, one sought solutions to climate change through disclosure of financial risks to investors. Another, an admittedly valuable set of voluntary guidelines on businesses and human rights, was accompanied by a lecture that displayed deep scorn not for rights-abusing businesses, but for the human rights activists who dared push for binding regulations. A third advocated determining rainforest land use through quantification of economic potential. When asked whether quantification would favor more powerful economic interests over the social and cultural needs of indigenous groups, the lecturer dismissed the question: Why would it?

Across all Kennedy School master’s programs, there is not a single required course, and very few on offer at all, that focus on contemporary, critical social perspectives: anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, post-development theory, critical race theory, or queer theory. Rarer still are courses designed to prepare students to act on these critiques in pursuit of meaningful shifts in power. The few exceptions—electives taught by Kennedy School Professor Khalil G. Muhammad, senior lecturer Marshall L. Ganz ’64, lecturer Douglas A. Johnson, and HKS Professor Katheryn Sikkink, come to mind—prove that it is possible to incorporate critical perspectives into our coursework. The Kennedy School simply chooses not to.

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China Providing ‘Strings Attached’ Academic Financing To Force Censorship In America

The Chinese are very clever to weaponize capital in order to achieve devious ends. In this case, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) funds selected academic institutions or projects in order to coerce them into self-censorship according to Chinese policies. Congress should block such funding. ⁃ TN Editor

The CIA has issued a classified report detailing China’s far-reaching foreign influence operations campaign in the United States, which imparts financial incentives as leverage to permeate American institutions.

In an unclassified page of the report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, the CIA cautions against efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to stipulate funding to universities and policy institutes in exchange for academic censorship.

“The CCP provides ‘strings-attached’ funding to academic institutions and think tanks to deter research that casts it in a negative light,” the report says. “It has used this tactic to reward pro-China viewpoints and coerce Western academic publications and conferences to self-censor. The CCP often denies visas to academics who criticize the regime, encouraging many China scholars to preemptively self-censor so they can maintain access to the country on which their research depends.”

The CIA warning joins a growing call by U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials to investigate China’s involvement on American college campuses. The agency declined to comment on the report.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee last month the bureau is investigating dozens of Confucius Institutes, the Chinese-backed language and cultural centers hosted by more than 100 universities across the country. Despite their broad entrenchment in American academics over the past decade, little is known about the nature of the contracts between Beijing and the host universities—funding amounts and contractual terms are largely kept secret.

The U.S. intelligence community has warned of the institutes’ potential to be used as a spying tool. The concern is particularly pressing at the 13 universities that host both Confucius Institutes and top-secret Pentagon research, including Arizona State, Auburn, Purdue, Stanford, and the University of Washington.

Wray said “naiveté” in the academic sector has aggravated the risks, accusing the Chinese government of “exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have” on college campuses.

Last month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), who co-chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, called on the five Florida educational institutions that host Confucius Institutes to end those partnerships amid reports that the Chinese government uses the programs to limit discussion on topics the government finds sensitive, such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the political status of Tibet.

“Beijing is becoming increasingly aggressive in its aim to exploit America’s academic freedom to instill in the minds of future leaders a pro-China viewpoint,” Rubio said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “Confucius Institutes across the country and my home state of Florida have given China’s communist regime an avenue to covertly influence public opinion and teach half-truths designed to present Chinese history, government or official policy in the most favorable light.”

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Rubio lauded the recent decision by the University of West Florida to cancel its contract with the Chinese-backed organization and encouraged other universities to reconsider their arrangements.

Managed by a division of the Chinese Ministry of Education known as Hanban, Confucius Institutes are a key piece of Beijing’s broader foreign propaganda campaign, which costs the Chinese government an estimated $10 billion annually.

As of 2016, China’s Propaganda Department was spending $6.8 billion per year to “build an international media apparatus that boosts China’s influence,” the CIA says. Chinese state-run media outlets operating in the United States employ individuals who spread communist propaganda, seldom register as foreign agents, and sometimes work on behalf of Beijing’s intelligence services, according to the report.

“The CCP bankrolls several English-media outlets in the U.S. that try to influence perceptions of China and world events,” the report says, citing media accounts. “The CCP also pays some American media firms to publish propaganda without obvious CCP attribution … and harasses or denies visas to journalists who publish stories critical of the regime.”

