Monday, May 12, 2014

Rotten Core

During my senior year in high school, I participated in a group test sponsored by the Ohio State Employment Bureau. My peers and I took a field trip to the State office and spent several hours being subjected to a battery of examinations, the object of which was to determine our individual strengths and weaknesses through kinesthetic, psychological and knowledge-based analysis. 

Once the results were tallied we each sat with a counselor who was ostensibly endowed with the skill to interpret the results and therefore guide us toward solid career choices. 

I sat in reserved anticipation for my guide to reveal to me what I thought I already knew. Not to say I knew what I would do with my life at age seventeen, but I believed that whatever it was it would involve creative arts and right-brained function. I was a closet poet and writer even then. I had been a member of the same small select group of Advanced English class since ninth grade; molded by the same teacher for four years in the fine art of written communication. I was a Thespian, I had been involved in every play and musical produced by my high school for three years. I had not yet discovered art, design, or photography. But then, again, I was only seventeen. I had years ahead to dabble and express myself in all manner of mediums. 

The counselor was clearly hesitant to tell me what all the cold data pointed to. He knew I was an A student in a college preparatory school. Finally, he found the words couched in apologetic tone, “You know, you scored high in nearly every area but. . . [wince]. . . where you really excel. . . suggests that. . . you would be great. . .on. . .an. . .[cough]. . . assembly line."

We stared at each other in a silent pause. Then he back-peddled with a weak laugh as though it had all been just a big joke. I don’t really recall the rest of the conversation. He probably gave me some good advise about doing my best at whatever I tried.  

I have pulled out, dusted off, and set this incident here for examination now, fifty years later, to make a point. Tests, data gathering, good intentions and evil ones hidden inside good sounding intentions, cannot, in anyway, channel humans because the one thing that is always missing in the robotic garnering is the ever serendipitous–human factor. The reason fixed rules and regulations, herding, determining and the mechanics of a Brave New World where nothing is left to chance, no individualism is allowed, no thinking outside of strict established boundaries, can never, ever, EVER, predict what a human is capable of doing. Ever. 

Of course, from a Christian perspective, the flawed human condition is more than capable of rising to astounding heights.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) 

I have been warning in as many ways as I know how that the “New” education standards are, in fact, not new. If you care to find out exactly what is happening and why so many are now standing up to resist it, there are more than enough resources from intelligent and credible people. At its best, Common Core, and all the other aliases it has used and now morphs into every time there is push back, is social engineering. At its worst, it is one step away from totalitarianism. 

Is that what you want for your children and grandchildren? To be herded into their lives based on sterile ‘standardization’? To be predetermined what job they must fill for the “good of the whole”? To be probed and searched and categorized by criteria as established by some unknown group, committee and/or ruling political entity? Does this sound like America or Communist China? 

I have a small following here with this blog but all it takes is one person telling another and another telling another to get a concept up and out in the air. This is an election year, a decidedly short-lived powerful condition, whereby constituents have a narrow window of influence on those seeking election and at least until the votes are in and the worn out rhetoric is stored away. 

The many lone voices who have been shouting out warnings about how this diabolical system is already deeply embedded in our schools and how many are fleeing to homeschooling because of it are finally gaining attention because of the impact the system is having on real kids and their parents. And now good teachers are fleeing the profession as well. Parents who can’t homeschool are standing up and speaking out. Some are risking rebuke, vilification and/or arrest to do so. Does this not raise concern? At least a curious look-see? Home-schoolers should not ignore that the ‘standards’ will impact them as well. 

Michelle Malkin has a body of work online on the subject. In Robin Eubank’s blog and book Credentialed To Destroy - How and Why Education Became a Weapon, you can discover how it all began, where it came from and why it’s so counter to individualism, common sense and critical thinking that was foundational to the birth and development of the greatest country in history. And why it is so much worse than just data mining. 

If you don’t have time to read a book, you can download THIS PDF file which is a synopsis and about as clear as the writer Lou Hohmann can make it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have kids in school. If this system is allowed to fundamentally change this country from what’s left of the free society known for its creative enterprise and innovation to a dystopian state that compartmentalizes humans by profiling, then everyone, old and young alike, will lose. Big. A single generation hence there will not be a trace of what made America the envy of the world. 

It is a grave mistake to believe that a great nation is not vulnerable to those who hate it and desire to compromise it into failure. All it takes is for good people to look the other way; to ignore the man behind the curtain. If I had allowed the results of my skill set testing to determine what I was best at, I would have had to set aside my creativity, ignore my muse, give up my vision, my hope and my enthusiasm for making things, especially for invention, designing, building and writing. 

True, I might have been a star employee for a manufacturer of widgets because the test could clearly see that I had great dexterity in my hands. To be clear, there is no shame in that. Many good people make honest livings doing those jobs that suit them, including my mother-in-law, who worked more than thirty years for Westinghouse. My point is not about the kind of jobs or those who are good at them but rather their conscious choice to do them. Their own individual, personal choice. 

And my point is that the test, nor any other, could ever have seen inside my human heart and what I was better suited for. More importantly it could never have predicted all the things that God had planned for me. 

Never, ever. 

For Him, 

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