EXPOSING SENATOR ALEXANDER'S EXPANSION OF MEDICAID THROUGH THE ESEA
PART 1 of 2
May 9, 2015
On April 23, 2015, Mercedes Schneider of New Orleans posted an article/rant entitled “Why I Do Not Endorse the Writings of Anita Hoge” on her blog in response to my article printed at NewsWithViews, April 18, 2015 called The Medicalization of Schools.
This rant was re-posted on Diane Ravitch's blog, stating that "I will not allow a conspiracy-theory free-for-all in my comments section. As such, I reserve the right to monitor comments in accordance with what I judge to be tasteful for my blog." And also Mercedes posting on Ravitch's blog, wrote, "I will continue to delete your comments on my site, as well. If people decide to read your work, that is their choice, but I will not waste my energy in the black-hole time-suck of governmental conspiracy."
Some will begin to question the legitimacy of their work. Given the tone and tenor of her attack on my research regarding the legislation put forward by Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. John Kline to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), I felt it necessary to respond in order to clarify her discrepancies and disinformation. Since neither Schneider nor Diane Ravitch, on whose blog Schneider’s blog posts are often re-posted, will allow any comments to be posted on their blogs that would have questioned their positions and points of view, it became necessary for me to draft a response. It is a shame that Schneider would not respond to my corrections in the interest of giving parents and other citizens the truth regarding the damage that can be done by allowing the passage of Sen. Alexander’s and Rep. Kline’s re-write of our ESEA education law that will expand Medicaid into our schools extending ObamaCare birth to age 21. The following is my rebuttal to Mercedes Schneider:
“So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.” —Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
Alexander, Kline, and Ravitch have done just that. They told people to think only about the summary that the three of them have provided and think about nothing else in the bill. Mercedes, you obeyed. What a pity that Ravitch confessed that she has not read the legislation.
Mercedes, perhaps you seem not to have an understanding of fundamental issues as you were "reading" the 600+ pages of Senator Alexander's ESEA Reauthorization, called Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. The documented pages in this legislation are not opinion, as in a blog. The content of these pages, if passed, will become the law of the land. People need not be impressed with the page numbers; I want people to read those pages with informed eyes.
Your claims that I am promoting fear are very artificial, while my fear is that you do not have the depth of understanding to recognize the danger. Please do not lead people in the wrong direction. Mental health intervention to assure every child's coordination to government and business goals runs throughout this legislation--and you are ignoring all references therein. It appears that you do not have the experience or historical perspective going back the 30 years of this initiative to transform society through education data-mining.
"With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results. This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire—it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We're going to end up reinventing what it means to have a human society.’ —Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT
[Ed. Note: Alex “Sandy” Pentland is a pioneer in big data, computational social science, mobile and health systems, and technology for developing countries. He is one of the most-cited computer scientists in the world and was named by Forbes as one of the world's seven most powerful data scientists.]
Mercedes, because I do not know you I am assuming your intent to be sincere. I also believe that your amateur eyes are glossing over what they are reading. You have a naïve understanding of how parents fought this agenda in the past. The present legislation will totally transform education in the United States along with every parent, child, and teacher. These federal government mandates will destroy vital education relationships sustained through trust, leaving the child completely vulnerable to exploitation by psychologists, tele-psychiatrists, social workers, researchers, software giants, and testing companies.
Mercedes, let's continue the conversation.
MERCEDES WROTE: "One can certainly stretch the above to mean that the government is altering student affect in order to suit 'government qualities,' but I will not be joining in."
MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: I'm wondering why you are not acknowledging the references to the affective domain as the target in ESEA. As background, my federal complaint (1990) was against the Pennsylvania state assessment, the Educational Quality Assessment (EQA) that was the model for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The EQA was determined by U.S. Department of Education General Counsel to be testing attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions to assess locus of control and psychological notion of threshold. The top behavioral scientists of the world (8 to be exact) were working with the Educational Testing Service (Carnegie) to develop the EQA tests in the affective domain in Pennsylvania, including Ralph Tyler, David Krathwohl, Eric Gardner, and Edward Thorndike. I have the actual tests and the scoring rubrics.
The scoring for these attitude and values tests were all geared to group goals and group efforts, collectivism. How do you score subjective/affective domain standards unless someone decided there was a "minimum positive attitude" according to the government? Alexander refers to some affective interventions as "positive behavior intervention and support." This has the potential to be a huge Civil Rights issue.
The US Department of Labor (Secretary's Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills--SCANS) identified the proficiency levels and ratings for personal qualities and interpersonal soft skills. The US Department of Labor and US Department of Education contracted with American College Testing (ACT) to benchmark Common Core and these behavioral standards. NAEP, ETS, AND ACT have introduced these testing measures--called “soft skills,” “workforce readiness skills,” and “21st Century Skills”--in the affective domain. (Contract with CRESST funded by the USDOE Office of Educational Research and Improvement for SCANS Workforce Readiness.
