STANDARDS, ASSESSMENTS AND THE AGENDA
When did we get standards? How did we get assessments? Is there an agenda connected to either or both of these?
Our system of education was created and shaped according to the progressive ideology and agendas of Horace Mann (1796-1859) and John
Dewey (1859-1952); the “philanthropy” of Carnegie, Rockefeller, many others, and now Gates; the NEA; psychologists; Marc Tucker;
UNESCO; and, the unconstitutional actions of many officeholders:
The Father of the Common School Movement, Horace Mann, advocated and introduced the Prussian system of education to the U.S. It is
important to note a remark made by one of the Prussian architects of the system: "If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do
more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him
To “fashion” the “will” of students, the Prussian system instituted the following: compulsory attendance, specific training for teachers, national
testing for all students (used to classify children for potential job training), national curriculum set for each grade, and mandatory kindergarten.
The Prussians also found it necessary to make education a tax-funded institution and to expand the courses of study past reading, writing
and arithmetic to ethics, duty, discipline and obedience—“character education,” if you will. In this way, Prussia could be sure to indoctrinate all
children; and, all taxpayers could be convinced that they should get something particular for their investment. Beginning to sound familiar?
It was toward similar ends that standards-setting began in 1892, when the NEA convened the Committee of Ten which codified the first
learning standards. These were national high school standards. In 1893, the Committee of Fifteen on Elementary Education created
national elementary school standards; as well as, national teacher education standards. From this time on, standards would continue to
evolve based upon experimentation in schools, shifts in the political climate, and periods of urgency for moving the agenda forward.
With regard to the role of the teacher, John Dewey, the Father of Progressive Education, remarked in The Child and The Curriculum (1902)
that “The teacher is… to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these.” In that writing,
he described “the child” as “simply the immature being who is to be matured; he is the superficial being who is to be deepened.” While a
professor at Columbia’s Teachers College, Dewey founded the Progressive Education Association. John D. Rockefeller was a major funder
of both the college and the association.
In 1902, Rockefeller also created the General Education Board. "The object was to use the classroom to teach attitudes that encourage
people to be passive and submissive to their rulers. The goal was — and is — to create citizens who were educated enough for productive
work under supervision but not enough to question authority or seek to rise above their class.” (The Creature from Jekyll Island) The
General Education Board’s operations were taken over in 1960 by the Rockefeller Foundation—and, we have been dumbing down our
children, in earnest, ever since.
Another large contributor to moving the agenda forward was Andrew Carnegie. His Carnegie Foundation funded a commission – the
Commission of Social Studies of the American Historical Association – that in l934 published a report intended to quicken the pace of societal
transformation. Professor Harold Laski, philosopher of British socialism, said of this report: "At bottom and stripped of its carefully neutral
phrases, the report is an educational program for a socialist America". Among the report’s pronouncements:
“Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion, that, in the United States as in other countries, the age of individualism and laissez faire in
economy and government is closing and that a new age of collectivism is emerging.”
“…it will involve a larger measure of compulsory as well as voluntary cooperation of citizens in the conduct of the complex national
economy, a corresponding enlargement of the functions of government, and an increasing state intervention in fundamental branches of
economy previously left to the individual discretion and initiative - a state intervention that in some instances may be direct and mandatory
and in others indirect and facilitative.”
“...the actually integrating economy of the present day is the forerunner of a consciously integrated society in which individual economic
actions and individual property rights will be altered and abridged."
The commission had been organized by Dr. George S. Counts, also of Columbia’s Teachers College, out of concern that our public schools
were not fulfilling their destinies according to what Dewey had envisioned. The commission set out to prescribe new textbooks, curricula and
teacher training in order to correct the situation. The Commission also recommended that separate courses in history, economics, civics, and
geography be combined into one course to be called “social studies,” with emphasis on “social” or “conflict of masses” ideas. Regarding his
efforts, Dr. Counts stated: “You will say, no doubt, that I am flirting with the idea of indoctrination. And my answer is again in the affirmative, or,
at least, I should say that the word does not frighten me." Dr. Counts went on to head the American Federation of Teachers in 1939.
Another major contribution of the Carnegie Foundation was in the area of assessments. In 1964, it funded a study of the feasibility of and
need for a regular assessment of the progress of education in the United States by its Committee on Assessing the Progress of Education.
The foundation also funded the development of educational assessments and tests.
By 1967, that committee decided to assess periodically the progress of the education system in ten areas of learning: reading, writing,
science, mathematics, social studies, citizenship, music, literature, fine arts, and vocational education. In 1969, the committee finalized its
development of the assessment tools and the first National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was administered.
The foundation also made a grant to the Education Commission of the States which then assumed the administration and control of the
NAEP. The Education Commission of the States was formed by the president of Harvard University James Bryant Conant , the president of
the Carnegie Corporation John W. Gardner, and Former Governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford. In these three men, we see education,
business and government joining forces to influence education policy in the U.S.
It was from the NAEP-- an assessment that parents, teachers and administrators have never been allowed to see--that our “Nation’s Report
Card” was developed. It was on the basis of this “report card” that our nation was deemed to be “at risk”; and, it was on the basis of this
“crisis” that No Child Left Behind was spawned.
In the 1970s, psychology began to have a major influence on our standards and practices in the classroom:
• Chester Pierce, Professor of Education and Psychiatry at Harvard pronounced: "…every child in America entering schools at the age of
five is insane because he comes to schools with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a
supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity... "
• The curriculum arm of the NEA, The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), announced: "Vital questions of
values, beliefs, feelings, emotions and human interrelationships in all forms must be integral parts of the curriculum.” (To Nurture
Humaneness: Commitment for the '70's.)
