Cooperative Learning: Communism in the Classroom

By SAM BLUMENFELD | THE NEW AMERICAN | DECEMBER 3, 2012

Several years ago, a friend of mine in Kentucky, who had been keeping me abreast of how Outcome Education was being implemented in the public schools of that state, sent me a description of Cooperative Learning, written by a high school student who had experienced it in his classroom. Here is what the student wrote, uncorrected by this writer:

I am a freshman in Highschool and recently in Spanish class our teacher introduced us to a teaching method called “cooperative learning.” In cooperating learning the teacher divides you into group[s] of four or five. He holds each and every student personally responsible for their group’s learning. Anytime we do work he takes one of the students assignments for each group and gives each person in that group the same grade as the person’s he took up.

When we take a quiz he gives each student the average grade for their group, therefore this could easily lower the “excelled” student’s grade and improve the student’s who slack off. My teacher believes that we should be responsible for teaching our fellow classmates in our group. My classmates and I feel as if this is unjust, and now we have spoken with our principal about this. As of now, we have not made any more progress toward finding a solution.

An example of this would be on a Spanish quiz out of 16 possible points. I scored a 15 and the other three grades were 13, 9, and 5. This lowered my 15 to a 10.5, which is a 66%. Cooperative learning lowered my 15 (94%) to a 10.5 (66%).

For years, Charlotte Iserbyt has been warning us that public education has been taken over by communists (small “c”). As a senior staff member of the U.S. Department of Education, she had access to the correspondence and grant proposals of America’s top educational operatives. She put all of that documentation in her remarkable book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, published in 1991.

Cooperative learning, as described by the student, is indeed a good example of communism in the classroom. The student is not judged by his individual effort but as a member of a group. According to Wikipedia, progressive social theorists such as Allport, Watson, Shaw, and Mead began advancing the idea that students working in a group was a more effective form of education than students working individually. But in actuality, group learning did not improve the work of the low achiever.

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Experimentation with Minorities

The Deliberate Dumbing Down for the Planned Economy

By Charlotte Iserbyt

Location of Some Important Entries Documenting the Deliberate Dumbing Down of America and especially the Use of Minorities to Restructure Education from Academics to Perfomance-Based Education … taken from “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America…A Chronological Paper Trail” — Charlotte Iserbyt The following information (partial list of entries taken from 700+ page book!) will help the reader locate those key entries which document the experimentation on minorities over the past century in order to restructure education from academics to global work force training. Such training has been planned ultimately for all Americans, with exception of 10% elite (future world leaders) who will receive
a traditional academic education, with a global government brainwash orientation. The change agents knew they could get away with using the minorities who were not in a position to successfully challenge their activities.Planned Economy

While reading these entries please keep in mind the endless promises to the minorities, the multi billions of tax dollars geared to “help” minorities, the use of Skinnerian mastery learning/OBE/direct instruction on minorities, and the resulting decline in test scores for those inner city children upon whom the change agents experimented. It becomes obvious that
academic success was never intended for the minorities. The minorities were experimented on (used) very simply in order to change the traditional system, the fundamental structure of American education, from one based on content which stressed academics, competition, excellence, and a focus on the importance of the individual’s pursuit of knowledge for his own sake, thereby allowing him upward mobility, to one based on performance/outcomes… what is good for the group/state/global economy (the corporate fascist partnership between the corporations and the public schools to benefit the global economy.

This radical change focuses on individualized “training”, not education, in narrow work force skills … “limited learning for lifelong labor.” … commonly known as the performance-based School to Work Agenda. It is important to remember
that while animals can be trained, only human beings can be educated. Aristotle said “Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.” (384-322 B.C.)

