CEE's Education Newsline
Taken from the Winter 1998 issue of Education Newsline.
|Big Brother is Knocking at Your Door
Last summer, a frightening legislative bill stealthily slid its way through the bureaucracy of New Jersey lawmaking--moving from introduction to a vote in just eighteen days. Fortunately, a coalition of grassroots activists from both the Right and the Left discovered the secret proposal and brought it to defeat.
New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman's "AccessNJ" driver's license proposal would have created a "smart card" that all drivers in the state would carry for ten years. The license would have been required for all government programs and services, as well as authorizing banks, hospitals, schools, libraries, credit card and insurance companies to electronically store information on the card as well. This massive invasion of personal privacy was defeated primarily due to arguments that there were no guarantees on how the information would be used and by whom.
So are we safe now? Don't believe it for a second. A smart card, like the one proposed in "Access NJ," is pretty much a done deal.
Also last July, the New York Times reported that a similar plan is underway nationally. Robert Holland commented, on August 3, in The Washington Times, that "the Clinton administration is quietly preparing to assign every American a `unique health identifier' to be used in conjunction with a national database `to track every citizen's medical history from cradle to grave.' The ID could be the Social Security number or it could be a `biomedical marker,' and privacy advocates are expressing grave concerns." Much of the new health care tracking system is already in place.
And health care ID cards are just the tip of the iceburg. As in the NJ plan, health care will be linked to a driver's license/smart card. As of October 1, 2000, all states will be compelled to issue such a card which will be a national identity card in the sense that only conforming state cards will be accepted as identification for travel and federal services and programs. The Social Security number will be utilized as an identifier, as may be another unique numeric identifier (now being determined) such as magnetic stripes, holograms, or biometric information such as fingerprint, retina scan, voice print, etc.
Not only will we have to provide such personal information, but it will be fed into a government database, says Beverly Eakman, modeled after the U.S. Department of Education's SPEEDE/ExPRESS.
Robert Holland says, "As Big Brotherish as it is however, the health identifier [and smart card ID] is only one piece of a much larger, uglier puzzle. What's happening to education--which is increasingly linked to health through school-based clinics and expanded Medicaid--is the key piece. Citizens who want to know the whole truth about the strangulation of individual privacy--not just the health piece--will want to get a copy of B.K. Eakman's latest book, Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education."
We were all shocked by Eakman's expose of educational testing in Educating for the New World Order, which proved not only to be reliable, but to be a precursor of this much more developed system that is now forming. She continued to gather and report information on what Holland calls "the pernicious agenda behind nationalized education restructuring. . . . [and] Since Ms. Eakman's book went to print, events have been playing out precisely as Cloning projects."
You really must read this book. Like a thriller or spy novel, Eakman lays out the well-documented facts with precision and explanation in a way we can all understand. To protect your family, you must become informed and equipped. About half of the book provides you with practical information on how, through informed activism, you can fight the psychological manipulation and win schools back to serious education. We have two choices as informed citizens. We can be like Former CIA Director William Colby, who disappeared in 1996 and was later found dead, who said:
Or, we can take courage and stand strong for freedom. As Theodore Roosevelt once said:
Here are a few excerpts from the prologue of Eakman's book. We hope you'll read the entire book as soon as possible!
"Most people today suspect that education is not really about literacy, `basics,' or proficiency at anything. What is less well understood is that there exists in this country, and indeed throughout the industrialized world, what can best be described as an `Illiteracy Cartel'--ostensibly aimed at furthering `mental health.' This cartel derives its power from those who stand to benefit financially and politically from ignorance and educational malpractice; from the frustration, the crime, the joblessness and social chaos that miseducation produces. The social work and remedial textbook publishing industries are just two examples of such beneficiaries, but they do not comprise the Cartel itself.
"The Illiteracy Cartel in America is built around an out-of-control psychographic consulting industry. . . . psychographics means `the study of social class based upon the demographics . . . income, race, color, religion and personality traits.' These are characteristics, asserts the dictionary, which `can be measured to predict behavior.'. . .
". . .we will see two factions of behavioral science as they evolve, clash, then come together, to accomplish what no extremist group or power elite has been able to do in the history of the world: hold an entire population hostage to a set of quasi-political, psychological criteria. How so? By predicating children's job prospects on whether or not they hold `acceptable' worldviews and opinions.
"This, of course, is the holy grail of social engineering. What certain unsavory elements within the education establishment have discovered is that they can use state-of-the-art technology to target political advertisements to children, to obtain personal information about youngsters and their families, then get into the belief systems of the students and correct the viewpoints they find distasteful. Such is possible only because the technologies of computerization and advertising have evolved to the point where analysts are able to predict probable future behavior and turn their findings over to those in a position to act on such predictions.
"For obvious reasons, the advertising industry is dominated by behavioral psychologists; they want to sell something. But the education establishment is similarly dominated. Once one understands this, the reasons why academicians and parents are getting trounced in their efforts to inject some common sense into education policy become less puzzling. Before we get into the particulars, however, there are some important distinctions worth noting:
"First of all, when we ordinary folk use the term `parents,' we mean the majority of upstanding, decent people who care about their children. Statistics show that about one-half of one percent of American youngsters have no responsible adult to care for them. Yet, over the past 30 years, social and domestic policy have focused almost exclusively upon this irresponsible, negligent and abusive element. So when education policymakers hear the term `parents,' they're thinking of negligent, abusive and irresponsible people, or at the very least, of `rank amateurs.'
