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In this post, retired teacher Edward F. Berger uses the words “barbarism” and “barberism” interchangeably, on purpose.
On one hand, he refers to the “barbarism” of allowing testing companies to serve as a sieve to separate children into those who succeed and those who are rejected.
On the other, he refers to the ideology of Michael Barber, who is chief advisor to Pearson and previously served in a similar role at McKinsey. Berger refers specifically to the writings of Peter Greene, the teacher-blogger who carefully dissected a recent Pearson statement on the future of education, with the corporation at the epicenter as the foremost testing corporation in the world.
Here is a sampling of Berger’s thoughts on “the new Barberism”:
Let’s agree to use simple terms to describe complex matters. Think of a sieve used for separating coarse, from fine parts of matter. Now imagine people who believe that running students through a sieve built of data will allow them to correct or remove unacceptable thinking – like getting rid of individuality, and those who think in ways that are not acceptable to those who are designing new standards for humankind. Barbarism: Selecting those who can be programmed (educated?) in a new world order, and re-programming those who do not fit through the data-screens they create….
Sieves are being designed to standardize and program children. The warp and woof of these techniques is made up of data threads used to identify children who will be shaped to fit a predetermined ideal of the perfect subordinated child/citizen (learner?) Sieves are being used to generate data to decide who will be accepted into the new order and those data-judged souls who must go through “customized” re-programming. No one is making this up. This is happening now.
Who designs the sieves? That’s easy: TEST DESIGNERS. When people have the power to design tests, they can force what is taught, in any way they choose. Sadly, there are still people who have not realized that tests drive curriculum – what is taught, what is left out, and what is fact-adverse. Teachers use tests to see if what they taught is what students learned. Now, corporations have made testing and curriculum design a multi-billion dollar a year business. They are so powerful they can force their products and their views on school districts, universities, departments of education, and the AMA and doctors – on all of us. Few question their motives or the Barbarism behind their hidden agendas. They make the tests secret so no organization can study them understand how they are used for inculcation.
Those who run these corporations have amassed great wealth and power. They are well aware that by writing tests and the curriculum to support the tests, and by using tests to collect data on every aspect of a child’s life, they can engineer a new order, a utopia they design and force into place. This is beyond fiction in any genre. This is the power and warped ideology they are forcing on America and much of the world. Focusing on the Common Core fiasco is but one example. Common Core forces machine language and thinking, instead of creative and original thought in all disciplines.
Will it work? Can they program young brains to do what they want while sorting out those who do not or cannot think their way? As we peruse their agenda and plan of attack, we ask, who would have to be re-programmed? Who would not be admitted into their utopia? Of course, Albert Einstein. As a child he did not do what was expected. He jumped over the limited thinking of his time. He would be data-judged by the new Barbarism, and rejected as untrainable.