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The veritable institution Mississippi State University trains students in epidemiology, or ‘herd health’. It is funded by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. ⁃ TN Editor

International training: MSU veterinary faculty teach epidemiology in China

Two Mississippi State professors in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine are reaching out to students around the world who want to learn about their specialized field of epidemiology.

Drs. David R. Smith and Robert W. Wills recently traveled to China to teach a two-week, two-credit-hour course funded by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

“There is a need for training Chinese veterinarians in epidemiology,” Smith said. Epidemiology is the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the sources and cause of epidemics of infectious disease. It’s also commonly referred to as studying “herd health.”

Both faculty members also travelled to the country last year under a cooperative arrangement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

“There are some diseases of animals that are important to the economy of farming in the U.S. or to public health. Influenza is a really important one,” said Smith, the Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professor at MSU, who also explained that managing disease is an important issue around the world.

“There are some diseases that we’ve managed to control in the U.S. that are still problems in China and in other Asian countries, and the USDA believes that identifying and controlling particular diseases in these countries helps protect animal and public health in the U.S.,” Smith said. Interestingly, epidemiology is not taught as part of regular veterinary training in China, he added.

“There is wide recognition of the value for veterinary epidemiology training in China to improve the safety of food, improve the well-being of animals by preventing diseases, and protecting public health by reducing human exposure to zoonotic diseases,” Smith said.

Smith and Wills hope to see the new relationships formed with the Chinese continue to grow. Their students were graduates of veterinary schools in China who are now doing additional graduate work through the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

“The students were very excited to visit with us and to speak English. They were full of questions and very positive about interacting with Americans. They also were very attentive to the course,” Smith said.

In addition to the nearly 40 students officially enrolled in the class, more students not earning credit also sat in to learn from the MSU visiting faculty members.

Smith and Wills have a few long-term goals for the Chinese teaching project.

“We hope to go back again, and it sounds like the Chinese are interested in having us do that. We also would like to have some of the good students come here and spend some time doing graduate research at Mississippi State,” Smith said.

“Maybe they would return to China and become teachers. The idea is that we are training the trainers of epidemiology in the future,” he said.




China Has Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms With Government-Run Educational Institutes

Those who don’t understand that China is a Technocracy will not understand why it has a major initiative to indoctrinate American students with Technocrat philosophy. Chinese state-run schools in America would have been unthinkable thirty years ago, but they are commonplace today, and few are raising any alarm. ⁃ TN Editor

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made an announcement to great fanfare: The university would soon open a branch of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese government-funded educational institutions that teach Chinese language, culture and history. The Confucius Institute would “help students be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Nancy Gutierrez, UNC Charlotte’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and “broaden the University’s outreach and support for language instruction and cultural opportunities in the Charlotte community,” according to a press release.

But the Confucius Institutes’ goals are a little less wholesome and edifying than they sound—and this is by the Chinese government’s own account. A 2011 speech by a standing member of the Politburo in Beijing laid out the case: “The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for expanding our culture abroad,” Li Changchun said. “It has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power. The ‘Confucius’ brand has a natural attractiveness. Using the excuse of teaching Chinese language, everything looks reasonable and logical.”

Li, it now seems, was right to exult. More than a decade after they were created,Confucius Institutes have sprouted up at more than 500 college campuses worldwide, with more than 100 of them in the United States—including at The George Washington University, the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. Overseen by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education known colloquially as Hanban, the institutes are part of a broader propaganda initiative that the Chinese government is pumping an estimated $10 billion into annually, and they have only been bolstered by growing interest in China among American college students.

Yet along with their growth have come consistent questions about whether the institutes belong on campuses that profess to promote free inquiry. Confucius Institutes teach a very particular, Beijing-approved version of Chinese culture and history: one that ignores concerns over human rights, for example, and teaches that Taiwan and Tibet indisputably belong to Mainland China. Take it from the aforementioned Li, who also said in 2009 that Confucius Institutes are an “important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.” Critics also charge that the centers have led to a climate of self-censorship on campuses that play host to them.

Despite years of these critiques—including a recent outcry at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the shuttering of Confucius Institutes at two of the nation’s top research universities—they’re still growing in number in the United States, albeit at a slower clip than a few years ago. Several opened on American campuses last year. And vanishingly few schools have rethought the institutes and closed them, suggesting that once they’re implanted, they’re entrenched. At several campuses, they’re actually expanding their footprints with bigger facilities and new courses. I contacted more than a half-dozen Confucius Institutes, and several officials said in interviews that they’re not looking back. (Others declined to comment or simply ignored me, further suggesting a commitment to keeping the Institutes going. The Chinese Embassy in Washington also did not respond to a request to comment by publication time.)

