PEARSON'S PLANETARY VISION: GLOBAL CORPORATE SCHOOLS AND A GLOBAL EDU-CARTEL

AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: PEARSON’S PLANETARY VISION: GLOBAL ...

Yesterday I blogged about a short article reporting a DARPA scheme that wants to put an electroencephalogram machine in every classroom. Well, as you may have gathered, I'm in one of my "moods" about the corporate quackery and kookiness that has invaded every classroom in the USSA, and many other western countries.

I said has invaded rather than wants to invade because in point of fact, the process of this invasion began long ago, and is best symbolized in the nuttery of the Education Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, misbegotten "brainchild" of Henry Chauncey and his Harvard mentor, James Bryant Conant, former Hardvard President and a man who... well, I'll leave that aside for the moment. The result of this Amarikuhn obsession with being traditionally anti-traditional has been an educational system awash with mediocrity, faddery, and a plethora of corporations inventing a new Rube Goldberg technological solution to the country's educational woes every few years or so, the latest snake oil program being Common Core and its individually adaptive computerized standardized tests, the dangers of which I have attempted to point out before. But now the program is beginning to come under fire, as more and more states are pulling out of it, and as even the mainstream media now at least pretends to get that there are problems. This article, from Wired magazine, was shared by Mr. D.E., and it's well worth your consideration if you are concerned about the state of education in your country, and about the deleterious influence Amairikun edgykayshunul methods and approaches may be having over it:

Pearson’s Quest to Cover the Planet in Company-Run Schools

Now let's begin with the first and most obvious fact: corporations do not have a Bill of Rights; they by their structure are not concerned with individual human creativity, individually, and freedom. They are interested in "the team player," in the collective, in conformity, and profits. If they can produce a facsimile of education - for that is all they can produce - and make a profit off of it, so much the better. Consider the implications of these paragraphs from Wired's article:

In the US, Pearson is best known as a major crafter of the Common Core tests used in many states. It also markets learning software, powers online college programs, and runs computer-based exams like the GMAT and the GED. In fact, Nellie already knew the name Pearson from the tests and prep her sister took to get into nursing school.

But the company has its eye on much, much more. Investment firm GSV Advisors recently estimated the annual global outlay on education at $5.5 trillion and growing rapidly. Let that number sink in for a second—it’s a doozy. The figure is nearly on par with the global health care industry, but there is no Big Pharma yet in education. Most of that money circulates within government bureaucracies.

Pearson would like to become education’s first major conglomerate, serving as the largest private provider of standardized tests, software, materials, and now the schools themselves.

To this end, the company is testing academic, financial, and technological models for fully privatized education on the world’s poor. It’s pursuing this strategy through a venture called the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund. Pearson allocated the fund an initial $15 million in 2012 and another $50 million in January 2015. Students in developing countries vastly outnumber those in wealthy nations, constituting a larger market for the company than students in the West. Here in the US, Pearson pursues its privatization agenda through charter schools that are run for profit but funded by taxpayers. It’s hard to imagine the company won’t apply what it learns from its global experiments as it continues to expand its offerings stateside.

And let's add to this the following paragraph:

The curriculum, designed with much input from Pearson, hints at innovative, progressive ideas about education, like interest-driven learning and collaboration. Every classroom has computers and Internet access. There are also frequent standardized tests and a custom-built software system that uses analytics to manage applications, admissions, parent satisfaction, and student outcomes.

And there it is: "progressive ideas about education" and "collaboration" (meanning group learning "projects") and "every classroom has computers and internet access" along with "frequent standardized tests" and "custom-built software".

Notably lacking in all this seems to be any mention of the self-evident, (but to today''s young people, not really so evident), idea that not all information, in fact, quite a great deal of it, is not on the internet; it's in libraries and books. No problem. Pearson also wants to provide the textbooks, i.e., control the information, doubtless in the form of ebooks which can be adjusted from year to year and inconvenient things omitted (or added) as needed.

Call me a curmudgeon if you will, or even a Luddite(which I'm not, for obviously I am using a computer and the internet to disseminate this blog). But I know enough from my experience in the classroom that there is absolutely no technological substitute for the human presence of a competent professor or teacher in the classroom, and that there is no standardized test than can ever adequately measure a student's ability to write and articulate their knowledge for themselves on essay exams and papers that must be read and evaluated by another human being competent in the discipline itself and not the latest educational methodolical and pedagogical fad. It's time to throw out the idea of textbooks that contain no texts, i.e., no primary source readings from Plato, Shelley, Goethe, or Einstein, Maxwell, Darwin, or whomever. It is time to throw out the corporations and their standardized tests absolutely, once and for all, from the classroom, and restore real teaching, with real texts, real books, real readings, with real human interaction and mentorship, and a respect for the individual and his or her creativity and reasoning process.

