CATHOLIC SHOOLS AND KANSAS STATE ACCREDITATION POLICIES
This manuscript was prepared by Margaret Whitehead for a case in Wichita, KS. It has been widely circulated in manuscript form but never published. We received this file without the footnote numbers in the text. The footnotes are provided as a source of additional information.
The State of Kansas is involved in a statewide restructuring of social services and educational services. The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wichita have become part of this State educational restructuring as a result of decisions made by the Catholic Superintendent and Associate Superintendent of Schools in Wichita (Appendix A). Some Catholic parents who have studied the State educational restructuring plan, which is called the Quality Performance Accreditation or the QPA, believe that this close involvement with the State Program will result in the destruction of the Catholic character of their schools. After unsuccessful attempts to deal with the Diocesan officials, they have now decided to try to forestall this unwanted result by seeking canonical relief.
The following pedagogical study of the Kansas restructuring plan, the QPA, begins with a review of what Catholic education is supposed to be. This will serve as a standard to measure the QPA program against as I review some of the significant aspects of the new status of education and social services in the State of Kansas.
The Identity of the Catholic School
Education is not an individual activity,... but a social one. In the process, three individual groupings are in partnership: the family, the Church and the State, and `education which is concerned with man as a whole, individually and socially, in the order of nature and in the order of grace, necessarily belongs to all these three societies'[Pius XI].
Catholic schools exist as an important part of the Church's mission of "proclaiming the way of salvation to all men, of revealing the life of Christ to those who believe and of assisting them with unremitting care so that they may be able to attain the fullness of life." Catholic schools have a very specific identity and role in the life of the Church; they also have a very definite relationship to the State which is meant to be a cooperative one but also distinct and they represent an extension of the teaching role of the family — they exist to assist families in their primary role as teachers of their own children.
Church and State
Although the relationship between the Church, the family and the State are meant to be cooperative and complementary, this cooperation cannot be automatically assumed. It is up to the families and to the Church to critically assess their social situation and make appropriate decisions in each time and each society. In our changing times, the benevolence and compatibility of the constantly growing government intervention in education must be carefully assessed.
If ideologies opposed to the Christian faith are taught in the schools, the family must join with other families, if possible through family associations, and with all its strength and with wisdom help the young not to depart from the faith. (Emphasis added)
The Role and Rights of the Family
The system of schools and education exists primarily for children and young people: to help them develop their full potential in order to live satisfactory lives, to attain their supernatural destiny and to contribute to the common good of the society. But children do not spontaneously appear in the world and develop on their own. They come into the world as part of a social group which has responsibility for them from the beginning — the family. The Catholic Church recognizes the family as the most basic fundamental unit of society with its own rights which are prior to those of the State:
Every family, in that it is a society with its own basic rights, has the right freely to organize its own religious life in the home under the control of the parents. These have the right to decide in accordance with their own religious beliefs the form of religious upbringing which is to be given to their children. The civil authority must therefore recognize the right of parents to choose with genuine freedom schools or other means of education. Parents should not be subject directly or indirectly to unjust burdens because of this freedom of choice. Furthermore, the rights of parents are violated if their children are compelled to attend classes which are not in agreement with the religious beliefs of the parents or if there is but a single compulsory system of education from which all religious instruction is excluded...For this reason the protection of the right to religious freedom is the common responsibility of individual citizens, social groups, civil authorities, the Church and other religious communities. (Emphasis added)
The rights of parents to choose and control the education of their children has also been recognized by many contemporary institutions and societies. For example, the United Nations Charter states that "parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that should be given to their children," and the Council of Europe: Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, #2, states, "In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in education and teaching, the State shall respect the rights of parents to ensure that such education and teaching shall be in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions."
In the order of history and of reality, education starts with the family , and the family role is irreplaceable. No other institution has ever been able to do for the child and for society what a good family can do. If families seem to be failing today, it is much more realistic to assess how society is failing to support them and change society than to have schools and institutions attempting to take over the family's functions.
The Principle of Subsidiarity
The Church supports strongly the concept of subsidiarity in the functioning of social groups.
...Pope Pius XI said that 'it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and a disturbance of right order to transfer to the larger and higher collectivity functions which can be performed and provided for by lesser and subordinate bodies [Quadragesimo anno,1931].' As applied to education, the primary right belongs to the family.
The principle of subsidiarity is essential to the proper ordering of society and especially of education but it is often ignored. The highly centralizing tendencies of modern governments, most notably communist and fascist governments, and modern means of communication and information collection have lead to the widespread abuse of this principle with disastrous results.
Some may be surprised to find out that among many American educators and educational theorists of the twentieth century, the principle of subsidiarity has been and continues to be resisted and the rights of families to control the education of their own children are far from being universally recognized. The following quotation from a recent book by a respected professor at Princeton University is not unusual:
It is one thing to recognize the right (and responsibility) of parents to educate their children as members of a family, quite another to claim that this right of familial education extends to a right of parents to insulate their children from exposure to ways of life or thinking that conflict with their own...
A society committed to conscious social reproduction has a compelling response to those adults who object to the form or the content of education on grounds that it indirectly subverts or directly conflicts with their moral values. "The virtues and moral character we are cultivating," the educational authorities can reply in the first instance, "are necessary to give children the chance collectively to shape their society. The kind of character you are asking us to cultivate would deprive children of that chance, the very chance that legitimates your own claim to educational authority."
The Roots of the Catholic School in the U.S.
In the order of history, the Church has assisted the family in the formation and education of children especially through religious teaching, sacramental preparation and through the establishment of schools.
In the United States, the remarkable system of parochial schools, which has been unequaled any place else in the world, developed as a response to Protestant and political anti-Catholic prejudice in the 19th century. The Catholic school system had its early beginnings in the work of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the pronouncements of the Catholic Bishops through the resolutions of the First(1852), Second(1866) and Third(1884) Plenary Councils of Baltimore.
The bishops were concerned about the dangers to the faith and morals of children who attended public schools which, on principle, excluded religious teaching or which conveyed anti-Catholic attitudes and ideas in the teaching. They were also concerned about placing children under the tutelage of teachers who "are selected from every sect indiscriminately: and this, while no proper precaution is taken to prevent them injuring the children, so that there is nothing to stop them infusing into the young minds the seeds of error and vice."
The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, 1884, made it clear that every Catholic parish was to erect a Catholic school. This Diocesan system of education grew and flourished because these schools had a clear Catholic identity and purpose:
The main purposes of Catholic elementary education are both ultimate and proximate. Cooperating with the family, the Church, and the state, the schools seeks to form the true and perfect Christian who will so fulfill his destiny in time as to attain his destiny of union with God for eternity. This formation calls for the total development of the whole person...
The Vocation of the Catholic Teacher
Within the Catholic plan of education there is a clear concept of the role and training of the teacher in the classroom. Teaching is understood by Catholics to be a vocation not just a profession. Although teachers need professional expertise, they require even more "charity both towards each other and towards their pupils, and inspired by an apostolic spirit, they should bear testimony by their lives and their teaching to the one Teacher, who is Christ." They should also exhibit "commitment to the Church" and its teachings.
Among the main characteristics and duties of the Catholic teacher are the "communication of truth" and the passing on to students of "the cultural patrimony handed down from previous generations."
All educational procedures are determined in accordance with how one defines the student. The definition of the student in turn depends on one's definition of the person: mechanistic, or open to the heavens, or something in between.
The student in a Catholic classroom is valued as a child of God, made in the "image and likeness" of God and redeemed by the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ — as a person of high dignity and worth. Each person has a vocation, an important role in God's plan for the world, and a supernatural destiny which goes beyond this material world. "The true and full dignity of the human being consists in the vocation to walk with God, to relate to Him in love and friendship."
Each and every person has been created by God with a body, a soul, an intellect and a will. The person can grasp truth, respond to grace, choose the good and give and receive love. Each person's dignity is enhanced by his ability to freely choose the good — to make moral choices. Catholic education cannot aim at producing technicians but must aim at forming persons:
Here, therefore, students are instructed in human knowledge and skills, valued indeed for their own worth but seen simultaneously as deriving their most profound significance from God's plan for His creation. Here, too, instruction in religious truth and values is an integral part of the school program. It is not one more subject alongside the rest, but instead it is perceived and functions as the underlying reality in which the student's experiences of learning and living achieve their coherence and their deepest meaning.
Educational Philosophy and Curriculum Development
All educational systems and curricula are based on philosophical assumptions and principles. Some of these assumptions define the nature of the student as mentioned above but others are more general. How we define education depends on all these underlying philosophical and religious assumptions. Although the Catholic religion is not identical to any given philosophical system, it makes use of compatible philosophical ideas in its educational philosophy. Contrariwise, Catholic educators must also avoid educational philosophies and curricula which are not compatible with Catholic principles and beliefs:
Can a Catholic school remain Catholic without attention to its identity and the development of a Christian philosophy and theology? Not for long. The Catholic school without a Christian philosophy does not become neutral: it comes under the influence of the current community ideology, or nationalism, or secularism, or faddism. Its mind and its heart then become those of a different corporate community. Today, more than ever before, unless a particular Catholic school is considering the principles that give it its Catholic identity and is trying to live by them, it does not deserve to stay in existence.