That so many universities have welcomed the Confucius Institute with open arms points to another disturbing trend in American higher education: an alarming willingness to accept money at the expense of principles that universities are ostensibly devoted to upholding. At a time when universities are as willing as ever to shield their charges from controversial viewpoints, some nonetheless welcome foreign, communist propaganda—if the price is right.

“Coordinate the efforts of overseas and domestic propaganda,[and] further create a favorable international environment for us,” Chinese minister of propaganda Liu Yunshan exhorted his compatriots in a 2010 People’s Daily article. “With regard to key issues that influence our sovereignty and safety, we should actively carry out international propaganda battles against issuers such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, human rights and Falun Gong. … We should do well in establishing and operating overseas cultural centers and Confucius Institutes.”

Liu’s orders have been heeded. The first Confucius Institute opened in South Korea in 2004. They quickly spread to Japan, Australia, Canada and Europe. The United States, China’s biggest geopolitical rival, has been a particular focus: Fully 40 percent of Confucius Institutes are stateside. In addition to the Institutes at universities, Hanban also operates hundreds of so-called Confucius Classrooms in primary and secondary schools. The public school system of Chicago, for example, has outsourced its Chinese program to Confucius Classrooms.

Beijing treats this project seriously, as evidenced by who runs the show. Hanban (shorthand for the ruling body of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, a branch of the Ministry of Education) is classified technically as a nonprofit agency, but it is dominated by Communist Chinese officialdom. Representatives from 12 top state agencies—including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Press and Publishing Administration, a propaganda bureau—sit on its executive council. Hanban’s director general is on the Chinese state council, the 35-member board that basically runs the country.

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Big Red Flag: Steve Jobs And Bill Gates Raised Their Kids Tech-Free

The most prominent Technocrats in Big Tech that invented most of the technology that is taking over the world, kept their own kids away from it! This clearly shows that they knew what they were doing, and the true nature of the manipulative/addictive environment they were building. All parents should read this story and consider their own children.  TN Editor

Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains.

Research has found that an eighth-grader’s risk for depression jumps 27%when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force.

But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber.”

It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history — Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create.

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“What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don’t?” the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology.

In 2007, Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, implemented a cap on screen time when his daughter started developing an unhealthy attachment to a video game. He also didn’t let his kids get cell phones until they turned 14. (Today, the average age for a child getting their first phone is 10.)

Jobs, who was the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012, revealed in a 2011 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told reporter Nick Bilton.

In “Screen Schooled,” Clement and Miles make the case that wealthy Silicon Valley parents seem to grasp the addictive powers of smartphones, tablets, and computers more than the general public does — despite the fact that these parents often make a living by creating and investing in that technology.

“It’s interesting to think that in a modern public school, where kids are being required to use electronic devices like iPads,” the authors wrote, “Steve Jobs’s kids would be some of the only kids opted out.”

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Billionaire Tech Moguls Intend To Remake America’s Schools

Technocrat billionaires are taking over American education, recasting teachers as mere facilitators who administer self-learning modules created by the same Technocrats. This is a must read story. If you think ‘government schools’ were already corrupted with Common Core Education Standards, then you will really hate ‘Technocrat schools’ where parents will have zero input as to what their Children are taught. ⁃ TN Editor

In San Francisco’s public schools, Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce, is giving middle school principals $100,000 “innovation grants” and encouraging them to behave more like start-up founders and less like bureaucrats.

In Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states, Netflix’s chief, Reed Hastings, is championing a popular math-teaching program where Netflix-like algorithms determine which lessons students see.

And in more than 100 schools nationwide, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, is testing one of his latest big ideas: software that puts children in charge of their own learning, recasting their teachers as facilitators and mentors.

In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.

The involvement by some of the wealthiest and most influential titans of the 21st century amounts to a singular experiment in education, with millions of students serving as de facto beta testers for their ideas. Some tech leaders believe that applying an engineering mind-set can improve just about any system, and that their business acumen qualifies them to rethink American education.

“They are experimenting collectively and individually in what kinds of models can produce better results,” said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which manages donor funds for Mr. Hastings, Mr. Zuckerberg and others. “Given the changes in innovation that are underway with artificial intelligence and automation, we need to try everything we can to find which pathways work.”