Not for nothing do the elites themselves send their children to real schools with real teachers, no computers, real books, and few, if any, standardized tests. Pearson, the ETS(Educational Testing Service), and other such corporations are responsible for creating the educational mess we're in. We should not, therefore, trust them one iota with being part of the solution. If you're a teacher or a professor, this is about you, for what they want to do is to rob you of your livelihood and your academic achievement. It's time to send them packing.

See you on the flip side...

15 thoughts on “ AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: PEARSON’S PLANETARY VISION: GLOBAL ...”

  1. A Man Called Da-da

    I guess DARPA has forgotten the power of the unseen ball peen hammer.

    “Whoops! Did I just break that? Sorry.”

  2. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Non-controversial. Sigh. goshawks – April 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm.

  3. This article brings me back to “Return to the Brain of Eden” by Tony Wright and Graham Gynn.

    One of the chapters within the book notes the difference between poetry originating-within the right-brain and that crafted within the left-brain. Right-brain poetry tends to come-forth fully-formed and, curiously, in a rhyming or sing-song form. It is creative on many levels, and shows inherent metaphorical and analogical wisdom. (William Blake’s poetry is given as an example.) Left-brain poetry attempts to ‘ape’ the naturalness of the right-brain poetry, but is laboriously making-it-up from an intellectual knowledge of the ‘rules’. Usually, it is ‘correct’ but fails to ‘inspire’…

    This brings up this article. Corporations are largely left-brain constructs, and ‘select’ for left-brain values in their employees. (Except for a ‘back-room’ of semi-captive right-brainers, for creativity infusion.) This would include corporations in the education field.

    “Innovative, progressive ideas about education, like interest-driven learning and collaboration” sounds exactly like the left-brain trying to make right-brain poetry. NOT right-brain (or whole brain), but attempting to sound like it. Striving for creativity from a ‘logical’ standpoint. Hmmm…

    Computerized, standardized tests and such are the literal antithesis of right-brain creativity and impulsiveness. They originate in left-brain corporations, are designed by left-brain employees, and are then rubber-stamped by left-brain bureaucracies. An attempt is made to ‘friendly it up’, much like left-brain-originated poetry. But, ‘something’ is lacking…

  4. I’m sorry, but I find the “AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN” phrase annoying; it detracts from otherwise valid commentary. It’s ironic too that you fall for “stories” like the “47 year old television signal” April Fool’s joke from the BBC, which even minimal research on your part would have revealed to be bogus. Not the first time you’ve failed to vet outrageous posts. Love much of your work but I think you need to raise your octane rating. 🙂

  5. With all the space dust accumulating on Mars and space water might Mars one day grow into another Earth and with its greater mass replace Earth in our present orbit? Might one of Mar’s moons also grow into our Moon or might Mars capture our Moon someday? Perhaps the reputed genetic artists the Anunaki of our Earth’s past are genetically altered humans who fled from the destruction they wrought on Venus which may actually be Earth in the distant future. Perhaps in the distant future our genetically modified ancestors will be forced to flee to the future evolved Mars. Maybe as our Sun dies maybe Jupiter will become our solar system’s new Sun. Perhaps our probes to Mars will seed Mars with life that will evolve to replicate the chain of life forms that have evolved here on Earth someday. What if the only real difference between space and time originates from the perspective of the observer observing these phenomenons which are really somehow one. What if it is a little bit like the planet of the apes movies and our solar system is potentially immortal and continually recreating and repeating itself from itself? This is a musing I keep coming back to from time to time and your comment about genetically modifying our species for specific tasks in the future reminded me of this potential and our Sumerian legends. History seems to be repeating it self at a greater scale and our solar system may at the infinite scale be an infinitely repeating sideways leaning figure 8.

  6. It’s back to the future remember the teachers who taught the elites in antiquity were slaves themselves. And books for learning can be as much a drug as any computer I-pad remember gigo works in any media. The real goals behind the curtains, smoke screens, shadows are more important than what’s put on open display. THX1138 anyone

  7. “Now let’s begin with the first and most obvious fact: corporations do not have a Bill of Rights; they by their structure are not concerned with individual human creativity, individually, and freedom. They are interested in “the team player,” in the collective, in conformity, and profits. If they can produce a facsimile of education – for that is all they can produce – and make a profit off of it, so much the better. Consider the implications of these paragraphs from Wired’s article:”

    Having worked in all levels of corporate management for 35 years, you are right on the money Joseph. I left sooner than I wanted 14 years ago but it was worth it because I could substitute teach in special education part-time and help my aunt in real estate. Corporations are peopled with sociopaths.. not psychopaths. Psychopaths do have a few redeeming qualities slim as they are. What is legal in the corporate mind is what some sociopath says is legal and for this reason I see no change coming in the future…… Sorry for the pessimism.

  8. “Brave New World” on steroids. What they are aiming for is an ant hill or bee hive social structure. Soon they will be “genetically designing” those worker ants/bees to suit their agenda. Everything designed for top down control.

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