There are a range of educational philosophies which abound in our times — some of which dominate the secular teaching professions and the universities — making it vitally important for those in charge of Catholic education to make careful judgments and distinctions before launching any new educational experiments in the Catholic schools.
In 1989, when the bishops of the United States last made their ad limina visit to Rome, Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, addressed the topic of the "Bishop as Teacher of the Faith" on behalf of the American bishops. He discussed some of the impediments to the teaching of the Faith in the U.S. stressing the difficulties of dealing with " moral philosophies...uncongenial to church teaching"; widespread use of manipulative group dynamics processes and illicit understandings of pluralism.
Some of the philosophies which are in some forms compatible with Catholicism are: Realism which postulates an objective reality and truth outside the person; Idealism which posits the mind and the intellect of the person as the most important reality; Christian Existentialism which stresses the value of the subjective awareness and freedom of the individual.
One of the contemporary educational philosophies which is not compatible with Catholicism but which is extremely pervasive in modern education is Pragmatism. Pragmatism holds that knowledge and truth are constantly changing and the thinking person must constantly adjust himself to new realities through action. The pragmatist focuses on what is relevant rather than on what is true or important. Empirical data are seen as the only way to verify what is true; this system has no way to include the existence of the transcendent God. John Dewey, the most influential American educator of the twentieth century was a pragmatist. Pragmatism grew out of Empiricism and Positivism, both of which emphasize sensory knowledge and the exclusive use of empirical or sociological data to determine meaning and truth.
Cardinal O'Connor described very clearly , in the bishop's report, the deficiencies of this approach:
Logical Positivism did not have to attack metaphysics. It simply treated metaphysical propositions as meaningless. Only the observable, the measurable, became important. American psychology became through John Watson, the mere study of observable — therefore external — behavior. John Dewey turned the psychology of behaviorism into an educational philosophy of Instrumentalism, which in large part, by way of Columbia Teachers' College in New York, came to influence hundreds of thousands of teachers across America including religious...In essence, learning was to be measured by change in external behavior; the purpose of teaching was to effect such change.
Another influential educational theorist, Professor B.F. Skinner of Harvard, has carried these reductionist educational ideas to the extreme of denying the existence of the spiritual nature of man. He believes that progress can only be made if we get "Beyond Freedom and Dignity." He sees the human person as a complex, mechanical being fully explained and controlled by materialistic, scientific interpretations of environment and behavior:
An experimental analysis shifts the determination of behavior from autonomous man to the environment — an environment responsible both for the evolution of the species and for the repertoire acquired by each member...Is man then "abolished"? Certainly not as a species or as an individual achiever. It is the autonomous inner man who is abolished, and that is a step forward...He is indeed controlled by his environment, but we must remember that it is an environment largely of his own making...We have not yet seen what man can make of man.
Skinner is obsessed with controlling people through the manipulation of their environment. He is convinced that a "technology of behavior" will solve all our problems and lead to "progress."
Man's struggle for freedom is not due to a will to be free, but to certain behavioral processes characteristic of the human organism, the chief effect of which is the avoidance of or escape from so-called "aversive" features of the environment...The literature of freedom has identified the other people [who control stimuli] and has proposed ways of escaping from them or weakening or destroying their power...but it has made the mistake of defining freedom in terms of states of mind or feelings, and it has therefore not been able to deal effectively with techniques of control which do not breed escape or revolt but nevertheless have aversive consequences...It is unprepared for the next step, which is not to free men from control but to analyze and change the kinds of control to which they are exposed.
Skinner's views of the person, reality, religion and education are at total odds with the Catholic understanding,g as well as with our traditional understanding of the constitutional rights and duties of U.S. citizens. This has not reduced his influence and popularity among educators and educational theorists, however, and many of the "new" theories of educational progress and curriculum development are based on Skinner's philosophy — notably, Mastery Learning/Outcomes-based Education.
Cardinal O'Connor in his 1989 ad limina address insisted that Catholic education had to be countercultural, "a voice crying in the wilderness," in the face of these trends:
Through innumerable court decisions that have made moral relativism the norm, the inordinate power of television and movies that glorify sex and violence, and are inimical to family values and cynical of all authority, a public educational system that has been almost totally secularized and various other factors, our American culture has been changing dramatically in recent years. In response, I see the church more and more becoming a counterculture, a voice crying in the wilderness...The great preacher-teacher Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said it very clearly: "What the world needs is a voice that is right, not when the world is right, but a voice that is right when the world is wrong."
The Mission of Catholic Education Today
The mission of the Catholic school today has not changed in its essentials. It grows out of the mission of the Church which Pope John Paul II, in his letter responding to the 1989 ad limina report of the American bishops, described as a commitment to the task of being
...witnesses and teachers of the word of truth, the Gospel of our salvation (cf. Eph. 1:13). The Resurrection, in fact, is the pre- eminent sign of the power of the Gospel to save men and women in every age and in every place and culture. [With] an increased awareness of the challenges which call the Church in the United States to proclaim ever more effectively the mystery of Christ. While yours is a culture with many positive values, it is at the same time, like everything human, marked by elements which need to be purified and uplifted by the saving message of the Gospel (cf. Evangeli Nuntiandi, 20).
The Pope and the bishops of the United States are calling for renewed attention to the problems of teaching in our society today and a dynamic, faith-filled, countercultural response through our schools and churches.
All these considerations are pertinent to the Catholic schools and Catholic school systems, which, in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, under the leadership of Daniel J. Elsener, Superintendent, and Sr.Clarice Faltus, the Associate Superintendent of Schools, have embarked upon a major restructuring of the Catholic educational system in cooperation with and under the direction of the Kansas State Department of Education. The rest of this paper will examine the nature of that restructuring in the light of the guidance and principles given by our Faith concerning the nature of Catholic education , educational philosophy and methodology, and the nature of the person and of reality. Attention will also be directed to the role of the family and the principle of subsidiarity and how these are affected by the requirements of the Kansas State Educational Department.
The Process of School Restructuring, Accreditation, and Accountability in the Catholic Schools of Wichita
The first thing which has to be said about the educational restructuring of education in Kansas is that it has not been developed from a local matrix — it is not a grassroots program — but rather is part of a national movement to restructure schools which received a major impetus from the federal government through grants for research, curriculum development and teacher training programs going back to the 1960s. Since 1988, President Bush has supported a prominent role for the U.S. Department of Education in promoting school reform in order to achieve six major national goals by the year 2000. These goals were decided upon at a Governor's Conference called by the President and the then Secretary of Education, Lauro Cavazos, in 1989:
1. All children in America will start school ready to learn.
2. The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
3. American students will leave grades four, eight, and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, history, and geography; and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well, so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our modern economy.
4. U.S. students will be first in the world in science and mathematics achievement.
5. Every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
6. Every school in America will be free of drugs and violence and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
In 1991, Lamar Alexander, the newly-appointed Secretary of Education, announced the America 2000 strategy to achieve these goals. America 2000 contains four basic strategies:
I. For today's students: better and more accountable schools
II. For tomorrow's students: a new generation of American schools
III.For the rest of us (yesterday's students/today's work force): a nation of students
IV.Communities where learning can happen
The Governor of Kansas and the educational leadership of Kansas at the state level clearly see the Kansas restructuring as part of a national movement — and even an international movement. Shortly after the national Governor's Conference called by the President, Governor Mike Hayden chaired a local education Governor's Conference attended by Lamar Alexander, who had not yet been appointed as U.S. Secretary of Education, and other Governors and important educational leaders. Governor Hayden and the other speakers made it clear that Kansas wanted to take the lead in a comprehensive restructuring of the schools.
At this conference , Lamar Alexander recommended what he called "brand new American schools" that would operate year round from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and would take care of the needs of babies and children from "3 months to 18 years." Dr. Frank Newman, President of the Education Commission of the States, announced at that same meeting that our basic challenge was to "remake schooling from birth to college" and that new teachers should come into the system as what he styled "change agents."
One of the most important speakers at the Kansas Conference on education was Dr. Shirley McCune, Senior Director of the Mid-Continental Regional Educational Lab (MCRel), a federally-funded office. Dr. McCune was introduced by Lee Droegemueller, Kansas Commissioner of Education, as an expert who had "provided great assistance" to schools and state departments of education "in our region" and who had worked with the Kansas Department of Education for many years developing strategies for change. She worked on "Strategic Directions — Kansas Schools in the 21st Century."