But the philanthropic efforts are taking hold so rapidly that there has been little public scrutiny.

Tech companies and their founders have been rolling out programs in America’s public schools with relatively few checks and balances, The New York Times found in interviews with more than 100 company executives, government officials, school administrators, researchers, teachers, parents and students.

“They have the power to change policy, but no corresponding check on that power,” said Megan Tompkins-Stange, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. “It does subvert the democratic process.”

Furthermore, there is only limited research into whether the tech giants’ programs have actually improved students’ educational results.

One of the broadest philanthropic initiatives directly benefits the tech industry.

Code.org, a major nonprofit group financed with more than $60 million from Silicon Valley luminaries and their companies, has the stated goal of getting every public school in the United States to teach computer science. Its argument is twofold: Students would benefit from these classes, and companies need more programmers.

Together with Microsoft and other partners, Code.org has barnstormed the country, pushing states to change education laws and fund computer science courses. It has also helped more than 120 districts to introduce such curriculums, the group said, and has facilitated training workshops for more than 57,000 teachers. And Code.org’s free coding programs, called Hour of Code, have become wildly popular, drawing more than 100 million students worldwide.

Mr. Hastings of Netflix and other tech executives rejected the idea that they wielded significant influence in education. The mere fact that classroom internet access has improved, Mr. Hastings said, has had a much greater impact in schools than anything tech philanthropists have done.

“In our society as a democracy, I think it is healthy that there is a debate about what are the goals of public education,” Mr. Hastings added.

Captains of American industry have long used their private wealth to remake public education, with lasting and not always beneficial results.

What is different today is that some technology giants have begun pitching their ideas directly to students, teachers and parents — using social media to rally people behind their ideas. Some companies also cultivate teachers to spread the word about their products.

Such strategies help companies and philanthropists alike influence public schools far more quickly than in the past, by creating legions of supporters who can sway legislators and education officials.

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Parents And Students Standing Up To Forced Gender Ideology In Schools

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include Gender Equality (#5), which it equates with human rights. In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution clarifying Gender Equality: “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity.” As these policies have charged into American schools, parents and students are fed up and pushing back. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Progressive activists are forcing public schools to teach and practice gender ideology in the name of civil rights, but more American students and their parents are saying “no” to the demands made on behalf of a minority who claim to be the opposite sex.

In Portland, Oregon, parents of high school students have filed a federal lawsuit over the school district’s policy that allows a biological female student who claims to be male to use the boys’ locker room and bathroom.

The lawsuit is similar to one filed in Palatine, Illinois last year where, as the Chicago Tribune reported in October 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert ruled that high school students “do not have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students whose sex assigned at birth is different than theirs.”

The Portland lawsuit claims the Dallas School District’s policy to allow a 16-year-old female – Elliot Yoder – to use the boys’ facilities violates the civil rights of the majority of the students who are not gender-confused, the Associated Press observes.

The Oregon chapter of the ACLU argues the parents’ lawsuit is “senseless and cruel” and “targets transgender youth for simply existing and seeking an education.”

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However, Herb Grey, the parents’ attorney, says boys who use the facilities at the school are embarrassed to get undressed in front of a biological female.

“The key to this whole thing is not just the privacy and the rights of just one student,” Grey explains. “It’s the rights of all the students and their parents and you can’t interpret federal law and state law and impose it on everyone else and say you’re accommodating everyone — because you’re not accommodating everyone.”

Yoder reportedly asked to use the boys’ facilities for changing before gym class because the gender-neutral bathroom is on another floor and other students noticed when she left to change.

Two years ago, when the Dallas school district first informed parents it would be accommodating a biological female who claimed to be male by allowing her to use the boys’ facilities, the enraged parents came together to protest at a school board meeting.

In May 2016, students at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester, Vermont also pushed back against the school’s transgender policy that was allowing a female student who claims to be male to use the boys’ facilities.

As Breitbart News reported, the students argued it is unfair to make the majority of students feel uncomfortable to satisfy the demands of a small minority.

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Bill Gates Tacitly Admits His Common Core Experiment Was A Failure

Technocrats like Gates are advancing thanks to ‘advocacy philanthropy’ that funnels donations to restructure government and activities. More specifically, it targets and manipulates how public funds are spent. Gates is not a Communist or a Fascist – he is a Technocrat!  TN Editor

It looks like this is as close to an apology or admission of failure as we’re going to get, folks. Sorry about that $4 trillion and mangled years of education for American K-12 kids and teachers.