Although many Americans consider the past 100 years of reform/restructuring to have resulted in moral and academic chaos, those change agents at the United Nations/national/state/university level, whose goal is to implement a global planned economy (world government) are pleased with their success in turning our once superb system of education
on its head by making it outcome/performance based. In order to restructure, one must first destructure (destroy). Kentucky and Philadelphia are good examples with the lead change agent, Carnegie Corp.’s David Hornbeck, at the helm.
It is also important to keep in mind that when the present U.S. Department of Education speaks of scientific research based education it is referring to the controversial Pavlovian aninmal training mastery learning method, the label of which has changed frequently, in order to cover up its disasters… from mastery learning to outcomes based education to the
present “direct instruction”, all of which reside under the umbrella of Effective Schools Research which was first piloted in Jackson, Mississippi schools.  The following entries relate primarily to experimentation on minority children. They represent but a small percent of entries related to the larger subject of the deliberate dumbing down and creation of moral chaos which has effected all children in the nation’s public schools and which is extensively covered in my book. The author plans on writing a separate paper documenting the deliberate creation of moral chaos played by change agents associated with the United Nations, the U.S. Dept. of Education, universities and in our state and local governments.  Page numbers are in bold print. PAGE 9, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s Director of Charity for the Rockefeller Foundation,
Frederick T. Gates, set up the Southern Education Board in 1913 (later known as the General Education Board.) Excerpts from “The Country School of Tomorrow” are most revealing and include one in particular: “In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational
conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our good will upon a grateful and responsive
rural folk.” PAGE 14, A DELIBERATE MATH “DUMB DOWN” WAS DISCUSSED IN 1928.

Mr. O.A. Nelson, an educator, was informed at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
that math instruction would be changed so it couldn’t be applied to life situations when students get out of school. This was the New Math which was introduced much later in 1952.  Nelson related that this discussion took place at a private meeting at which Dr. Zeigler, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. John Dewey, and Edward Thorndike, who
experimented with chickens, were present, and that the aforementioned persons were paid members of the Communist Party.

PAGE 20, THE EIGHT-YEAR STUDY, 1932, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation and the General Education Board (former Southern Education Board), was foundational to outcome-based education and proposals to remove
the Carnegie Unit ( number of credits in math, science, English, history, etc. required to graduate), all necessary requirements for the present school to work agenda.

PAGE 23, “CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES,” 1934, funded by the
Carnegie Corporation, and carried out by the American Historical Association. Prof. Harold Laski, a philosopher of British socialism, said of this report: “At bottom, and stripped of its carefully neutral phrases, the report is an educational program for a ‘Socialist America’.”

This report said in part: “Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that in the United States as in other countries, the age of laissez faire in economy and government is closing and a new age of collectivism [socialism/communism] is emerging. The implications for education are clear and imperative: (a) the efficient functioning of the emerging economy and the full utilization of its potentialities require profound changes in the attitudes and outlook of the American people,
especially the rising generation—a complete and frank recognition that the old order is passing, that the new order is emerging. Organized public education in the United States, much more than ever before, is now compelled, if it is to fullfill its social obligations, to adjust its curriculum, its methods of instruction, and its administrative procedures to the requirements of the emerging integrated order.”

PAGE 34, UNITED NATIONS CHARTER BECAME EFFECTIVE ON OCTOBER 24, 1945. Playing an important role in the creation of the United Nations was the United States Chamber of Commerce which would assist in moving the member
states’ education systems from classical academicoriented subjects to work force training using the performance-based Skinner/Pavlovian mastery learning/direct instruction method.

PAGE 72, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDAY EDUCATION ACT (ESEA) OF 1965 WAS PASSED BY CONGRESS, marking the end of local control and the beginning of the nationalization and internationalization of education in the United States. Use of goal setting, and systems management, PBS and MBO for accountability purposes would be totally funded by and directed from the federal level. ESEA targeted low income/minority students for experimentation with Skinnerian
“basic skills’ programs; i.e., Follow Through (mastery learning/direct instruction), Right-to-Read, Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction, etc. The Behavior Science Teacher Education Program was also funded which initiated the change of teacher from instructor of content to facilitator/behavior modifier (performance-based education). Professor Bloom defines good teaching as “challenging the students’ fixed beliefs.”

PAGE 78-80, “LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION, A CHICAGO INNER CITY SCHOOLS POSITION PAPER”, JUNE,
1968, deals with one of first mastery learning experiments. See especially quote on page 79 starting with “The following is an excerpt from an article published in Education Week, March 6, 1985 entitled’Half of Chicago Students Drop Out, Study Finds: Problem Called Enormous Human Tragedy’.”