In her talk, Dr. McCune took a comprehensive view of educational reform, announcing that we're into the "total re-structuring of the society" and only two things really matter:1.)"The information capital" that we can put together and our ability to use information productively; and, 2). Producing "human capital." Dr. McCune mentioned in passing that although the schools might want to spend some time teaching about the past and teaching facts, the most important thing was to prepare students for the future. She said: "We have to anticipate the future."
She stressed the close relationship between economic development and "human capital" for the future and announced that the next five years would be the "most chaotic" of our lives. She also seemed to be expecting some major redistribution of wealth and resources in the near future when she said that 80% of the nation's wealth was held by people over 50 and that wealth would have to be "invested in children" — invested in the schools, that is. It's not clear what Dr. McCune's credentials are for making economic predictions nor where her special insight into the 21st century comes, from but she did make it clear that her educational ideas were based on these intuitions and visions.
When Dr. McCune came back to education, she supported the current trend of schools taking on more and more comprehensive services to students( providing food, psychological services, special education services). She said that schools are "the center of all human resource development." She does not seem to understand or respect the role and rights of families in her framework.
She announced emphatically that curriculum isn't teaching "facts and past history," since we can't even imagine what facts students will need in the future, but rather teaching a range of knowledge and skills for processing information. In other words,, for Dr. McCune, education is not a matter of transmitting a body of knowledge at all but merely a "process."
She also claimed that experts have learned that "the only way we learn to think is when we are talking to others or writing," and that "the only way anyone can learn is from their own frame of reference...All learning begins with the affective parts of life." In other words, there is no specific intellectual content in education. Furthermore, the inner spiritual nature of the human person, made in the "image of God," is simply not encompassed by her educational theories — considered to be state-of-the-art in contemporary secular education.
Dr. McCune didn't state the philosophical and economic underpinnings of her educational and social theories but they are evidently derived from the Pragmatic philosophies described earlier and from the instrumentalist and behaviorist theories of John Dewey and B.F. Skinner. Moreover, her understanding of the student and the schools within the context of "economic development" certainly fits more with some of the major tyrannies of the 20th century such as communism or fascism than with the Catholic understandings. In her theories, the role of the family and the principle of subsidiarity are totally absent.
Dr. McCune is only one of the major influences on the Kansas school restructuring process, but as we continue to examine the process, it will become clear that her thinking is only too representative of the thinking of all the influential educators who are involved in this re-structuring.
Comprehensive Social Restructuring
In Kansas, the comprehensive views of Dr. McCune are decisive in the way education reform is being carried out. The educational restructuring is seen by the Kansas legislature and State Department of Education as a major part of a greatly enlarged plan on the part of the State to intervene in the lives of its citizens from birth to death. In 1991, the Kansas Legislature researched and began to implement a comprehensive plan to "prevent problems before they become crises" by targeting expanded services to support children and their families.
This research led to the publication of a brochure describing the support for children and families which they planned to provide for all children and families in the State of Kansas: "Facing the Future: A Blueprint for Kansas Children and Families."
The "Blueprint" and the preceding research memorandum describe an expanded pattern of state intervention and "guidance" in the lives of private citizens. It starts by redefining education and the nature of the child being educated:
This Blueprint for investing in the future of Kansas children and families redefines education as a process that begins at birth and encompasses all aspects of children's early development, including physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth. The Blueprint treats early childhood development, education, social services, job training and economic development as parts of an interdependent system of human investments which must be addressed together rather than independently or piecemeal...Children are as much an economic resource as clean air, abundant water, good roads and infrastructure. When they grow into productive adults, they are the leaders and workers of tomorrow.
Both the "Blueprint" and the Legislative Memorandum indicate some very specific state interventions which are needed. Under Target II, "Invest in Young Children Ages 0-5," I will merely cite some of the recommendations which indicate the degree of state control and "guidance" which is being proposed for implementation in the private lives of families and their pre-school children:
1. Subsidize enriched child care for very young children identified as coming from families in which parenting skills are deficient or the family is dysfunctional, including parental involvement in the operation of the child care as a parenting teaching tool or in terms of one-to-one training involving the child care provider and a parent or parents.
9. Mandate developmentally appropriate early childhood education for all children age three to five.
10. Develop a system through which a wide range of individuals who may come in contact with a very young child are trained to recognize risk factors that may signal a need for intervention to protect the child or intervention to assure that the child receives services that enable appropriate emotional and physical development. There is already a system in place to identify physical conditions or diseases in a preschool child that may lead to developmental problems or delays and to offer services through the Department of Health and Environment. However this system is dependent on physician identification and reporting and is limited to the identification of mental and physical conditions.
12. Expand the Parents as Teachers program statewide and allow child care providers caring for children under three years of age to offer the program to parents of children in care.
Target III of the Blueprint is : "Restructure Schools to Respond to Changing Educational and Developmental Needs of Children." Points 1 & 2 under Target III endorse school reform and the "State Board of Education Quality Performance Accreditation Program." The interventionist role of the state bureaucracy into family life is again clearly brought out in this section:
9. Fund pilot programs that are modeled on the State of Washington's school-based Primary Intervention Project (PIP) which provides services to detect and address the social and emotional problems of children in kindergarten through third grade to prevent later learning problems. This program is designed to intervene when verbal and physical aggressiveness, low self-esteem, withdrawal, and social and emotional immaturity are identified and when children are identified as victims of abuse or neglect and those experiencing a family crisis such as death or divorce.
Clearly, almost any child could qualify for these services at some point or for some periods of time during his childhood. No family, apparently, would be allowed to raise their children without help from the ever-vigilant social workers.
Point 17, under Target III, is very revealing on the "grassroots" involvement in the school restructuring process:
17. Mandate community group meeting or town meetings or focus group formation in every school district to initiate and to facilitate discussion of the restructuring of the schools.
The "mandated" community meetings apparently do not allow for discussions concerning the whole concept of "restructuring" including opposition viewpoints and information from, for example, parents. This is significant since "restructuring" has been opposed in Kansas and is being actively opposed in other states.
Most of the other points under Target III lay out the school re-structuring plan which we will be examining later in this paper.
Under Target IV, "Improve the Physical Health Status and Mental Health Status of Children," point 21 emphasizes again the expansion of surveillance of families planned by the State:
21. Work with health care provider associations to increase the percent of primary care providers who include the assessment of cognitive, emotional and parent- child function in their practice along with appropriate counseling, referral and follow- up.
Under Target V, "Modify Service Delivery Systems to Improve State-Local Relations and Reduce Institutionalization," under the guise of reducing institutionalization of children, we find many more proposals that increase State intervention in the privacy of family life:
9. Review the confidentiality requirements of state and federal laws and regulations to determine whether waivers can be obtained to allow exchange of client information between providers serving the same family, whether such providers are governmental or private.[If such waivers are obtained, obviously, there will be no such thing as a "private" provider of services to families — even the concept of "privacy" is absent from this formulation.]
11. A mechanism should be created for the gathering and analysis of data regarding families and children with a mechanism built in for sharing the data across the state.
18. The statutes relating to parental rights and the termination of such rights should be reviewed in light of the state goal of preventive services and timely permanent placement of children...
Under Target VI, "Make Business a Partner," point 9 states, "Ask business for guidance in establishing education assessment and accountability." There should be a difference between educational goals and assessment and business goals and assessment. Children really are much more than "economic resources," however, and the role of business should be quite subsidiary to that of the parents and families. However, from the Kansas Blueprint, especially in light of the announced views of their leading expert, Dr. McCune, it's not clear that the proper relationship of business goals and needs to educational and to parental goals is recognized. Most parents, especially religious parents, do not believe that their children are merely "human capital" produced in order to support "economic development."
Under Target VII, "Reduce High Risk Behavior in Children and Families," proposes a variety of governmental programs that simply take over family responsibilities. There is no indication in this Blueprint of the need to support the importance of marriage, family solidarity or moral and ethical values. No role of religious leaders is even hinted at. This is quite remarkable, since even all the social science research indicates that high risk behavior among young people is highly-correlated with family break-down and lack of moral training. The government is not and never has been an adequate replacement for the family. In 1990, The Public Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., liberal think tank, made a study of the problems of children and family and came to quite a different conclusion than the Kansas committee:
We present policies that support and compensate families as they carry out their critical social role — providing for the economic and moral well-being of children. As we shall see, a large body of evidence supports the conclusion that in the aggregate, the intact two-parent family is best-suited to this task. Making this premise our point of departure takes us towards policies that reinforce families and away from bureaucratic approaches that seek to replace family functions.