Bill and Melinda Gates run the world’s richest nonprofit, with assets at $40 billion and annual giving around $4 billion. They have helped pioneer a mega-giving strategy called “advocacy philanthropy,” which aims to use private donations to shift how governments structure their activities and use taxpayer dollars.

Since 2009, the Gates Foundation’s primary U.S. activity has focused on establishing and implementing Common Core, a set of centrally mandated curriculum rules and tests for what children are to learn in each K-12 grade, with the results linked to school and teacher ratings and punitive measures for low performers. The Gates Foundation has spent more than $400 million itself and influenced $4 trillion in U.S. taxpayer fundstowards this goal. Eight years later, however, Bill Gates is admitting failure on that project, and a “pivot” to another that is not likely to go any better.

“Based on everything we have learned in the past 17 years, we are evolving our education strategy,” Gates wrote on his blog as a preface to a speech he gave last week in Cleveland. He followed this by detailing how U.S. education has essentially made little improvement in the years since he and his foundation — working so closely with the Obama administration that federal officials regularly consulted foundation employees and waived ethics laws to hire several — began redirecting trillions of public dollars towards programs he now admits haven’t accomplished much.

“If there is one thing I have learned,” Gates says in concluding his speech, “it is that no matter how enthusiastic we might be about one approach or another, the decision to go from pilot to wide-scale usage is ultimately and always something that has to be decided by you and others the field.” If this statement encompasses his Common Core debacle, Gates could have at least the humility to recall that Common Core had no pilotbefore he took it national. There wasn’t even a draft available to the public before the Obama administration hooked states into contracts, many of which were ghostwritten with Gates funds, pledging they’d buy that pig in a poke.

But it looks like this is as close to an apology or admission of failure as we’re going to get, folks. Sorry about that $4 trillion and mangled years of education for American K-12 kids and teachers. Failing with your kids and money for eight years is slowly getting billionaire visionaries to “evolve” and pledge to respect the hoi polloi a little more, though, so be grateful.

While Gates will continue to dump money into curricula and teacher training based on Common Core, “we will no longer invest directly in new initiatives based on teacher evaluations and ratings,” he said. This is the portion of the Common Core initiative around which bipartisan grassroots opposition coalesced, since unions oppose accountability for teachers and parents oppose terrible ideas thrust upon their kids without their input. Gates’ speech reinforces that Common Core supporters are scapegoating their initiative’s poor quality and transgression against the American right to self-government upon its links to using poorly constructed, experimental tests to rate teachers and schools.

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Criminalizing Knowledge: Censorship In The Digital Age

To the Technocrat mind, scientific social engineering is comprehensive and must also extend to the very thoughts you receive and retain in your brain. Like the famously flawed ‘no-fly’ list used to catch terrorists, a future ‘no-knowledge’ list will trap dangerous thinkers.  TN Editor

The grand experiment with western democracy, badly listing thanks to broadsides from profiteering oligarchs, may finally run ashore on the rocks of thought crime. In the uneven Steven Spielberg project Minority Report, starring excitable scientologist Tom Cruise, Cruise plays a futuristic policeman who investigates pre-crimes and stops them before they happen. The police owe their ability to see the criminal plots developing to characters called pre-cognitives, or pre-cogs, kind of autistic prophets who see the future and lie sleeping in sterile pools of water inside the police department. Of course, it turns out that precogs can pre-visualize different futures, a hastily hidden flaw that threatens to jeopardize the profits of the pre-crime project. Here is the crux of the story: thought control is driven by a profit motive at bottom. As it turns out, just like real life.

Now, the British government has decided to prosecute pre-crime but has done away with the clunky plot device of the pre-cogs, opting rather to rely on a hazy sense of higher probability to justify surveilling, nabbing, convicting, and imprisoning British citizens. The crime? Looking at radical content on the Internet. What is considered radical will naturally be defined by the state police who will doubtless be personally incentivized by pre-crime quotas, and institutionally shaped to criminalize trains of thought that threaten to destabilize a criminal status quo. You know, the unregulated monopoly capitalist regime that cuts wages, costs, and all other forms of overhead with psychopathic glee. Even a Grenfell Towers disaster is regarded more as a question of how to remove the story from public consciousness than rectify its wrongs.