In a current government publication called, "What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence" (July 22, 2014, US Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and Commerce) we find the following statements:
“Job Search and “Soft Skills” Training
“Various studies suggest that “soft skills” training (which includes work-related skills like preparing a resume and understanding work expectations, as well as life skills that can be applied more broadly, including household management, financial literacy, and balancing work and parenting responsibilities) is an important complement to training and education. This training aims to develop the workplace competencies that research shows employers want workers to possess, such as good interpersonal skills, honesty, punctuality, and good time management.
“The importance of these skills was also shown by research from the National Research Council (NRC). In 2012, the NRC developed a taxonomy of “21st Century Skills” that consists of three competency domains: cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. The NRC found that, among the non-cognitive competencies, conscientiousness--being organized, responsible, and hardworking--has the strongest correlation with positive work and educational outcomes. This expands upon policies endorsed by the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) in the 1990s, which focused on developing and teaching specific occupational competencies as well as ‘soft skills.’” [Emphasis added] [Link 1] and [Link 2]
The ACT Aspire test measures “readiness” in the affective domain called “academic behaviors.” They have cleverly used the word “academic” to circumvent any questions that the public might raise about the psychological testing of personality traits. However, these so-called “academic” behaviors include:
“Motivation includes personal characteristics that help the student succeed academically by focusing and maintaining energies on goal-directed activities.
“Social Engagement includes interpersonal factors that influence students successful integration into the environment.“Self Regulation includes the thinking processes and emotional (responses that govern how well they monitor, regulate, and control their behavior related to school and learning.” [Link]
The big push to include the social, emotional, and behavioral standards is coming from all directions. The Council of Chief State School Officers has incorporated dispositions in the Common Core calling it "citizenship," similar to the EQA.
NAEP cited in their Saturday Board Policy Discussion (below) proposing including soft skills/ affective domain again in assessments noting Pellegrino, J.W. and Hilton, M.L. (2012) “21st Century Skills,” “Education for Life and Work” cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal--reformatted Bloom's “Whole Child Theory." [See above for "Job Search and 'Soft Skills Training':]
NAEP will be as "relevant as the census," adding psychological (attitudes, values, and dispositions) information to demographic information that will be collected by the federal government creating a psychometric dossier. [Link]
The Innovation Lab Network pilot in 8 states (expanded from original 6) includes affective standards. [Link] All of the early childhood criteria include the social, emotional, and behavioral aspects for babies and children. I have documented these subjective/psychological screening Common Core standards for babies. Senator Bob Casey (as well as his late father, Governor Bob Casey) supports Universal Pre-K that includes screening and interventions.
The Lumina Foundation developed a new diploma for higher education called the "Degree Qualification Profile" that includes the affective domain for global citizenship called "civic learning." [Link]
Every ESEA Flexibility Waiver includes the statement:
“Principle 6 – establish a school environment that improves school safety and discipline and addresses other non-academic factors that impact student achievement, such as student’s social, emotional and health needs.” [Emphasis added] [Link]
What do you think these non-academic, social, emotional, and health needs are? Why do you think Alexander incorporated the statements for “non- academic standards” in the ESEA Reauthorization? How do you measure, score, and remediate values? And to think Alexander calls this mental health?! Why would the language for Universal Design for Learning (UDL), that includes the affective domain, be included in Alexander's legislation? [Link]
On page 40 of Senator Alexander's ESEA statements are clearly included to use the UDL brain research:
“(xii) enable itemized score analyses to be produced and reported, consistent with clause (iii), to local educational agencies and schools, so that parents, teachers, principals, other school leaders, and administrators can interpret and address the specific academic needs of students as indicated by the students’ achievement on assessment items; and‘(xiii) be developed, to the extent practicable, using the principles of universal design for learning...”
Re-thinking the non-cognitive has been the dominant focus of the Bloom 'Whole Child Theory' – cognitive + affective = psychomotor – defined as beliefs, feelings, behavior; think, feel, act; or know, do and 'be like' [“orientations”—Spady]. Benjamin Bloom's famous quote is, "Good teaching is challenging the child's fixed beliefs." To change behavior [psychomotor or action], you must create a conflict in the affective domain. A short list of affective domain research includes:
Duckworth's grit campaign
• Hewlett Packard's Deeper Learning
• David Conley (EPIC)
• Webb's Deeper Thinking
• Mindsets & Essential Skills and Habits (MESH)
• Pelligrino's 21st Century Skills
• ACT (ASPIRE/Workkeys/Engage)
• Innovation Lab Network
• National Association of State Directors of Special Education
• Department of Labor SCANS
• Penn Resiliency Project
• Universal Design for Learning
• AIR's Data-Based Individualization, A Framework For Intensive Interventions
• Pearson's BOSS phone app
• NAEP Civics Framework and LifeSkills
• Lumina's Degree Qualification Profile for Higher Ed
• and many others.
The Hechinger Report, Digital/Edu, published an article posted by Anya Kamenetz on February 18, 2014, entitled "Measures of the heart: non-cognitive skills tests," exposing steps taken by states to include psychological measures in their state assessments and PISA, the international assessment. (Current correspondence that I have mailed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and General Counsel has alleged these affective activities as an illegal act in violation of federal law and state policy. [Link] For part two click below.