The "Blueprint for Kansas Children and Families," however, takes a markedly different and even anti-family approach as it provides an overall context for the restructuring of education in the State of Kansas. From the point of view of Catholic belief concerning the nature of the child and the nature of reality, the role of the family, the principle of subsidiarity and the role of the state, there is much to be concerned about. From the point of view of our constitutional rights and government, we find more to be concerned about. This Blueprint in its concrete aspects, quite apart from its rhetoric about supporting families, is quite simply opposed to Catholic belief and seems to be in serious opposition to important aspects of the constitutional system in the United States as well. Our next step in this paper is to look at the Kansas educational reform, the QPA or Quality Performance Accreditation Program, to determine whether it is compatible with our Catholic understanding of education.
Educational Reform in Kansas
Educational reform in Kansas is based mainly on the theories of the Effective School Movement which combines the approach of Dr. Lawrence W. Lezotte , Senior Consultant with Effective Schools, and Dr. William Spady, an expert on Outcomes-based/ Mastery Learning education and the Director of the Far West Regional Educational Lab, a U.S. Department of Education office. According to The Effective Schools Report of July, 1984, the Effective Schools Movement is based on three primary areas of research:
[1.] Behavioral change and the application of learning theory to produce results;
[2.]The identification of sociological factors operating in effective schools;
[3.]Teaching strategies to effect learning and the combination of these variables and practices in a systematic approach to achieve learning and management results...PREDICTABLE EXCELLENCE in educational results.
The Effective Schools Movement (1960-1984) was initiated by Dr. Ron Edmonds and Dr. Wilbur Brookover among others. Dr. Lezotte has worked with Ron Edmonds. They identified five sociological characteristics of effective schools:
• Strong administrative leadership
• High expectations for children's achievement
• An orderly atmosphere conducive to learning
• An emphasis on basic skill acquisition
• Frequent monitoring of student progress`
• Catholic Schools = Effective Schools
This effective schools research identified some of the overall characteristics of a good school but it didn't provide the blueprint for achieving them. In fact, traditional U.S. Catholic schools have exhibited these characteristics to a much greater extent than any other type of school and Catholic schools have similarly had a record of success in educating high-risk children of all types ever since their founding — poor children, children from other cultures, children from homes where English was not spoken, children from broken homes, etc. They have not only educated children but they have contributed to building up successful communities. Some of the most recent research done by the U.S. Department of Education ...found that Catholic school students consistently outscore students in the public schools in reading, mathematics, and science. They are especially effective in educating minority and low-income students, much more so that the public schools or other private schools(National Assessment of Educational Progress Studies).
In spite of this record of success documented by the empirical research which the leaders of the Effective Schools Movement claim to rely on, the Catholic achievement was ignored as a model way to achieve Effective Schools because it didn't fit with their pragmatic philosophy, their ideology. Instead they turned to behavior modification research, the Mastery Learning process/Outcomes-Based Education, developed by B. F. Skinner and his associates. Perhaps, nothing better could be expected of secular educators who do not enjoy the advantages of the Catholic educational tradition. What is difficult to understand, however, is why some of our Catholic educators are abandoning their own established theories and turning to this materialistic approach to education; it has never been as effective as traditional Catholic education and is built on a philosophy hostile to Catholicism.
Mastery Learning/Outcomes-based Learning
Research being carried out by B.F. Skinner and N. Crowder (1950-1960) developed "the concepts of self-instructional mastery (programmed) instruction," in which the teachers "performed...programmed actions to design and implement lesson plans or curricula." The four-step Mastery Learning program consists of:
Step 1: State initially the final mastery learning results you wish your learners to achieve by first writing the learning objectives and measurement standards — namely the actual correct answers you wish your learners to demonstrate at the end of an instructional program.[OUTCOME-GOALS]
Step 2: Derive those correct learner response(s) to be elicited from each learner at each learning step ... as a student progresses from point of entry along a field- tested FUNCTIONAL LEARNING PATH up to the predictable mastery of stated learning objectives and criterion test measures.[PROGRAM OUTCOMES]
Step 3: Design and implement that sequence of learning steps using only those instructional means which will elicit correct response(s) by each learner at each learning step: provide immediate feedback as to the correctness of learner responses; provide for immediate correction of errors; and control the progress of learning as students proceed in small steps along the tested learning path to master the learning objectives and criteria with predictable success. [CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT]
Step 4: Try-out (field-test) the mastery lesson plan with groups of learners for which the lesson plan has been designed; and based on actual performance data obtained from these learners, revise the master lesson plan (as required) by retrying the revised program while continuing to evaluate student responses until master learning results are delivered. [ASSESSMENT]
Dr. Skinner's Mastery Learning techniques have a close affinity to the famous Pavlovian behavior modification training tested on animals in the 1930s and does diverge significantly from traditional educational practices and from the Catholic understanding of the nature of the child and the type of education compatible with that nature. Nevertheless, they are the basis for the Kansas school restructuring plan which the Wichita Diocese has elected to join. In 1968, some of the Mastery Learning experts coming out of Michigan State University and the University of Chicago (the home base of Benjamin Bloom, one of the leading theorists) announced their view of the child as follows: "We view the child with his defined characteristics as input to a school organization which modifies his capabilities toward certain goals and objectives as output."
In order to implement this training program, the reformers realized that teachers would have to be re-trained to become facilitators of the programmed learning process rather than dispensers of knowledge. Catholic Teachers, however, are expected to be more than facilitators; they are expected to "communicate truth" and teach "the cultural patrimony handed down from previous generations." (See p. 6) This required re-training was developed by, among others, Dr. Madeline Hunter, who, "beginning in the 1960s focused on those required teaching practices to be performed for delivery of success for learners. These practices are entitled Mastery Teaching Practices." Public and Catholic school teachers in Kansas are being trained in these methods in workshops and through the Effective Schools Conferences sponsored by the Kansas State Board of Education.
In a joint talk given at the National Catholic Education Association in April, 1992, by Sr. Clarice Faltus of the Wichita Diocese and Sr. Michelle Faltus of the Kansas City Diocese, Sr. Michelle stressed that teachers today are coming from state universities and colleges and thus do not have a religious basis to their education. She said they need help to increase their faith. However, Sr. Michelle and Sr. Clarice make it clear that the teacher training they are proposing is also based on the kind of secular models we have been reviewing here.
Comprehensive School Management Systems to Guarantee Equity & Excellence
After designing training programs for the students and the teachers, the secular education reformers realized that they needed to have a top-to-bottom management system that supported their educational initiatives. In the 1960's several plans were worked out including SAFE, the Systematic Approach for Effectiveness which allegedly could:
A) Guarantee the delivery of predictable mastery learning results by all teachers for all learners, in all content areas, in all grade levels.
B) Guarantee the installation of the most COST-EFFECTIVE management-for-results practices to be applied by all professionals in the school district assuring implementation of those quality controls necessary to deliver predictable mastery results.
Mastery Learning claims to achieve educational excellence and equity thus the frequent emphasis on all students learning all that is taught. Dr. Lezotte explains that:
Conceptually, an effective school can be defined as one that can, in outcome terms reflective of its teaching for learning mission, demonstrate the joint presence of quality (acceptably high levels of achievement) and equity (no differences in the distribution of that achievement among the major subsets of the student population).
The Kansas State Board of Education defines equity as follows:
Freedom from bias or favoritism. All students learn the specified curriculum regardless of factors in their background which have ordinarily been identified as those preventing such learning.
Most people understand that the goal of educational equity refers to equal opportunity for each student, however, most of the major theorists in education are ideologically committed to equal outcomes for each student, and they enthusiastically assert that Mastery Learning will bring this about. Their faith in Mastery Learning has not always been supported by research evidence, however. In Mastery learning Reconsidered, a 1987 research study on the effects of Mastery Learning by Robert E. Slavin, sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, found that:
The most striking conclusion of the present review is that other than perhaps focusing teachers and students on a narrow set of objectives, group-based mastery learning has modest to non-existent effect on student achievement in studies of at least four weeks duration (p.48).
A similar system of educational management, called the PPBS for Planning, Programming and Budgeting System, was developed under the auspices of the Federal Government to promote a comprehensive management approach to education similar to that of some businesses desiring to produce a "predictable product." In education, however, the "predictable product" is a child, and the outcomes and goals refer to the child's attitudes, values, feelings, and behaviors not just his knowledge and intellectual skills.
The Partnership Among Business and Industry, Parents and Educators
The influence of business concepts and even assembly-line techniques on the Effective School Movement is quite marked. Dr. Shirley McCune, quoted earlier, stresses the close relationship between economic development and "human capital" and sees the schools as the center for the development of "human resources." Dr. Lezotte in his talks and papers often refers to the management and business experts he has consulted. The Kansas State Board of Education has recommended the Deming approach to "quality control" in Effective Schools. W. Edwards Deming worked with the U.S. Government during World War II to develop methods to produce quality products for the War effort. He went to Japan after the war to help McArthur deal with the Japanese census; later he returned to work with Japanese businessmen to help them re-organize their workforce to successfully produce quality products. As a result of his experiences, Deming developed a fourteen point program to teach his "quality perspective."
The Kansas Mission Statement and educational goals are filled with references to "work skills," and "working in the global economy," and, of course, "predictable results for all students." In fact, if you imagine the school as a Honda Factory, the student as the Honda, (the quality and predictable outcome you wish to produce), Mastery Learning as the assembly line (the programmed instruction for each child), and the teacher as the factory worker facilitating the process and making brief interventions whenever a glitch occurs, you will have some insight into the QPA program.
One would have thought that such an educational system would have little appeal for a Catholic, but the "Exit Outcomes of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita" are also replete with references to "Collaborative Workers, "Adaptable Problem-solvers," and "Innovative Producers" (Appendix F). Sr. Michelle, in the previously mentioned joint talk given with Sr. Clarice at the NCEA this year, also stressed that with Outcomes-based Education,"We are preparing our children to go into the work world." She handed out the SCANS Report produced in June, 1991 by The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S. Department of Labor and emphasized that schools must determine new standards which are applicable to the "real world." They must have "relevant content."
Because the QPA so closely approximates practices which are quite legitimate and effective in manufacturing and business, it is easy to see how businessmen would be attracted to the new restructuring program, which has a superficial plausibility. It is a mistake however to expect that the same ideas would apply wholesale to the education of a child who is in no way object but rather a person redeemed by Jesus Christ, having an essential role in God's plan for the world and an eternal destiny — a person made for love not for "productivity." The narrowness of focusing so much educational theory on supposed economic goals of the 21st century is brought out well by G. K. Chesterton, the noted Catholic author:
The materialist theory of history [or education], that all politics and ethics are the expression of economics, is a very simple fallacy indeed. It consists of confusing the necessary conditions of life with the normal preoccupations of life...It is like saying that because a man can only walk about on two legs, therefore he never walks about except to buy shoes and stockings...But there is a deeper fallacy besides this obvious fact; that men need not live for food merely because they cannot live without food. The truth is that the thing most present to the mind of man is not the economic machinery necessary to his existence; but rather that existence itself...There is something that is nearer to him than livelihood, and that is life.
In conjunction with the Mastery Learning process, the Kansas Department of Education is also recommending Cooperative Learning techniques. Mastery Learning and Cooperative Learning are two foundations of their new approach to education. The third foundation is Global Education.
Mastery Learning is called individualized learning because although each student is expected to go through the same curriculum steps, in the same order different students may do it at different rates. Individualized education in this framework does not usually mean one-on-one instruction or different electives for different students. If bright students complete their objectives quickly, they are expected to serve as models and to help the slower students. In Cooperative Learning, most classroom assignments are given to groups of children, not to individuals, and the group works to complete the assignment and receives a group mark.
This is the Cooperative Learning Model. All students are to achieve equal outcomes in this framework and peer tutoring by the more competent students is designed to achieve this. Cooperative Learning emphasizes the importance of the group working together and keeping together with the teacher facilitating the progress of all. It is considered a democratic ideal to avoid the elitism of just some students succeeding. In this system all students will succeed even if some students are held back. Although some cooperative group work in a classroom is highly desirable, it is a different story when the whole work of the classroom is done this way and normal teaching and learning disappear.
One of the leading educational experts in the educational reform movement, Dr. John Goodlad, claims that the Cooperative Learning model is necessary because other practices "limit(s) the opportunity for children in the lower groups to keep pace with their peers.." He describes the process in the following way:
The class moves along together, with quizzes `that don't count' being used to identify the need for more time and with the teacher and peers who have achieved the specified level of mastery working with those who have not until mastery has been achieved...One characteristic of these and similar approaches is that they legitimate and reinforce helping one another and working cooperatively as desired implicit learnings...These recommended means for securing a higher level of mastery and eliminating failure are effectively blocked when students of differing accomplishments are divided into separate classrooms, rather than into groups within classrooms...When this so- called interclass grouping is used, the attainments of the most able students are lost as standards of excellence as is the availability of those students as tutors. For those readers who worry that the progress of the most able will be retarded, let me remind you that teaching another is one of the most effective ways to acquire mastery.
While cooperation and helping the less fortunate are Christian virtues, this system does not seem to be a correct manifestation of these virtues. The individual needs and potential of the students are not being met; rather the needs of some students are being sacrificed in a social engineering scheme to make it look like "all students are succeeding."
One cooperative-behavior modification classroom program that has actually been used in Kansas Public Schools is called Learnball and it is a composite of all these theories applied to the classroom. In Learnball, Mastery Learning with its instant gratification reinforcement is utilized in a variety of ways but what is stressed is the importance of the "most valuable reward possible for young people,i.e., peer approval" ; the teacher is again presented as a facilitator but she does, of course, control the framework; the students are made to "feel they shared in the decision-making" even though all of the choices had to be "totally acceptable to the teacher". Learnball eliminates the possibility of failure by eliminating the possibilities of right answers: " It [Learnball bid system] opens up the participation so that the 'all or nothing' of a right or wrong answer is greatly modified to allow for individual differences ; it involves all students in cooperative learning activities in which the academically-gifted students become "assistant teachers" to the other students .
Learnball also claims to simulate real life by having students form classroom teams that use the names of successful businesses such as Coke and Pepsi:
In a peer system where agreement and team unity are essential, it is important to have labels with universal appeal...[and] it is a good idea to make a parallel between classroom learning and adult work. Using company names links learning to the ability to earn a living.
Remarkably Learnball shows that the most important aspects of cooperative education are keeping everyone on the same level and teaching the students to conform to peer pressure. Learnball uses a "peer norm approach to discipline" because "students value the esteem of their peers more than anything and Learnball provides ways for them to earn it". "[Learnball] Superbowls are also the best way to increase the power of the peer norm." With classes like this, it is no wonder that so many young people today have so much difficulty resisting negative peer pressure when we want them to. Their education negates objective moral norms and values and enhances the power of group norms. No saints or heroes will emerge from this system to the degree that the system is successful in achieving its own aims and goals. Clearly Cooperate Education as understood by the educational establishment and as carried out in the classrooms of Kansas involve concepts that are quite opposed to the Catholic understanding of virtue, moral norms and the nature of the human person. It is also remarkably anti-intellectual.
The Kansas State Board of Education Mission Statement further announces the goal of preparing each person for "caring, productive and fulfilling participation in our evolving, global society" and five of the ten supporting Outcomes are directed toward preparing students "to live, learn and work in a global society." This global society is based on "the assumption that cultural, ecological, economic, political and technological ties transcend national boundaries."
This global education is designed to teach the young the relationships and connectedness among peoples and between the human race and the planet. It has a vision of the evolution of the person and the planet toward a new and better future which will be "created" by the young: "Now young people face futures for which their parents' culture cannot prepare them. The young must create the future themselves." Revealed Truth found in Catholic teaching, for example, apparently provides them no assistance in facing these new "futures." Furthermore, they will need "new codes of behavior" and "new ethics" to accomplish these goals. They will also need a new "spirituality":
The word "spiritual" does not refer to religious matters, so called. All activity which drives the human being forward towards some form of development — physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, social — if it is in advance of his present state is essentially spiritual in nature and is indicative of the livingness of the inner divine entity. The spirit of man is undying: it forever endures, progressing from point to point and stage to stage upon the Path of Evolution, unfolding steadily and sequentially the divine attributes and aspects.
The content of global education does not concern itself much with history, geography, languages, etc. — it is not a study of the world but rather of "mother earth" and of her future as seen from the perspective of secular ecology and certain esoteric ideas about the oneness of all living beings and existing matter. It seeks to make the students "true planetary citizens" and to bring about a unified, peaceful world order under direction of "world managers and caretakers." Global education gives the child "a greater sense of his unity with his environment," and appreciation of the creation — but not the Creator. The divine is thought to be located within the universe and within the person:
Science in my view is part of the spiritual process; it is a transcendence and elevation of the human race into an ever vaster knowledge and consciousness of the universe and of its unfathomable divine character.
Myrliss Hershey of Friends University, Kansas, has conducted Inservice Workshops for teachers at the Ingalls School in Wichita. Ingalls School is a global education center in Wichita. Catholic teachers are sent to Ingalls to be trained as global educators.
In a televised 1990 Global Education Inservice Workshop, produced and circulated by the Wichita Public Schools, Dr. Hershey very explicitly indicates that Dr. Robert Muller , formerly of the United Nations, and his World Core Curriculum, quoted above, form the foundation of global education and she uses materials from this Curriculum in the workshop. She also recommends the use of the United Nations as a major resource for global educators. From the way both she and Dr. Muller talk, the United Nations is their "Vatican."
Dr. Hershey rather vaguely cautions the teachers against using all the materials in the curriculum, some of which may not be suitable for public schools. However, Dr. Hershey, herself, frequently uses concepts and ideas which are quite readily identified with pantheistic and monistic Eastern religions and even paganism. She advised the teachers in the videotaped Inservice to recommend that their students watch Ted Turner's network because he puts on good environmental programs that should be supported.
Although not mentioned by name, one of the more popular programs on TNT is a Saturday morning cartoon called "Captain Planet" in which children are taught an "environmentalist creed to replace the Ten Commandments (`I promise to have love and respect for Planet Earth.')" and the earth goddess, Gaia, comes to life in order to fight polluters:
She [Gaia] chooses five children from around the world as her surrogates. Armed with magic rings...they are sent forth to battle oil companies and other industrial heretics. Letting your kids watch this stuff is like turning them over to a Druid priest for religious education.
Dr. Hershey referred to the Gaia Hypothesis several times — Gaia, the pagan earth goddess. She claimed that the "Earth is actually a living entity, much as we are." She said that we were "created for the earth; we are the nerve ends of the planet." She recommended the use of the Gaia Kit, a game that can be used in primary grades. The Gaia Kit is a fairly explicit representation of the view that humans are expendable parts of the earth. It also is fairly explicit in its acceptance of reincarnation.
Global education focuses on environmental problems and most environmentalists — especially U.N. environmentalists — fervently believe that overpopulation is the most serious and ominous problem facing the world and threatening its future. Many environmentalists are hostile to the Catholic Church because it opposes population control.
Although Catholics are concerned about global problems and believe that people should be prudent stewards of the earth, they, along with the Pope and the Vatican, do not hold with the idea that overpopulation is the major world problem and that abortion and immoral means of birth control can be advocated as ways to deal with populations:
Population growth of and by itself is seldom the primary cause of environmental problems. In most cases, there are no causal links between the numbers of people and degradation of environment...the Holy See has expressed its opposition to the setting of quantitative population targets or goals...Systematic campaigns against birth directed toward the poorest populations, may even lead to "a tendency toward a form of racism or the promotion of equally racist forms of eugenics" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 25).
Dr. Hershey also recommended that global education be infused throughout the whole curriculum and in every grade. Some of the Kansas recommendations for subject outcomes indicate that this is already being done. She also recommended that global educators challenge assumptions, "belief systems", and that they have to get "to that area of attitudes, values and beliefs before we [can] change...affect daily actions."
Getting Inside the QPA
The Kansas Quality Performance Accreditation process includes a mission statement, four focus areas, ten outcome goals, recommendations for a performance-based/outcome- based curriculum and a data collection system. Each local school district, and each school within the district, is expected to develop its own local mission statement and some local outcome goals and each district may choose from among recommended performance-based curricula.
The Kansas State Board of Education's mission for Kansas Education is: To prepare each person with the living, learning, and working skills necessary for caring, productive, and fulfilling participation in our evolving global society.
The four Focus Areas "identified as needed to accomplish the statewide mission" are:
1. School improvement through effective school principles
2. High standards of performance through an integrated curricular approach.
3. Human Resource development/staff training and retraining.
4. Community-based outreach programs/the community learning concept.
In the Introduction to the Kansas State Board of Education publication, "Assessment!, Assessment!, Assessment!", it is emphasized that Kansas education "is to prepare each person for the future...to equip our populace with the necessary skills to meet the demands of a global society." (p.A-1) In the official booklet on Kansas Quality Performance Accreditation, it says: "A comprehensive `outcome' process will have the school and the student be part of a dynamic community, which has as its mission lifelong learning for a competitive global society." The mission statement makes it clear that the state educators envision a comprehensive program for everyone, not just school-age children, and as we saw with Dr. McCune's presentation the emphasis is on being productive in the future in what is assumed to be a "global society".
The Mission Statement and the Focus Areas lack many of the usual educational themes related to subject content, knowledge, character development and patriotism (everything is global, nothing is national in this scheme). In one of the QPA resource books provided for local use, a "Model for Designing Outcome-based Curriculum" designed by William Spady and Kit Marshall indicates that education must change its focus from producing "Academically Competent Students" with knowledge based on academic subjects to one based on producing "Competent Future Citizens" with skills to handle "Future Context Challenges/opportunities." (Appendix B)
The ten Outcomes required by the Kansas State Board of Education continue these themes:
1. Teachers establish high expectations for learning and monitor students
achievement through multiple assessment techniques.
2. Schools have a basic mission which prepares the learners to live, learn
and work in a global society.
3. Schools provide planned learning activities within an orderly and safe
environment which is conducive to learning.
4. Schools provide instructional leadership which results in improved
student performance in an effective school environment.
5. Students have the communication skills necessary to live, learn, and
work in a global society.
6. Students think creatively and problem-solve in order to live, learn and
work in a global society.
7. Students work effectively both independently and in groups in order to
live, learn and work in a global society.
8. Students have the physical and emotional well-being necessary to live,
learn and work in a global society.
9. All staff engage in ongoing professional development based on the
outcomes identified in the school improvement plan.
10. Students participate in lifelong learning.
The QPA Process Resembles the Old Progressive School Movement
At this point, I would like to bring out the fact that much of this supposed new plan to restructure schools to prepare students for the real world of the future is really pretty old and has been tried many times without achieving the wonderful goals envisioned by the reformers and without pleasing the school clients — the students and their families. Although there are some new features to this plan such as the extensive federal and business involvement, the comprehensive assessment process, and the computerized data collection on each child, family and teacher, it is basically a rehash of the Progressive Education of John Dewey and other reformers of the last century and early 20th century.
Diane Ravitch, previously of Columbia Teachers' College and now an Assistant Secretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education, has described the ups and downs of Progressive Education in her influential book, The Troubled Crusade, American Education 1945-1980:
Progressive education...had its origin during the quarter-century before World War I in an effort to cast the school as a fundamental lever of social and political regeneration.'...its forebears included Jacob Riis, Lincoln Steffens, Jane Addams, John Dewey, William James, and scores of others who participated in the larger progressive reform movement... The publication of the Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education in 1918 launched pedagogical progressivism into the mainstream of the organized education profession...[It] was written by the NEA's [National Education Association] Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education...The objectives of secondary education should be determined, said the report, `by the needs of the society to be served, the character of the individuals to be educated and the knowledge of educational theory and practice available.' So little did the commission think of traditional, school-bound knowledge that the original draft of the report failed to include `command of the fundamental processes,' its only reference to intellectual development, as a main objective of secondary education.
The final document stressed that schools should derive their goals from the life activities of adults in society. That this was tricky business was revealed, for instance, by the commission's statement that college-preparatory studies were `particularly incongruous with the actual needs and future responsibilities of girls,' which led them to urge that homemaking be considered of equal value to any other school work...
The appeal to science and scientific method that characterized prewar progressivism was converted in the 1920s and 1930s into a polemical tool to be wielded on behalf of innovative methods and was often used to justify widescale use of testing in order to divide students into ability groups for administrative purposes.
Progressives insisted that their reforms had been validated by science, not recognizing the tentative nature of scientific investigation, nor the difference between science and social science.
In fact, few of the supposedly 'scientific' findings of the period had any validity...'The study of the learning process by the experimental method has been on the whole disappointing. The 'laws' which seem at a given time to be well established have an irritating habit of collapsing as evidence accumulates.'
To these educational currents was added the impact of a new branch of educational 'science' called 'curriculum-making... In How To Make a Curriculum(1924), Bobbitt identified 821 objectives for the curriculum maker; he made clear that the starting point in the shaping of a curriculum was an analysis of life activities...The field of curriculum development, as it emerged, was firmly linked to this sort of social utilitarianism, which set the task of the schools as the adjustment of the individual to the society.
Accountability — Who Controls the Accreditation Process?
In the school restructuring and accreditation process, much is made of local input, locally-managed schools and supposed parental involvement and accountability. Fr. Matthew C. McGinness of the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Wichita has stated that "the measurable outcomes are determined by the Catholic School System itself, and the individual Catholic school. They are not regulated by the State." (Appendix C ) This is a mistaken understanding of what the QPA process is all about and it does not accord with the published State requirements. The State only allows local communities to add some additional local outcomes based on local conditions to the State-Mandated outcomes but these outcomes must accord with the overall State Mission Statement.
The state-level learner outcomes for Kansas are identified in the state mission for public education adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education. These outcomes may also be referred to as learner exit outcomes since they are the state expectations for all learners after participation in the schooling process, K-12. Each local district must incorporate the state-level learner outcomes within their identified local district/school exit outcomes.
Since all local mission statements and goals must accord with and be based on the State directives, all discussions of site-based management and local input have to be understood in an extremely limited way. They do not mean that local districts and parents have control of their schools, as they have had in the past, only that they can participate in a tightly-controlled process and/or that they have a role in managing the process toward the State-determined outcomes.
In fact, everyone is expected to be involved in the process so that he will "take ownership" of the changes mandated and can be held responsible for supporting the changes. Dr. Larry Lezotte, the expert on Effective Schools who advises the Kansas State Department of Education, says that to be successful "these improving schools must feel as if they have a choice in the matter, and, equally important, they must feel as if they have control over the processes of change." This does not mean they do have any control, however. The process involves well-known group dynamics techniques derived from Kurt Lewin's social applications of mathematical theories. In the previously mentioned paper, given by Cardinal O'Connor, the process is described as a problem and a deterrent to passing on the Faith:
...America was caught up in dialogue, which was frequently unrelated to the exchange of information or the communication of truths. Dialogue was simple a process intended to achieve consensus. Dialogue was successful or unsuccessful to the degree in which consensus occurred or failed to occur. Substance became irrelevant. The medium became the message...I suggest that an unnoticed result of group dynamics and process which has made episcopal teaching exceedingly difficult is a form of anti-intellectualism. The true and the good can be discerned only by feeling. It was understandable that many young people turned to Zen, while others turned to hard rock music, drugs and free-for-all-sex.
In April, 1992, at the National Catholic Education Association's annual conference, Sr. Clarice Faltus, Associate Superintendent of the Diocese of Wichita, in her talk given with Sr. Michelle Faltus of the Kansas City Diocese on "Accountability- based Systems and Diocesan Curriculum Guides," described the group processes which she has initiated in Wichita in order to make the new reform successful. She said:
Unless people discuss the processes and purposes that we're trying to work with, they're not going to call themselves to accountability for those things. If they are part of the process of writing the mission statement, they feel more accountable and because they had a part in it, they can be held accountable.
She is clearly describing the controlled consensus-forming process which only seems to give people control. Participants may have some minor influence in the outcome but they are being manipulated to accept the overall framework of change. These group dynamics techniques of control were also very common during earlier phases of educational reform in the U.S. The following quote describes the same process being used during the 1930s :
When curriculum revision first got underway, superintendents and principals tried working with representative committees of teachers but found that the teachers who did not participate in the study group failed to share the group consensus. So it became a matter of principle that all teachers participate in the curriculum revision. In every such program, the leaders said over and over again that the process of building a new curriculum must be a democratic process, that all decisions arrived at were democratic group decisions, and that in the nature of a democracy, all members of the group must abide by decisions of the group. Progressive educators acknowledged that they used techniques of group dynamics to engineer consent for their philosophy and programs. There is no indication that any progressive leader questioned the ethical implications of manipulating teachers, parents, and students. Hollis Caswell, dean of Teachers' College and a leader in curriculum revision programs, suggested that teacher resistance to curriculum reform was best dealt with by "the setting of group goals"...It was a curious notion of the democratic process, since the goals of curriculum revision were never truly open for discussion; despite the rhetoric about participation and cooperation, the outcome of curriculum revision was fixed-in-advance by the experts.
In this Kansas Accreditation Process there has been much talk about accountability and it is claimed that the schools will be accountable to the parents. This is not the case, however. Accountability is to the State and to the Quality Performance Accreditation system — not to the parents or the local community. In the "Quality Performance Accreditation Year II — District Application," the applicant has to sign a "Statement of Assurance" stating that they agree " to meet the following  criteria established by the State Board of Education for districts entering the QPA process during the 1992-93 school year." (Appendix A, final page). The eleven criteria listed represent a commitment to the whole process.
Assessment, Assessment, Assessment
The Kansas QPA is based on a school improvement process, the Effective Schools Program, which requires detailed data on the students, the teachers, the school, the families and the community.
Effective school improvement is data driven. All decisions regarding the management and development of the school improvement plan should be based upon the careful review and analysis of relevant data.
The data collected will be "comprehensive" and will cover the five achievement target areas: "knowledge, thinking, behaviors, products and affect." The data collected will be used by teachers for "decision-making, instruction and control; "by students for "decision-making, learning and interpersonal beliefs"; by parents to evaluate "teachers & schools" and to set "expectations, planning and rewards;" by Counselors "for tracking students and planning:" by principals for evaluation and planning and by colleges for "selection and advanced placement." And it will be used by the State to ensure that students "progress toward State and local outcomes."
The curriculum must be aligned with the assessment in precise detail: "Student achievement rises, the closer the alignment is between instruction and assessment and between curriculum and assessment." "Instruction is based on predetermined outcomes, and student assessment is parallel to the outcomes." The curriculum is not only aligned with the outcomes it is also "integrated" which means that subjects will be taught in an interdisciplinary way so that students will learn the thinking and behavior processes which they are aiming at — knowledge of a subject area being quite secondary:
An INTEGRATED CURRICULUM is one that unites all curricula through defined outcomes in order to meet the specific needs of all learners. The integrated curriculum permeates the whole schooling process through a structure of vertical and horizontal relationships. Vertically, the curriculum is integrated by linking each level of outcomes. Horizontally, integration occurs through the inclusion of outcomes from a variety of programs in courses and/or grade level...On various occasions, Lezotte has expressed his belief that an integration of disciplines leads to an integration of thought and that students need to develop comprehensive understanding and abilities.
Clearly, the integrated State curriculum aligned with the detailed assessment process does not leave much space for local concerns, especially religious concerns. The State educational establishment intends to affect the minds, hearts and behavior of the students, to bring about "an integration of thought," in accord with their own desired outcomes. "QPA is a process which demands new thinking, new strategies, new behavior and new beliefs."
In traditional academic education, testing of knowledge and content areas was considered adequate, however, the QPA requires a different kind of testing since it aims at more comprehensive behavioral and affective outcomes and less comprehensive knowledge and content outcomes. In the Outcomes-based model, the emphasis is on teaching "learning to learn" processes such as "decision-making" and "critical thinking skills" (which are variations on the controversial Values Clarification model of thinking). The theory is that these "learning to learn" processes will provide students with the flexibility to adapt to the changes which are bound to come in the future.
The concept of assessment should be viewed more broadly when measurement of student performance is based on outcomes. Assessment strategies could include the following: observations, portfolios, paper-and-pencil tests, oral questioning, projects, student records, demonstrations and performances.
The QPA Assessment instruments focus on measurable and observable performance by the individual student as he goes along his learning path and they are very difficult to judge by any objective standards outside the given system of education. For example, Criterion-referenced assessments will track the individual's progress along the State-determined curriculum plan "to determine if a student has attained an established level of competence so he or she might move to the next level of instruction." This is different from a Norm-referenced test which compares a student's achievement to an outside norming group and has some objective standard. In a Norm-referenced test, students are tested in a content area or a general field of knowledge; in a Criterion-referenced assessment, students are tested on "subskills within that field."
Authentic or Performance-based Assessments require students "to demonstrate what they know, what they can do and what they were taught...They are task-oriented and parallel real-life...Process is a critical part of the assessment...and [they] often need an extended time frame for completion." Some types of Performance-based assessments are: Portfolios in which the student and/or teacher decide upon some reason and theme for collecting the student's work over a period of time; Group Projects which demonstrate teamwork and workplace skills; Open-ended Questions which "provides students the opportunities 'to construct their own responses, to reach solutions through different methods, to address situations where there are multiple answers, and to demonstrate their depth of understanding of a problem;'" Interviews which allow students and teachers to assess the "perceived strengths and needs as well as interests and goals;" Other Formats such as exhibits, science fairs, work samples, process evaluations, music competitions and product evaluations.
All of these Performance-assessments "involve individual judgment that is not entirely objective" and "can involve extraordinary costs." In addition they are quite controversial and unproven. Those who control the system will control the interpretation of the results as well and it will be almost impossible for anyone to judge the success or failure of the new methods objectively.
In this QPA framework, the teachers are considered the cornerstone of the whole process and they are explicitly held accountable to the State for the success of the students. Jim Wheeler, Director of the Northeast Kansas Educational Services Center, expressed what was expected of them quite well in his workshop at the Third Annual Effective Schools Conference, 1992. He said that we have to "guarantee students will learn what we teach." Wheeler also stressed that if students in a class fail, it is because the teacher did not meet the student's needs.
Both Wheeler and Dr. JoAhn Brown-Nash, one of the Keynote Speakers at the Conference, explained the importance of having high expectations for all children. They explained the concept of the "J" Curve , an upward learning curve which allegedly applies to all children. According to these theories, which are directly based on Benjamin Bloom's work on Taxonomy, all children can learn the same things given enough time, appropriate resources and positive experiences. The gifted child is only someone who can learn faster than the slow child; there is no qualitative difference between children in this mechanistic theory. In the classroom, this means that if a child is not learning, the teacher must allow him more time, use different teaching approaches and make sure the child has some positive, "successful" experiences. A lot of these things are good ideas but they do not guarantee success — free will has not been abolished by God — nor can they eliminate some very real differences in the abilities and achievements of individuals.