The Triple Evils

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously, or infamously, depending on whether you are a penthouse mandarin or garden-variety prole, linked the triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarism. These evils are as yet unaddressed in our society, as we are daily shown on the media mouthpieces of imperial capitalism. Wars must be waged. Victims of social injustice must be incarcerated. Society itself must be made poor to ensure higher profits.

Yet there is another set of evils that are primarily used to mask the original trifecta outlined by King. In fact, the connection between propaganda, surveillance, and censorship is clear and inseparable. Take as your initial premise that imperial capitalists want to control the world. Not an unjustified claim. As an imperial capitalist, you are part of a privileged minority whose objective is to further exploit the disenfranchised whose only recourse is the resources you are pillaging. War, be it with bombs or sanctions or special forces or proxies, is immensely profitable to the capitalists. Arms makers make money. Chemical companies make money. Energy companies make money. Media companies make money. Presidents not only make money, they also make history. But the workers, the poor, and the downtrodden pay the price. That’s why they won’t be happy to hear of your plans. Therefore, they must be lied to, lied to so convincingly and comprehensively that they accept, without a second thought, the plans you have laid out before them.

This convincing requires three decisive actions: propaganda, surveillance, and censorship. The first is the official lie you craft to convince them to believe you. The second is the dragnet of digital observation by which you assess whether or not they do believe you. The third is the coercive methods by which you punish those that don’t believe you (justified by the imperial tale you first wove).

The official interpretation of reality is already in place: western civilization is beset on all sides by maniacs that want to take away our freedoms. The surveillance is already in place through programs like the Five Eyes alliance and ECHELON, PRISM, Boundless Informant, FISA, Stellar Wind, and many others. What remains is to tighten the noose of censorship around the neck of our open western societies.

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Bill Gates

Gates Foundation Backs Away From Common Core, Pledges $1.7 Billion To Build Networks Of Schools

After admitting to the mess it made with Common Core State Standards, Gates is moving on with a brand new experiment to reform education in America. Gates, a consummate Technocrat, wants “to see faster and lasting change in student achievement.”  TN Editor

Marking a new chapter in education philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will step back from its traditional education reform agenda to instead invest close to $1.7 billion over the next five years on new initiatives that include a focus on building networks of schools.

“Education is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging areas we invest in as a foundation,” Bill Gates is expected to say Thursday during a speech at the Council of the Great City Schools’ annual conference in Cleveland, according to prepared remarks. “But I’m excited about the shift in our work and the focus on partnering with networks of schools.”

In a sprawling address, the Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of one of the most influential and contentious entities involved in the education space plans to reflect on lessons learned about the foundation’s efforts and how those lessons will play into its revamped vision for the future.

“There are some signs of progress,” Gates is expected to say of past efforts. “But like many of you, we want to see faster and lasting change in student achievement.”

During the Gates Foundation’s involvement in education philanthropy over nearly two decades, the organization – of which Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda Gates, is also a co-chair – has poured billions of dollars into advancing new ideas and played an especially significant role in the rise of the education reform movement. Yet it has been widely criticized for funneling funding into what some consider silver-bullet policies or the latest education fad.

One of the foundation’s first serious forays into K-12 policy was its push for smaller schools – a contentious idea that yielded mixed results.

While it had a positive impact in some places – such as New York City, where graduation and college enrollment rates increased for the majority of smaller-scale schools – it didn’t move the needle in many other places and ultimately was deemed too costly, both fiscally and politically, to replicate successfully.

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The foundation’s biggest bets, however, were in its decision to back the Common Core State Standards – academic benchmarks for what students should know by the end of each grade – and its push to reimagine teacher evaluation and compensation systems based in part on student test scores.

That effort dovetailed with the Obama administration’s competitive education grant program, Race to the Top, which gave states hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out those very education policy changes, among others. The Gates Foundation was instrumental in helping states that won the funding but lacked the capacity and expertise to go it alone and carry out their winning proposals.

The results of those efforts, however, also were mixed.

The District of Columbia, for example, is hailed by many education policy experts as a model for how school districts can create evaluation systems that retain and reward the best teachers while showing the least effective ones the door. But some states, like Tennessee, have had a harder time sticking to their original visions, largely due to the politicization of Common Core, which led to a chain reaction in how states were able to test students and make the results of those tests part of teacher evaluations and pay scales.

In May 2016, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation, offered somewhat of a mea culpa for the foundation’s misread of how ready – or not ready, as it turned out – states were to handle implementation of the Common Core standards.

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Technocrats Discover Alarming New Ways To Data Mine Our Children

Technocracy is about surveillance and data mining in order to fully enable the social engineering of the entire society. The more data they have, the easier it becomes to manipulate people into behaviors that they never would have chosen except that they are crassly ‘engineered’.  TN Editor

Opponents of the progressive-education elitists on issues such as the Common Core scheme are routinely accused of spouting paranoid conspiracy theories. This smear is particularly common in discussing technology-driven “digital learning.” It’s ridiculous, educrats say, to suggest that schools — meaning the government —and their corporate ed-tech allies will be probing the psyches of our children. Track children’s eye movements or scan their brains? That’s crazy talk!Except that federally funded researchers now brag about doing just that.

Ed Week reports that Carnegie Mellon University researchers are using brain scans to create computer software to adapt to what a student is actually thinking as he solves math problems. The premise is this:

Researchers can now use brain-imaging techniques to identify the mental stages humans go through while solving math problems. From there, they can use machine-learning algorithms to find the connections between patterns of human brain activity and patterns in the data generated by students as they interact with math software. Armed with that information, the researchers hope, they can build better educational software programs capable of quickly detecting how students are attempting to solve a given problem, then responding in a personalized way.

For years the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has promoted this cutting-edge research, in pursuit of “transforming” education by “personalizing” it. One report – “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance” — describes USED’s goals in creepy detailThe Grit report explains how a child’s emotions, such as frustration, anxiety, and boredom, “may be measured through analysis of facial expressions, EEG brain wave patterns, skin conductance, heart rate variability, posture, and eye-tracking” (p. 41).

A separate USED report, “Expanding Evidence: Approaches for Learning in a Digital World,” explores how sophisticated software of the type being developed by Carnegie Mellon can map a child’s brain as he works: “[L]earning systems can capture micro-level data on [students’] problem-solving sequences, knowledge, and strategy use, including each student’s selections or inputs, the number of attempts a student makes, the number of hints and feedback given, and the time allocated across each part of the problem…” (p. 12).

What parent doesn’t want the government tracking their child’s emotional state?

What happens to this brain-mapping data (“billions” of data points, according to one ed-tech CEO) that is collected from each student as he interacts with the software? Maybe the software vendor keeps it for the company’s benefit, such as creating new products. Maybe the school/government retains it in the longitudinal data system for various reasons — tracking the child’s social-emotional development (which the progressive-education establishment now considers more important than instilling academic knowledge), or predicting the child’s future behavior, or sharing with other agencies that may have an interest (health, law-enforcement, etc.). The possibilities are endless. And frightening.

Carnegie Mellon has long taken the lead in this Minority Report/Gattaca research. Professor John Anderson enthuses about delving into a child’s psyche by mapping his brain. As he told Ed Weekresearchers will soon be “tracking and responding in real time to students’ actual brain activity, as opposed to the indirect process that happens now.” And models will include “information gleaned from tracking students’ emotional, or affective, state, such as frustration or excitement.”

Terrific. What parent doesn’t want the government tracking their child’s emotional state?

Obviously, to transmit all this data, the child must be connected in some way to the software. In this respect Anderson hails “the advent of cheaper new tools such as high-quality commercial eye-tracking technology and even wearable EEG reading devices … .” (Photos helpfully provided in the Grit report (p. 44).)

Anderson concedes that his cutting-edge technology could be “misused,” but he thinks the ends justify the means. USED obviously agrees.

Predictably, much support for Carnegie Mellon’s mis-usable research comes from the federal government. Anderson (who himself has been invited to selective White House conferences on probing children’s brains) helps direct the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, which is funded by the National Science Foundation(NSF) to the tune of almost $50 million.

As we’ve reported, one recent grant from the NSF to Carnegie Mellon and other partners is to create LearnSphere, which will expand a massive repository to store student data generated through use of these sophisticated interactive software systems. LearnSphere will be designed to store behavioral and even physiological data on students.

Does anyone believe the federal government will pour millions of dollars into collecting this data without the ability, eventually, to access it? Is it even conceivably acceptable to have this extraordinarily sensitive data about American citizens in the clutches of government and of private industry — especially when parents won’t even be told what’s happening?

Information is power. This type of information of the inner workings of an individual’s thinking process is overwhelming. For one person to have that type of information about another is intimidating. And for the government to have it will make a farce of citizen-directed government. One cannot direct that which intimidates him.

“Paranoia” indeed.

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