CFAT and the "Education Reform" Gambit
MOST LOCAL SCHOOL districts will not admit they are following a federal mandate when they give a state assessment test. Many local officials, in fact, may not know. The state education agencies (called SEAs for short), however, do know, and people there don't ever admit anything in writing if they can help it.
The state education agencies today are in effect the state arms of the U.S. Department of Education, lured with annual promises of increased funding and staff into mandating federal policies in order to remain "in compliance" with whatever new priority the federal goverranent happens to be pushing at the moment.
It wasn't always that way.
"State education agency" is a term that was used before there was such a thing as a U.S. Department of Education, before 1976, which is the year President Carter fulfilled a campaign promise by handing the education establishment (the Carnegie Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, the National Education Association, and the rest of the behaviorist faction) its own Cabinet-level agency. Before that date, the federal body handling education was, as indicated earlier on, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). The Education part of HEW was called the Office of Education. Much of the preliminary planning for the federal takeover of education - including assessment testing, computerization of records, and closing of the curriculum-publishing loop - was begun at the old Office of Education, under HEW. Apparently, once education reached such a state that public attention was being focused on the problem in the media, that was the signal for the behaviorist establishment to make its move for a Cabinet-level agency, which would enable them to "reform" education. Whether it was all a set-up, only history can judge for sure, but the number of coincidences, as shall be seen, do strain credulity.
The Camegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) was established in 1905 as a pension fund for college professors. It was, of course, one of the philanthropic trusts created by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. One year after it was organized, the organization obtained a Congressional charter that allowed it not only "to provide retiring pensions ... for the teachers of universities, colleges and technical schools" in this country and Canada, but "in general, to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education." This charter permitted the Foundation to sponsor educational surveys and policy reviews, many of which eventually would decide the direction and organization of American education at elementary and secondary levels as well as at the university level.
CFAT began in earnest its control over American education in 1965 by crafting that endless piece of legislation called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). It was almost solely high-level CFAT people (men like Francis Keppel and John Gardner, and Ralph Tyler, all past presidents of CFAT) who comprised the Task Force on Education under President John F. Kennedy, passed on to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. Keppel, who also conceived the National Assessment idea, wrote a book, The Necessary Revolution in American Education, describing how and why the ESEA was created. Gardner served as HEW Secretary, with another Carnegie man, Wilbur Cohen, as his undersecretary. Tyler was founder and Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
It was by dominating the Task Force, however, that CFAT accomplished what no other group, public or private, has been able to do in the history of the United States - namely, to legally gain access to the private lives and thoughts of a majority of american citizens, and to do so in such a way as to be able to manipulate and influence future events.
Francis Keppel was U.S. Commissioner of Education 1962-65. Keppel discovered that, in the original charter of the U.S. Office of Education (1867), a charge was given to the U.S. Commissioner to determine the progress of education. This provided the impetus for the National Assessment [NAEP].
After a number of conferences and discussions initiated by Commissioner Keppel, John W. Gardner, then president of Carnegie Corporation, asked a distinguished group of Americans to form the Committee on Assessing the Progress of Education under the chairmanship of Ralph W. Tyler (then director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California).... Specifically, they were to:
1. Determine how a national assessment of educational progress could be designed;Every American President, from Kennedy and Johnson to Reagan, inadvertently helped this organization and its allies achieve significant gains in educational policy-setting. As indicated, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson provided the initial Task Forre which led to the enabling legislation; President Nixon appointed top Foundation men to head a special education policy-making group. It was during this period that the education blueprints were forged.
President Nixon appointed Alan Pifer, president of Carnegie Corporation in New York, to head a special education group. President Ford continued to rely on the foundation's advice and proposals. This allowed the Carnegie Foundation to settle in, as it were, at the federal level and begin setting educational priorities from that vantage point. President Carter, as indicated, handed the organization a cabinet-level agency, the U.S. Department of Education, replacing the old Office of Education. President Reagan, apparently not recognizing the extent of foundation control or the existence of 1960s-era policy blueprints, unwittingly launched his decentralization policy, which permitted the organization's puppets at the federal level to pass off mandates emanating from Washington as mere local and state initiatives, through "decentralized" state education agencies.
President George Bush, who in 1988 billed himself as "the education President" with a bold anti-illiteracy agenda to help him win special interest votes, found himself in the unenviable position of having little that was new in his America 2000 Education plan, except its blatant intrusiveness into the family - the very entity he claims to want to strengthen. Neither was the appointment of Lainar Alexander as Education Secretary likely to result in a less behavioral, more academic thrust to education. The Governors' Association, where Alexander first made his interests in education known, as Governor of Tennessee, has been important in advancing the cause of federalization of education - through a combination of policy and pressure.