"Education policy--indeed, all of social policy today--is aimed at dysfunctional people, not toward the backbone of society. This is an enormous departure from earlier eras, made worse by placing the education bureaucracy (and, indeed, most officials in every government agency) in a perpetual crisis mode . . . . amassing dossiers on individuals, beginning with people's children in the classroom, becomes a `necessary preventative measure.'
"Secondly, the sophisticated combination of marketing and agitation that is responsible for hoodwinking the nation into supporting the new brand of `education' relies on four key principles: a. Redefining; b. Redirecting; c. Consensus-building; and d. Marketing.
The aim is to legitimize, then institutionalize, unpopular and bogus policies and learning programs before people know what hit them.
"Appealing marketing slogans like `World Class Standards,' `critical thinking,' `cognitive,' `higher-order skills,' and outcome-based education (OBE), are either coined or redefined by advertisers, paid for by well-funded educational innovators (for example, William Spady's High-Success Network) to promote and disseminate deceptive buzz-words to various `target audiences.' Every societal faction--from business and the intelligentsia, to religious organizations and lawmakers--get a `pitch.' For example, to promote certain experimental programs, an advertising firm may target well-educated, professional neighborhoods by popularizing terms, phrases, and images that will appeal to these residents' sense of intellectual accomplishment. Another pitch will be used for struggling socio-economic neighborhoods--all based on state-of-the-art direct-marketing technology. Of course, as soon as folks catch on to what slogans and terminologies mean, the jargon is changed. For example, the `global education' of the 1970's was recast as `multiculturalism' in the 1990s; `school reform' was born again as `restructuring;' `situation ethics' has been re-introduced as `ethical judgement.'
"How do they know which pitches to direct to which groups? First and foremost, they have the data from your children's surveys and assessment tests. Such factors as use of leisure time, hours spent in and outside the home, methods of discipline, and political leanings frequently can be ascertained from just the cover sheets, especially when combined with public records from other sources. For example, researchers can overlay public records like census data, and put the whole business through a statistical modeling process that isolates and compares the various data points in ways that enable analysts to provide a profile of your neighborhood or family to marketing experts--who will, in turn, come up with an advertising plan. So it winds up being a continuous cycle.
"Thus have educators adopted not only the terms, but the strategies, of marketing psychology. In the end, marketing strategists will redirect the attention of the community away from the actual level of learning among students and toward such intangibles as `getting along with others,' `working in groups,' and expressing `environmental responsibility.' Professional concensus-builders--using the tactics of political `agitators'--will be brought into the community to ensure support for this agenda, employing specific strategies of group manipulation [which she explores in detail in the book, and shows you how to understand and counteract].
"Why isn't there a major uprising on the order of the Million Man March when parents discover the kinds of so-called `tests' and `basics' schoolchildren are getting under the guise of academics? Well, as always, most parents are in their twenties and thirties. Except that nowadays, many can't recall what a real test looks like. In addition, we have all been conditioned to the logic that unless one has something to hide, there is no reason not to answer personal questions. Bombarded with a never-ending array of personal (and tasteless) magazine surveys; ubiquitous questionnaires concerning intimate bodily functions; self-help questionnaires; and TV fare like Oprah and Ricki Lake--all of which focus on the most intimate details of a person's life--we are becoming not only desensitized to divulging personal information, we're no longer sure what `personal' means.
"Certainly our children don't know. Asked to report on the contents of the family's medicine cabinet, they happily comply. Queried concerning various specific sexual practices, they exaggerate their responses just to sound impressive. Quizzed as to whether a parent has mental problems, is depressed, or drinks liquor (including wine with the evening meal), they eagerly divulge that information, believing they have pleased the teacher. The fact that children are not particularly discerning about what they reveal, and that they may misinterpret what they see and hear, thereby interspersing false information with accuracy, is of little or no concern to those collecting information. The media, of course, have no stake whatsoever in other people's privacy.
"Simon & Schuster was the first of the large-scale media to broach the privacy issue in any depth when it released Privacy For Sale, authored by business journalist Jeffrey Rothfeder (1992). His curiosity sparked while attempting to do a story on another issue, he decided to see just how much information he could obtain about a prominent public figure. He selected former Vice-President Dan Quayle, someone he held in mild contempt anyway. By using his personal computer and making a few phone calls, Rothfeder found he could easily gain access to information he wasn't supposed to be able to get. He discovered more than he bargained for, and started sounding off alarms. But for all that, Rothfeder was blissfully unaware that techniques identical to those he was describing were being used in the nation's elementary and secondary schools."
That's just a little taste of the Prologue! Imagine what insights the rest of the book contains, as it demonstrates how two distinct factions in the behavioral science community came together to introduce psychological screening instruments and experimental theories into the schools.
The author demonstrates how this screening process, today, takes on new meaning as students and their families are unknowingly assessed for supposed "markers" of psychological disorders, the most recent being Attention-Deficit Disorder as a "marker" for schizophrenia, with the results of the various analyses placed into sophisticated, cross-referenceable electronic transfer systems, such as the SPEEDE/ExPRESS.
The book describes how information thus collected can be overlaid with other public and private records, and downloaded at any time by `research groups' and underground information brokers for a small fee. A mathematical computer model enables experts to predict probable future behavior and reactions. Psychological assessments masquerading as academic tests and curriculum, maintains Eakman, have frightening implications for both individual privacy and learning.
Fortunately, she also goes into details on what YOU can do about it, and how to protect
your family. This is a book you NEED TO READ!
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