Do You Want To Believe?

Corporate Education Reform

Belief is a funny thing.  Some people need to see something splattered all over newspapers and major news outlets to believe something is real.  Others just need to hear one thing to think something is true.  When it comes to education, what do you believe?

I recently had a conversation with someone who told me I was a conspiracy theorist.  That what I am saying about the vast plans that have been going on with education and what is to come is nothing more than that.  That I have no basis to prove my theories whatsoever.  This person also informed me they don’t care about my theories and they have more important things to do with their life.  I encouraged this person to do some research on their own and to come up with their own conclusions.  When you talk about the agendas for public education to someone who is not deeply engrossed in the minutiae of what has been going on, it is very easy to sound like a crackpot.  It won’t be the first time someone has expressed that I am crazy or wearing a tin hat.  I’m sure it won’t be the last.  But as I left that person, they were on Google looking up “Common Core conspiracy theories”.

To an outside observer, many of us who do the research with corporate education reform do sound crazy.  But they haven’t poured through contracts and websites, or followed the money to see where billions of dollars are going.  They haven’t read everything we have.  They can’t accept how deep the tentacles reach.  That this involves much more than education and has ties with the U.S. Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Labor.  That what is going on in public education will redefine society as we know it and strip away substantial rights of citizens in the future.  It sounds so crazy it would have to be a conspiracy theory, right?  And that is exactly what they are counting on, these masters of wealth and foundations, these billionaires who throw money around like it was nothing.  “But these foundations do good things,” I’ve heard.  Of course they do.  They help people around the globe.  If all they did was fund Common Core and personalized learning and education technology, it would be MUCH easier for people to follow the trail.

Our country is run by corporations.  I can’t make people see this.  I can’t make them understand that politicians are bought and sold like discounted goods on Black Friday.  I can’t make them see the major media blackout on so much that is really going on.  I hear so many people say “You can’t believe what you read on the Internet or on blogs.”  I’ve seen it myself.  There is a ton of bad information out there.  I’ve published bad information before based on bad information or a misunderstanding.  It happens.  But when all the same trails lead to the same conclusions repeatedly, after a while the truth sinks in.  It’s not like a lot of these companies are hiding what they want to do with data.  They are announcing it on their websites or pushing it with policy briefs for the Every Student Succeeds Act.  But who has the time to look at all that?  If I weren’t hip to a lot of this stuff, I wouldn’t give any of it the time of day.

It is no longer theory when something has been proven.  It is fact.  And it is a fact that there are corporations and foundations, run by some of the richest people in the world, that want today’s youth and future generations to become servants to their masters.  They will accomplish this through education by turning it into a data tracking system that will affect every facet of their lives: health, careers, outside interests, media, technology, and higher education.  Everyone will be plugged in and led to believe what their lives should be.  The data will tell them so.  Meanwhile, those who aren’t plugged into the Blockchain technology coming our way, the masters, they will happily reap the profits of those who don’t want to believe.

As those who want to save our children from this future, how do we reach those who don’t want to believe?  Who honestly don’t have the time or an inkling of how grand this scheme is?  That it doesn’t matter who is President or this Secretary, they are just following the script written decades ago?

What Will This Generation of Students Be Known For? Will They Have Their Own Minds? @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog #netde #eduDE

The Future

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  We have five generation titles currently living and influencing America.  The first is “The Greatest Generation” (born between 1927-1945), then “The Baby Boomers” (1946-1964), “Generation X” (1965-1980),  “Generation Y” or “The Millennium Generation” (1981-2001), and “Generation Z” (born after 2001). What will Generation Z, educated under Common Core and No Child Left Behind become?  The expectations put on these students have never been higher.  Is this causing long-term damage though?  If the current curriculum trends continue with Common Core and high-risk tests, I would say the graduating classes of 2018 to 2029 will have severe problems in their adult lives.

Generation Z was born in the aftermath of 9/11.  As a country, we became very suspicious of everything around us and demanded immediate change.  We would not, and could not, let an attack like 9/11 ever happen again.  So we set out to fix things.  Under the wings of the Baby Boomers, Generation X went to work.  They gained more and more power, until eventually they were the ones in control.  When they got their hands on education, they dismantled it and tried to put it back together again.

Common Core Standards as a theory is not my problem.  I don’t have an issue with every state being compatible with each other in terms of what is taught to our country’s children.  As a special education advocate, I see a multitude of differences in special education within single school districts in Delaware.  So I can only imagine how the US Government would look at education at a national level.  It has to be very confusing, and having something more uniform across every state is certainly something to be desired.

My problems are with how it was brought about, how it was implemented, and the extra parts that are taught to children that are really unnecessary.  I posted a math problem on this blog a couple weeks ago, with the Common Core seal of approval on the worksheet.  It was my biggest story ever.  But the reality was that I was just a pissed-off parent seeing the “rigor” my son was going through with this type of math.  Tens of thousands of readers read this story, and most parents thought it was absolutely ridiculous.  Teachers seemed split down the middle.  Some thought it was acceptable math, while others thought it was confusing to students and was not age appropriate.  These children are taught things a certain way, and it should not be like that.  I come from a generation where the answer is the answer, it doesn’t matter how you came to it.  But today, everything has to be explained and to show your work and to think outside the box no matter what shape it is.  Sometimes an answer is just an answer.

Our current leaders, who are most likely part of the Generation X crowd (a group I belong to), see things a bit differently.  We were a different kind of generation compared to the earlier ones.  We were very focused on trends and we were at the dawn of the computer age.  We were stuck in an industrial transition with education.  Things changed rapidly with education from 1975 to 1995.  I graduated high school in 1988.  The internet was just starting to be mentioned as some type of database where students would be able to go to libraries and access information right off a computer.

My son, born in 2004, can find out anything on the internet by going to Google and typing it in.  My son also can become very fixated on his iPad, iPod, X-Box, and the many brands of toys his generation is surrounded by, especially Legos.  He can watch anything from tv at any hour of the day, from anywhere he wants as long as there is wi-fi access.  This generation has technological advances previous generations couldn’t even dream about.  So why are we trying to make them all the same type of student?  Why do so many members of my generation who have gained power want today’s youth to be one big collective entity, and not the individuals they truly are?  I don’t get it.  Is it because when we were young we did what we wanted?  We were a very cynical generation.  We started to lose trust with the organizations and groups that served us, from a local level to an international one.  We became more self-absorbed, more insular to the events of the world.  It almost seems like this ruling generation doesn’t want the youth of today to question anything.  They just need to follow orders.

The problem with this is Generation Z.  They are a hearty and tough lot, and are used to getting their own way.  They are also a generation with the highest amount of disabilities and disorders.  They will not take crap, and do not like being told to be the same as anyone else.  They do need structure and routine, nobody will deny that, but they also don’t want to be put in the same sandbox as everyone else.

But there is a subset of Generation X that has learned how to rise above the trappings of our generation.  We are helping to guide Generation Y to rise against Generation X.  We are speaking, and we are speaking with every bit of strength we can muster against members of our own generation.  Because we want to help Generation Z become more than what they are destined to become if these current education reforms continue.  And we need Generation Y to lead them out of this quagmire we call modern education.

Each generation helps to guide the ones before them, and the results are cultural mind-shifts where the greatest inventions and the most horrible events can take place in society.  Never before in history have so many generations been alive, influencing and shaping all the others.  I can imagine our ancestors looking down on us thinking “what a mess” America has become.