Moreover, the groundwork laid some twenty-five years ago has been implemented with barely a hitch. CFAT has been, through successive Administrations, liberal and conservative, the primary mouthpiece for government policy on education. Its edicts, in the form of official reports, are nearly always carried out; its "findings" are consistently taken as gospel; its members head the most prestigious review boards, committees, and task forces on education matters. Quasi-acadeniic testing began with the NAEP, which set the stage for state assessments which have become progressively more affective. Today, the state assessments and NAEP are the primary vehicles for assessing existing attitudes and redirecting curriculum to reflect a different set of beliefs.
Today, CFAT and their proxies in federal and state governments co-control educational research, including three computer banks of test result data including personal, non-academic information, opinions, and attitudes which in 1988-89 were integrated into a supercomputer: the Elementary and Secondary Integrated Data System (ESIDS, since renamed three times).
Behaviorist extremists and their protégés in the foundations and government serve in the federally funded educational research Labs and Centers around the country, all of which specialize in behavioral psychology. [emphasis not in original] As a result, curriculum and testing research now has a mandated psychological emphasis, which was first outlined in a 1973 federal publication entitled Handbook on Performance Objectives (later updated in Program Guide 44). This is the same publication that defines "cognitive learning" as a "belief system."
As already described, the "titles," or provisions, of the ESEA law were the initial federal funding mechanisms to get behavioral programming into the schools. Title I made special provisions for disadvantaged youngsters. Title II began as school libraries, textbooks, and instructional materials, but quickly escalated to "educational technology" and so-called "basic skills improvement."
Title III provided monies for creating "innovative programs" - in the main, psychological experiments - and later added funds for "exemplary" (validated) programs; additional guidance, testing and counseling; and for "special programs" (health education, population education, global education, and some ten others).
Title IV, as indicated previously, brought in the Labs and Centers, and later libraries, "learning resources" (the supplementary materials); early childhood education; still more guidance, testing and counseling (including social workers and psychiatrists); and "innovative compensatory programs," to name a few. Title V provided grants and resources to the SEAs for data collection and management, personnel development, and spurred the formation of various official councils. Eventually other titles were added for the handicapped, migrant children, "commununity education," ethnic heritage programs, bilingual education, opportunities for Indian Students, emergency aid, and so on.
In no significant instance, however, were entitlement programs discontinued. The legislation continued to be infinitely expandable. What the various reorganizations did do was, first, to give the impression that financial prudence was being exercised by reducing waste or redundancy (a sham shakeup, of sorts), and to make the constantly changing funding titles and numbers confusing to the lay person. Constant reorganizations also have had the effect of making federal funds easier to dispense and/or obtain, which, of course, was the point of the exercise.
One of the questions that will surely come to mind in all of this is: Why hasn't somebody blown the whistle before now - someone at the Department of Education, a state official, a journalist, an investigative reporter, or even the President?
Probably the best answer is found in a statement from renowned journalist Hedrick Smith in The Power Game:
There is a strong urge for simplicity in the American psyche ... to reduce the intricacy of a hundred power plays to ... up or down, winning or losing.... Television news feeds the public appetite to treat events as binary - good or bad, up or down, progress or setback, winners or losers - and to push aside more complex layers of reality.Most people both inside and outside of goverrunent, journalists and bureaucrats, focused almost exclusively on numbers; in this instance, scores. Were the scores up or down? Hardly anyone questioned the sources of these scores. Were we winning or losing the war against illiteracy and school crime? Was money being sufficiently channeled into education, or was education getting short shrift compared to other areas?
Like teachers, many bureaucrats and others in the education establishment have not been in their positions long enough to notice, much less understand, the connection between Smith's "complex layers of reality" - the ESEA titles, the behavioral objectives and mandates, CFAT, the NAEP, the NDN, behavioral programs, change agents, and so forth. Most employees just see their own little piece of the puzzle. Even if their suspicions are aroused by some incident, most don't have the time or inclination to do the research it takes to understand the whole picture. Some, of course, do question. But, again, without the missing pieces to that jigsaw puzzle, just what does one say to a superior? Moreover, the 25-year marriage between CFAT, the behaviorist extremists, and the federal goverment (which includes the state counterparts of the U.S. Department of Education - the state education agencies, or SEAS) has produced a plethora of experimental initiatives which were placed under the appealing banner of "education reform." This buzz-term misled not only most parents and the public, but many sincere, hardworking bureaucrats, who were also looking for answers.
Get The Book!Educating for the New World Order by Bev Eakman - a detailed investigation into the formation, strategy, methods and results of Outcome-Based Education.
Suggested Reading List - the Demise of the Educational System - OBE (Outcome-Based Education), NEA (National Education Association), educational psychology, German psychology & influences, demise of public education, educational sabotage, Wundt, Pavlov, Dewey, Skinner, Watson.
Say NO To Psychiatry!
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