PAGE 82-83, “THE FOUNDATION MACHINE” BY EDITH KERMIT ROOSEVELT, December 26, 1968 issue of The Wanderer. An excerpt from this entry says: Even now the Carnegie Corporation is facing protests from parents whose
children are exposed to the textbooks financed by the foundation under its “Project Read.” This project provides
programmed textbooks for schools, particularly in ‘culturally deprived areas.’ An estimated five million children throughout the nation are using the material in the programmed textbooks produced by the Behavioral Research
Laboratories, Palo Alto, California. These foundation-funded books reveal a fire pattern that amounts to an incitement to the sort of arson and guerilla warfare that took place in Watts, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.  On one page in the series we find a torch next to a white porch. The caption reads invitingly, “a torch, a porch”. Further along there is a picture
of a man smiling while he holds a torch aloft. The caption beneath it reads: “This man has a t_rch in his hand.” The
children are required as an exercise to insert the missing letter to fill in the word torch.

The next picture shows the burning torch touching the porch, with a caption, “a torch on a porch.” Thus, the children
are led in stages to the final act that suggests itself quite naturally…Tragically these young chidlren are being indoctrinated with a pattern of anti-social ideas that will completely and violently alienate them from the mainstream of American middle-class values.”

APPENDIX VII, A-32-34, Excerpts from article in Phi Delta Kappan entitled “Performance-Based Teacher Education”, by Stanley Elam. 1971, especially para. 2, 3 and 4. Elam says in part: “The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is pleased to offer to the teacher education community the Committee’s first state-of-the-art paper on performance-based programs.”  He also says: “Probaby the roots of Performancebased Teacher Education lie in general
societal conditions and the institutional responses to them characteristic of the Sixties. For example, the realization
that little or no progress was being made in narrowing wide inequality gaps led to increasing governmental
attention to racial, ethnic, and socio socioeconomic minority needs, particularlyeducational ones.”

Iserbyt comment: Thus the change agents whose primary goal was to change our system from academics to work force training, using mastery learning/OBE/direct instruction, found their justification to do just that. They laid the reason for this important change in teaching method at the feet of the minorities since there was no other way to get approval for such
a radical change from the population at large!

PAGE 134-134, PROJECT INSTRUCT, ANOTHER MASTERY LEARNING PROGRAM, was approved for dissemination throughout the nation by the U.S. Office of Education, May 14, 1975. The final evaluation stated that “The intent and emphasis in 1970 was on behavioral indices and concrete ways of showing accountability; and the data would suggest that the reading of the students themselves may not have increased, but the impact of Project INSTRUCT in the Lincoln, Nebraska Public Schools seems to be very extensive and influential.”

PAGE 146-147, THE WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 1, 1977, COMPETENCY TESTS SET IN 26 SCHOOLS: NEW
CURRICULUM SHIFTS TEACHING METHODS IN DISTRICT”. This entry regarding the wholesale experimentation
on the District of Columbia’s children is shocking. The Assistant Superintendent involved in this experiment, Guines, said
in part “The new curriculum is based on the work in behavioral psychology of Harvard University’s B.F.Skinner who developed teaching machines and even trained pigeons during World War II to pilot and detonate bombs and torpedoes.”

PAGE 155-156, EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, NOVEMBER 1979, “MASTERY LEARNING: THE CURRENT STATE OF THE CRAFT”, BY PROF. JAMES BLOCK in which he says: “Entire school districts throughout North America (Chicago, Denver, D.C., New Orleans, Vancouver) are actively testing the value of Mastery Learning for their particular educational
situation.”

PAGE 171, ALL OUR CHILDREN LEARNING, PROF. BENJAMIN BLOOM, 1981.  “In an attempt to maximize curriculum
effectiveness…curriculum centers throughout the world have begun to incorporate learning for mastery instructional strategies into the redesign of curriculum.”  Iserbyt comment: This is proof that mastery learning is international (UNESCO)) training system.  In this book Bloom also stated “The purpose of education is to change the thoughts, feelings, and actions of students.”

PAGE 183, “REGULATED COMPETITION IN THE UNITED STATES”, 1981, speech delivered by Harvard Professor and Council on Foreign Relations member Anthony Oettinger before a Northern Telecom Worldwide Corp. meeting. Prof.
Oettinger said, in part: “The present ‘traditional’ concept of literacy has to do with the ability to read and write. But the real question that confronts us today is: How do we help citizens function well in their society? How can they acquire the
skills necessary to solve their problems?…It is the traditional idea that says certain forms of communication, such as comic books, are ‘bad.’ But in the modern context of functionalism they may not be all that bad.”