• In a Washington Post article entitled "Competency Tests Set in 26 Schools” (1977), Washington D.C. Assistant Superintendent of
Schools James Guines stated: “…the new curriculum is based on the work in behavioral psychology of Harvard University's B.F. Skinner...We
know that we can modify human behavior. We're not scared of that. This is the biggest thing that's happening in education today."
Very much in sync with the evolving standards/curriculum, Dr. Benjamin Bloom, the “Father of Outcome-Based Education,” did much to move
the agenda forward. He believed that "the purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of
students.” His contribution to that purpose was Bloom’s Taxonomy: Hegelian Dialectical Process/Consensus Building for our children, known
more commonly as Critical Thinking/Higher Ordered Thinking. This process is currently being foisted on our teachers and children via the
emphasis on Group/Project Work. It is owing to the ASCD’s "Tactics for Thinking" that plans for implementation of Dr. Bloom’s techniques
came to fruition. This framework for brainwashing was developed in 1988. Every teacher trained in America today has this taxonomy
ingrained into their skills set.
That same year, the president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) said schools must be seen, not as
"academic centers,” but as "social service centers" that would provide day-long health-care (school-based health clinics), day-care for
preschoolers, and other social services.
Hmmm…Standards-Based, Outcome-Based, School-Based Health Clinics, Pre-School----this is shaping up to look just exactly like….21st
Century Schools from Louisiana’s education reform.
Who would step up to the plate to lead the change of our schools from “academic” to “social service” centers? That would be Marc Tucker.
In 1992, Tucker was the head of the NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy). The NCEE began as part of the Carnegie
Foundation. We hear today from Louisiana’s education reformers that they are trying to “break the unions.” However, this could not be any
further from the truth. In order to achieve education reform, Tucker knew that education, government and business/labor would have to
continue to work together. He also knew that to accomplish such reform would require that something else be broken – our traditional public
and private educational systems:
"Our objective will require a change in the prevailing culture--the attitudes, values, norms, and accepted ways of doing things." ("How We
Plan to Do It,” July 9, 1992.)
In his now infamous “Letter to Hillary,” Tucker explained:
"What is essential . . . is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave
and is the same for everyone...a system of unending skill development that begins in the home and continues through school, post-
secondary education and the workplace." Through the groundwork laid by Clinton (Goals 2000, School to Work, and Workforce Investment
legislation), George W. Bush’s 2001 NCLB was realized as the true start to fulfilling Tucker’s vision. We will do well to always remember that
Governor Jindal has repeatedly utilized this “seamless” imagery when talking about our kids+ healthcare + education + the workforce. It is this
same imagery that he used to sell our children down the river to a more-than-willing bipartisan legislature.
Who would step forward to fill the shoes of Rockefeller and Carnegie? Bill Gates is working to lead this charge with Warren Buffet close
behind. In fact, Bill Gates has stated that he studied Rockefeller and Carnegie’s system of philanthropy in regard to education and that it
serves as the model for his efforts—which brings us to today. In 2004, Gates signed a Cooperation Agreement pledging his resources toward
UNESCO’s goal of linking all of the world’s educational systems to its international benchmarks and standards. Since that time, he has spent
much time, money, and influence in Louisiana to bring our system and children in line.
The NEA’s efforts are also tied to UNESCO through its former membership in the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching
Profession (WCOTP), a union which worked closely with both the United Nations and UNESCO. This relationship continued when the WCOTP
merged with the International Federation of Free Teachers' Unions (IFFTU) to which the AFT belonged. This merger resulted in the creation
of Education International (EI). “EI called on its member organisations to develop their advocacy in line with UNESCO's Charter and aims, the
UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
The various, current sets of standards that are in place in Louisiana -- Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, The Globe
Program, LEAP Content/Performance Standards/Benchmarks, We The People: The Citizen and The Constitution, and the latest, Common
Core -- are all tied to international standards/benchmarks—that is, they are tied to UNESCO. We can also report to you that, where the
development of Common Core State Standards is concerned, the NEA played a major role, thus continuing its tradition of standard-setting
which began in 1892.
Many who think of themselves as “Liberals” and “Progressives” despise Outcome-based education. If you are in that number, you should be
angry that people “in your camp” helped to bring this travesty to your children. Many of you who think of yourselves as “Conservatives” and
“Republicans” should be angry that, what was sold to you as a “Conservative” plan of reform, was actually created by “Progressives.”
Obviously, those who would subvert our rights, freedoms and sovereignty reside on the “left” and the “right”—among “Democrats” and
“Republicans.” This serves to highlight that our political system and foundations/corporations, by design, make it difficult for us to know
exactly who is on the side of America—difficult, but not impossible. We simply must measure everyone’s efforts against the Constitution.
After all, six very important people from opposite sides of the aisle have shared the same educational policy: President Clinton, Marc Tucker,
President George W. Bush, President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Governor Jindal. There is a valuable lesson
that we can learn from this group which will help us to recognize their collaborators: ignore words, examine actions.
We will know them by their deeds.
No matter what your political persuasion and affiliations have been up to now---none of this is our fault and we have all been had. We must
not point fingers at each other, because our friends and neighbors in the teachers’ unions could not have known what the leaders at the top
were doing with the dues they paid; and those who voted for Bobby Jindal based upon his talking points could not have known that he is a
The bottom line is that most teachers, parents and children want this abomination to end. It is time for us to come together under the label of
“U.S. Citizens” to create an educational system of possibilities based on American values and exceptionalism, the Constitution, and good old-
fashioned common sense. We must fight for Louisiana with Louisianians. National organizations and anyone from outside of our state--need
We can accomplish this through faith, courage and conviction to the truth---because no matter what Dewey, Carnegie and Dr. Bloom would
like for us to believe, facts are black and white; and, there are such things as right and wrong.
We must arm ourselves with the truth for the battles ahead. America and our children are counting on us.