DEATH OF FREE WILL
PART 3 of 5
By Charlotte Iserbyt
December 21, 2010
Back to Basics Reform or . . . OBE . . . Skinnerian International Curriculum and the deliberate dumbing down of america
Professor Benjamin Bloom—father of Skinnerian Outcome-based Mastery Learning—defined the purpose of education and teaching:
“ . . . the purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.” 
“[Good teaching is] challenging the students’ fixed beliefs.” 
The second link contains my little 39-page book Back to Basics Reform or…OBE…Skinnerian International Curriculum (*Necessary for United States participation in a socialist one world government scheduled for the early years of the twenty-first century). This little booklet is listed as one of many pdfs on the home page of my big book the deliberate dumbing down of America website. It was written in 1985, after I was fired from my job in the U.S. Dept. of Education for leaking to the media an important technology grant entitled “Project BEST: Better Education Skills through Technology.”
Project BEST put federally-funded and developed computer software (curriculum) into every school of the nation. The following was stated in the Grant Proposal’s “PROJECT DESIGN FEATURES”:
“What we can control or manipulate: state participation/selection process; role of advisors; content of program; training of state leaders; resource people utilized; basic skills content areas emphasized; perception of need to use technology.”
So much for local control! Back to Basics Reform exposed the plans of the Marxist educators in the U.S. Dept. of Education to implement the Skinner method (OBE, mastery learning/direct instruction) in conjunction with the computer. Since my exposure of the implementation of the Skinnerian “Effective School Reform” agenda took place on so-called “conservative” President Reagan’s watch, it was decided by the major conservative leadership in the USA to BOYCOTT my book. Rumors were spread that “Iserbyt is sour grapes since she got fired from her job” or claims that “the book is difficult to understand”, etc. Read it for yourself and come to your own conclusion. As the author of Back to Basics Reform, I believe that if this book had been read widely—by millions of parents and educators throughout the U.S. and Canada—we would not be looking at a takeover of our schools by the business community. Nor would we be facing the loss of FREE WILL through the unhindered use of the computer to train in so-called workforce skills and to change values.
The Pavlovian/Skinnerian method of Operant conditioning bypasses the brain with all the important functions which distinguish man from an animal: memory, conscience, imagination, insight, and intuition, functions by which human beings know absolutes and truths and are able to know God.
The second link also contains my 700-page book “the deliberate dumbing down of America.” The book contains an important article by Ann Herzer, a former public school reading specialist. I believe she was the first teacher to publicly oppose the manipulative Skinnerian method that she encountered during a required in-service teacher training for the Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction (ECRI). Her article entitled “Our Children: The Drones” is found on A-143-149 of my 3D book. Ann provides much good research when she describes what she went through during the in-service training for ECRI.
Ann rebelled and ended up resigning as a teacher, all the while she fought the method. Ann was instrumental in getting the Arizona affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to unanimously oppose the use of federally-funded operant conditioning programs on teachers and students in America.
The late Al Shanker, former President of the AFT, kept the resolution from being considered at the 1984 annual AFT Convention. Shanker, later, was deeply involved in implementing the Reagan/Bush/Clinton Administration plan school-to-work agenda that requires the Skinnerian operant conditioning method for training purposes! A Bangor Daily News article of July 18, 1989, carried an AP item entitled “Long-Awaited National Teaching Certificate Detailed" which described in a nutshell the so-called "voluntary" national teacher certification system first called for in 1986 by the Carnegie Forum on Education and Economy report: ”A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century.” The last paragraph stated:
Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a longtime backer of national teacher certification, said the criteria laid out Monday prove the skeptics wrong. “They said it couldn’t be done, but we did it,” Shanker said. “We can be proud that we have come so far.”
The ECRI program is the sister program to Engelmann’s Direct Instruction DISTAR (being supported by the conservative leadership who were instrumental in passage of The Reading Excellence Act. This Act put in place the use of the Skinner scientific, research-based method to teach reading). ECRI calls for the use by teachers of stopwatches to time children. Ann Herzer provided me with copies of letters from medical doctors who stated that the ECRI methods caused children to become ill.
The 100-page ECRI teacher training pre-service manual is devoted to the training of teachers in stimulus-response operant conditioning techniques. The teacher and source materials listed for ECRI include the:
“Adaptation of Birds”; “Monitoring Forms Before and After Instruction" (observation data sheet records).
“How to Teach Animals” by B.F. Skinner, “How to Teach Animals: A Rat, A Pigeon, A Dog” by Kathleen and Shauna Reid, etc.
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The late Dr. Jeanette Veatch, internationally known in the field of reading, called the ECRI program “A more modern version of breaking children to the heel of thought control.” She added, “it is so flagrantly dangerous, damaging and destructive I am appalled at its existence.” And yet, regardless of influential voices in opposition to this rat training method, its sister program, DISTAR, is presently being used across the country to teach reading, with teachers using bells, whistles, clickers, and snapping their fingers to control their students’ behaviors. See Charlotte's 9 min. vedeo below. For part four click below.
© 2010 Charlotte T. Iserbyt - All Rights Reserved
Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa.
Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America's Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.