PAGE 182, WILLIAM SPADY, “THE FATHER OF OUTCOME BASED EDUCATION” made the following statement during a conference held at the U.S. Department of Education in 1982 (attended by this writer).  “Two of the four functions of Mastery Learning are: Extra: whole agenda of acculturation, social roles, social integraton, get the kids to participate
in social unit, affective (attitudes, values and beliefs, ed.); and Hidden: a system of supervision and control which restrains behavior of kids; the outcome of the hidden agenda should be the fostering of social responsibility or compliance.”

APPENDIX XXVI, A-159-166. “SHAMANISTIC RITUALS IN EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS”, BRIAN ROWAN, APRIL
1984, produced under U.S. Dept. of Education contract, in which Rowan states: “The ritual is particularly suited to
application in urban or low performing school systems where successful instructional outcomes among disadvantaged students are highly uncertain but where mobilized publics demand immediate demonstrations of success. The uncertainties faced by practitioners in this situation can easily be alleviated by what scholars have begun to call ‘curriculum alignment.’ Also, “Student variability in performance can be reduced, and relative performance increased, not by changing instructional objectives or practices, but simply by changing tests and testing procedures.”

Iserbyt comment: This is Teach to Test which is being implemented nationwide under the Leave No Child Behind legislation. Rowan was also involved in the infamous 1984 Spady Utah OBE grant.)

PAGE 215, GRANT APPLICATION, 1984, FROM FAR WEST LABORATORY FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH to
the U.S. Department of Education for “Excellence in Instructional Delivery Systems: Research and Dissemination of Exemplary Outcome-Based Programs”, was approved by Secretary T.H. Bell. William Spady and Brian Rowan (above) carried out this project the intent of which was “to put outcome-based education in place, not only in Utah but in all schools of the nation.”

PAGE 227, Education Week, August 28, 1985, “Proponents of Mastery Learning Defend Method after Its Rejection by Chicago” in which Prof. James Block states “he doesn’t know of any major urban school system in the United States that has not adopted some kind of mastery learning program.” (Iserbyt comment: This proves that urban schools were targeted
for implementation of the failed mastery learning method.)

PAGE 229, U.S. President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev signed an agreement in 1985 calling for cooperation in the field of science and technology and additional agreements in other specific fields, incuding the humanities and social sciences; the facilitation of the exchange by appropriate organizations of educational and teaching materials, incuding textbooks, syllabi and curricula, materials on methodology, samples of teaching instruments and audiovisual aids, and the exchange of primary and secondary school textbooks and other teaching materials…the conducting of joint studies on textbooks between appropriate organizations in the United States and the Ministry of Education of the USSR.” At
the same time Carnegie Corporation signed agreements with the Soviet Academy of Sciences which resulted in “joint research on the application of computers in early elementary education,focusing especially on the teaching of higher level skills and complex subjects to younger children.”

Iserbyt comment: This agreement, still in effect, carved in stone the necessary changes in education, i.e., from academics to the failed Soviet performance-based polytech system using Pavlovian methods for workforce training and brainwashing. These agreements are a direct result of Carnegie Corporation’s earlier plans (1933 and 1934 above) and the tax exempt foundations’ efforts to merge the United States with the Soviet Union (international socialism). See page 46, Reece Committee Congressional Hearings, 1953, regarding White House recommendations to foundations to spend their money so that United States could be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union (Lenin’s international socialism
being implemented right now with the blessing of U.S. Congress).

APPENDIX XXV, A150-156, “THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW WE ALL HAVE BEEN HAD”, Charlotte Iserbyt. See especially Washington Post, August 17, 1987 article on A-155 which quotes Thomas Sticht, close associate of William Spady, both
of whom were involved in D.C. mastery learning disaster, as saying: “Many companies have moved operations to places with cheap, relatively poorly educated labor. What may be crucial, they say, is the dependability of a labor force and how well it can be managed and trained—not its general educational level, although a small cadre of highly educated creative
people is essential to innovation and growth. Ending discrimination and changing values are probably more important than reading in moving low income families into the middle class.”

PAGES 287-288, “HUMAN CAPITAL AND AMERICA’S FUTURE: AN ECONOMIC STRAGTEGY FOR THE NINETIES”,
1991 EDITED BY DAVID HORNBECK AND LESTER M SALAMON, which states in part “Employer beliefs about the superior capabilities of educated people turned out NOT to be confirmed in practice (emphasis in original); educated
employees have higher turn-over rates, lower job satisfaction, and poorer promotion records than less educated employees. (p.7)

Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa.