WYBI Wednesday?!: CCSS and the Altruism Movement

Would You Believe It Wednesday

When was the last time you looked up the word ‘altruism’? Without looking it up now, what do you think it means? Common Core Standards, of course, will skew the meaning. On that, you can take it to the bank..better yet, let’s see how the Gates Foundation bankroll brought it to US! (if you would like a better look at each of the graphics featured, please be sure to click on them to enlarge them)

My Random House College Dictionary (1984) states ‘altruism: The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others. As opposed to egoism.’. According to the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary(2014), the word means ‘feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness’. While the definition is basically the same, by using a simpler vernacular, you can see the context of the word has a totally different vibe to it. Now, why would I need a new ‘vibe’ for altruism??  Read on, my friends…

What caught my eye: While posting on Twitter I spied a ‘tweet’ from the ASCD (formerly known as the ‘Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development’) This group is the one who helps teach teachers. However, did you know they received a big fat check from the Gates Foundation?! Yes, the purpose? Common Core Curriculum, teaching practices, etc. To date, somewhere around $4 million dollars. If you cannot read the caption below, it states that 2013’s grant was to support implementing CCSS; 2011’s was to support district, school, and classroom implementation of CCSS. I had previously researched ASCD to know this, so when I saw the ‘tweet’ announcing an upcoming ‘professional development conference on ‘the force of altruism’, I became suspicious. Spring-boarding off their misleading phrase ‘teaching to the whole child’ (which is educractic doublespeak for we’ve always taught to the mind, body, and spirit of a student, we just changed what we teach from ‘you becoming the best American citizen you can be’  to ‘about what you can do to be a global citizen for the greater good’).

According to the Gates Foundation Grant database, 2013's grant's 'Purpose: to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards.' 2011's:  "Purpose: to provide teachers and school leaders with supports to implement the Common Core State Standards at the district, school, and classroom levels."
According to the Gates Foundation Grant database, 2013’s grant’s ‘Purpose: to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards.’ 2011’s: “Purpose: to provide teachers and school leaders with supports to implement the Common Core State Standards at the district, school, and classroom levels.”

If you’d like a great pdf chart of the “Traditional  and Progressive Models in Education” for the Whole Child, please visit:


How to groom an altruistic citizen: Mix a tremendous dose of empathy (more ‘living it out, not just feeling it’) with plenty of student leader opportunities (beginning with teaching other students), and apply lots of expectation. Presto! In 3 easy steps you have an altruistic citizen. But wait, to really groom these citizens, you need time…and lots of it. While I AM paraphrasing this ‘recipe’, I certainly am not making it up. I found this (and more) directly on the website page, that the original ‘tweet’ directed me to.

As an added bonus, if you want your school to become part of the great movement, you simply can complete an on-line Google course called ‘Changemaker’ (see my post from this past Sunday about how aligned to the Common Core Google is).

ASCD’s link for altruism in the classroom: (http://inservice.ascd.org/education-resources/the-force-of-altruism-a-basic-recipe-for-empathy-leadership-and-learning-to-make-a-difference/) Please note, since this entire site is devoted to teachers and their development, remember, this is what is going into each classroom represented by an ASCD member teacher. One last thing, the ASCD organization is hosting several teacher directed workshops in about one month where they will learn strategies to target kids. One of the targets? Cede classroom responsibilities over to the students. While some students will be up for this, I can’t help but think about someone who is shy or has a special need. What a disaster for them this will be.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ece-WqToU&w=560&h=315]

How to keep the altruism growing: Since Common Core isn’t satisfied with a K-12 altruistic citizen, we are about to see how students beyond 12th grade are targeted, not just by Common Core, but by altruism at hyper-speed.

California, here we come:  Imagine my surprise when I found the “Effective Altruism Summit 2014”. Part of the Summit was held in Berkeley, CA and another portion, in the Domincian Republic. What’s interesting is that the University of California at Berkeley has a “Greater Good Science Science Center”. Also interestingly enough ASCD has several ties to UofC, at Berkeley and other campuses. “The Greater Good Science Center” will be hosting a 2015 Educator Summit to help teach teachers how to become better with social-emotional learning. Guess what one of the ‘core’ platforms of the ‘Greater Good Science Center’ is? Altruism, along with empathy, kindness, and a few others. I’m giving you the link for all the ‘education’ topics under ‘altruism’: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/education

As far as the Summit, backers and sponsors were: Leverage Research, Founders Fund, Integral Center, Give Directly, Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR), Future of Humanity Institute (Univ. of Oxford), PSI (Healthy Lives/Measurable Outcomes), Machine Intelligence Research Institute, Future of Life Institute, The Life You Can Save, Give Well, Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours (High Impact Ethical Careers), Good Mind Hunting, THINK (The High Impact Network)

From Summit to Effectiveness: There is an organization called Effective Altruism with a detailed outreach plan you have to keep reading to believe. Based on a framework of detailed strategy from their ‘glory days’ with the current President’s first campaign for office, Niel Bowerman  and William MacCaskill are running the Effective Altruism Outreach. The EA Outreach is under the umbrella of the EAC (Centre for Effective Altruism based in the UK).  Why do I need to know this, you may be asking. Well, let’s say you know next to nothing about being effective in your altruism, but you want to learn more. You’d probably turn to an introduction or tutorial, correct? On the EA website, they’ve put one together for you. One of the first names you’ll see? Peter Singer. Yes, THAT Peter Singer..Princeton Professor, TED Talker, controversial activist. Well..keep him in mind, my friends. We’ll visit his contribution to all this is a bit, but first…

THINK (The High Impact Network): Remember I said we’d get back to the Gates Foundation? Remember how I said we’d get back to Common Core? Well, here is where the three meet. They all intersect via THINK. How? The Gates Foundation funds (or recently funded) THINK. Here’s the evidence:


So, with Gates money, what group of people does THINK serve? College age students. Think Harvard (I just ‘exposed’ them as Common Core tied via Career Pathways within the last 2 weeks), Arizona State (also CC tied & exposed), Boston College, University of NY (CC tied), Duke University, Florida State University (one of the CCS creators teaches there), MIT (CCS aligned) and more. Here’s the homepage: http://www.thehighimpactnetwork.org/. 

So, as a member of THINK, what would a college age student do? Here’s an excerpt from their ‘about us’ page: The High Impact Network (THINK) is an organization that promotes effective altruism. “THINK members gather across the globe in meetup groups, practicing skills and learning new tools, empowering each other to bring about the greatest good they can. With creativity, strategy and intellectual rigor, you can dramatically multiply your impact on the world.” Think’s founder, Mark Lee, greatly influenced by Peter Singer. *Be sure to visit THINK’s ‘about us’ page, you’ll be amazed at the number of groups on this website as appear above from the Summit description. Have you begun to see a pattern? Good, but we’d not done yet!

Mr. Singer, the altruism ‘guru’: Here’s where we pick up our ‘visit’ with Peter Singer of Princeton. He’s very well versed in philosophy and bioethics. He’s even influenced curriculum for the International Baccalaureate  schools which are tied to UNESCO! (ahh..UNESCO and Common Core tied together. It was detailed for you in an earlier post).

If you’ve not heard his views, here are a few quotes,
“It is now generally accepted that the roots of our ethics lie in patterns of behavior that evolved among our pre-human ancestors, the social mammals and that we retain within our biological nature elements of these evolved responses. We have learned considerably more about this responses, and we are beginning to to understand how they interact with our capacity to reason.” (Expanding Circle: Ethics,Evolution, and Moral Progress, preface)”If evolution is a struggle for survival, why hasn’t it ruthlessly eliminated altruists, who seem to increase another’s prospects of survival at the cost of their own?” (Origins of Altruism, page 3) “Since ancient times, philosophers have maintained that to strive too hard for one’s own happiness is self-defeating.” (Reason and Games, page 5) Mr. Singer has LOTS more to share about life, how we should act, live, and give. However, I’ve had enough.

Singer & IBs:
‘IB Schools’ were created in 1968 and are a UNESCO partner. Alec Peterson is the person who founded the IBO, International Baccalaureate Organization. Some of ethics curriculum which impacts students from kindergarten and up (ages 3-19) is by Peter Singer!

‘IB schools’ are also tied to Aga Khan Academy Development Network, FL Virtual Public Schools. The USA was ‘saddled’ with ‘IB schools’ thanks, in part to the Reinvestment Act and with Race to the Top funding. ‘IB schools’ mission isn’t American, it’s global. From their mission statement, “At our heart we are motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.”  From their history page: “…consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world, seeking to provide students with a truly international education..”

To be a global student I must also be altruistic. IB Schools have a 'diploma program' where you must complete 1 year of service or you do not receive your diploma.
To be a global student I must also be altruistic. IB Schools have a ‘diploma program’ where you must complete 1 year of service or you do not receive your diploma.

IB students in younger grades get the “Everyday Math” (one of the worst ever math curricula choices). Common Core publisher, Pearson has engineered the EM for CCSS. I would suggest going to the IBO’s website & inserting “Peter Singer” into the search bar. I got 7 lessons from global climate change to global engagement (suggests ‘ethical circles of concern’) See: www.ibo.org 

If you think ethical circles don’t sound too bad, find out what a ‘circling’ is all about at: http://integralcenter.org/blog/ (Integral Center was one of the presenters at the Effective Altruism Summit mentioned in the first part of this post). Look for how much ‘self’ is present, how much ‘community’ is involved.

Closing: I hope you’ve been able to see the global agenda in vivid detail. I hope you can use the evidence presented to help others stop this insanity. I’m all for giving to others. As a Christian, it’s so much a part of who I am, I wouldn’t be writing this blog everyday, among all the other things I do. However, if we’re all going to be the best we can, give unto others, shouldn’t we be learning how to and exercising it appropriately based on our family values, our personal choice and NOT the ‘global greater good’?


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