In her talk at the 1992 NCEA Convention, Sr. Clarice Faltus explained that the Wichita Diocese had adopted this Outcomes-based Education Model of education (under the tutelage of Emporia University) because they accepted the three basic premises of this approach:
1. All students can learn and succeed. (The "J"Curve)
2. Success breeds success. "It's contagious."(Positive experiences)
3."We control the conditions of success." We are in charge because we can
write our own curriculum for the needs of our children and assessment
allows us to give the student what he needs.(As shown earlier, this is not
Of course, you can have high expectations and use multiple approaches to teaching which promote achievement with children from all backgrounds without adopting this model and the Catholic schools have succeeded better than anyone in these areas with a traditional model of education. What is truly difficult to explain is why this mechanistic, deterministic — and pantheistic — education model which is based on a combination of pragmatic philosophy, pop-psychology and the systematic invasion of the privacy and psyches of children should be preferred and adopted by Catholic educators.
In terms of religious belief, it limits the horizons of the teachers and the students to this world and to economic success in this world; it is dangerously superficial ; it seems to deny free will, the reality of sin and suffering and the need for salvation. ("We control the conditions of success.")
The Mission Statement and Exit Outcomes of the Diocese of Wichita under the QPA System
The schools in the Diocese of Wichita have been immersed in this QPA process for several years already (Appendix E) and the teachers and the school communities have already been through many of the required consensus-forming meetings and are continuing to be trained and consulted in accord with the pre-determined plans of the Effective Schools Program leaders. As part of the QPA, the Mission Statement of the Diocese has been changed, and "interdisciplinary outcomes" and "Exit Outcomes" have been chosen.
The Mission Statement (Appendix E) claims first and foremost that:
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Wichita [will] —
PROVIDE the most effective means of integrating the Catholic Faith in the religious, academic, physical, moral, emotional, psychological, and cultural growth and development of each child.
As we have shown from our examination of the process, the QPA couldn't possibly be the "most effective means of integrating the Catholic Faith" into anything since it is opposed to the Catholic Faith in most essential ways and requires the integration of a secular, mechanistic, anti-intellectual approach to education and a materialistic view of the child and of the world into the curriculum. According to our bishops:
...instruction in religious truth and values is an integral part of the school program. It is not one more subject alongside the rest, but instead it is perceived and functions as the underlying reality in which the student's experiences of learning and living achieve their coherence and their deepest meaning.
The 'underlying reality' of the QPA means that the Catholic Faith will have to be, at best, an addendum to the real work of the reform process which is to prepare each person for economic success in this world, in the 21st. century, in "our evolving global society." (See Kansas State Mission Statement on page 35.)
The Wichita Mission Statement claims that the schools will :
PARTICIPATE in the teaching ministry of the Catholic Church.
However, the teaching ministry of the Catholic Church involves teaching the "truth of Jesus Christ" and the "power of the Gospel to save men and women in every age and in every place and culture." It requires that each person be respected as a child of God and taught to "know, love and serve God in this life and be happy with Him forever in the next." There are no supernatural outcomes posited in the Wichita Diocese statements; no salvation; no need for grace; no references to vocations; no call to holiness; no relationship to Jesus Christ; no sacraments; no confidence in the saving power of God. The specific Outcomes in the Diocesan Mission Statement are very limited indeed:
ENABLE Children to understand their responsibility to serve as dedicated Christian leaders and stewards
EXPECT children to demonstrate individual success, work to their potential, and become life-long learners.
In the Acceptance of Accountability shown right under the Mission Statement, there are twenty-four separate "interdisciplinary learning outcomes" listed. The first one states that to "achieve the purposes and goals of the mission statement," the students will "Practice Christian Values to continue the Ministry of the Church," but it is not clear just which Values they will practice nor that they will understand that the Ministry of the Church is directed to salvation, not to enabling people "to become productive citizens in a global society( fifth statement)," in the 21st century.
There are twenty-three statements after this one and it is not until the twentieth statement that there is a reference to prayer — and then it is only to prayer in the classroom — there are no references to the Mass, the Sacraments, to Jesus Christ; to vocations etc. The last statement claims that "Religion is not just a subject to be taught, but lived in our schools." It's not clear that it will truly be taught or lived based on what we have seen.
The Exit Outcomes of the Diocese of Wichita (Appendix F ) reveal the same absence of Catholic truth : no savior and no salvation; no supernatural goals; no grace, no prayer, no evangelization, no vocations, no Church; no specific knowledge of religious doctrine, subject matter or salvation history. They're all gone from this framework. Keep in mind that the Exit Outcomes in the QPA process announce the specific learning and behavior that all students must exhibit before they get out of school.
The only semi-Catholic reference is found in the first of the Exit-outcomes.
To accomplish the Mission, the instructional resources and support services of the Diocesan Schools will be allocated across the Curriculum to enable all students to demonstrate that they are:
Self-directed learners: who practice Catholic values to create a positive vision for themselves and their future, set priorities and achievable goals, create options for themselves, monitor and evaluate their progress and assume responsibility for their actions.
The "Catholic values" mentioned here do not seem to have any relationship whatsoever to truth, to holiness, the Gospel, the Church, The Commandments, virtue, etc., but only to the subjective need of the "self-directed learners" to have a "positive vision for themselves and their future." Catholic values have become a kind of self-esteem game that will make the learner feel more positive about life. This type of exercise fits only too well with the overall methodology of the QPA, but it is a travesty of Catholicism.
The four other Exit-Outcomes have no references to Catholicism as such but instead are totally compatible with the secular Kansas State Mission. The last Exit-Outcome refers to:
Community Stewards: who give their time, talent and treasure to improve the welfare of others and the quality of life in their parish, local and global communities
This idea is derived from Catholic belief but it is an extremely limited expression of Catholic stewardship — which should also involve giving our faith to others, that is, evangelization. As stated, the Exit-Outcome would be totally acceptable to the extreme environmentalists and the population controllers.
On the evidence, The Kansas QPA is a comprehensive educational restructuring based on philosophies, methodologies and technology which are antithetical to Catholicism and to the authentic mission of the Catholic Church. By involving the Catholic Diocese of Wichita in the QPA process, the Catholic school administrators have turned the Catholic schools into annexes of the public schools for all practical purposes. They have done this at time when the philosophy of the public schools in the United States is more uniformly opposed to Catholic truth than it has ever been. Public Schools are certainly more anti-Catholic today than they were in the 19th century when the Catholic bishops felt it was necessary for the salvation of souls to establish the Catholic school system.
The Catholic schools should be looking to their own authentic Catholic roots, identity and mission — and opposing the QPA on behalf of Catholic children and families and for the benefit of the whole society. This is the moment for Evangelization of our society not capitulation to some of its worst trends. Catholic parents have every reason to oppose this transformation of the Catholic schools into hostile public-style schools, indistinguishable in fact, from the public schools in most essential ways.
Buetow, Harold A., The Catholic School, Its Roots, Identity, and Future, p.139, Crossroad, New York, 1988.
Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, #3 in Flannery, O.P., Austin, Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, p. 729, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Mn., 1975.
John Paul II, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World (Familiaris Consortio), # 40.
Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom, #5 and #6 in Flannery, op.cit. supra,pp. 803-804.
United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, #26, 1948.
Op.cit., Buetow, p. 179: "Long ago the family was considered the sole agency responsible for education. Then the Church and even later, the State, became co-partners. Today, the Western world takes State participation in schooling and education for granted, even to the extent of according the State the major, if not sometimes the only, share of the `partnership.' Frequently people forget that it was once otherwise, and many people never question other possibilities."
Charter of the Rights of the Family, Presented by the Holy See to all persons, institutions and authorities concerned with the mission of the family in today's world; October 22, 1983. See also: Whitehead, Margaret M. and McGraw, Onalee, Foundations for Family Life Education, Educational Guidance Institute, Arlington, Va., 1991, Chapter 4.
Op.cit. Buetow, p.143.
Gutman, Amy, Democratic Education, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1987, p. 29.
Ibid., p. 39.
Op.cit., Buetow, Chapter 2.
Ellis, John Tracy, Documents of American Catholic History, The Bruce Publishing Co., Milwaukee,1956, p.418. Quoted from the Instruction of the Congregation of Propoganda de Fide Concerning Catholic Children Attending American Public Schools, November 24, 1875. This Instruction, plus the worsening anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S. toward the end of the 19th century, led to the emphatic declaration of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 that Catholic schools should be built in every parish and Catholic children should attend them.
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., 1967, p.1029. See also Declaration on Christian Education, # 8.
op.cit., Declaration on Christian Education, #8 in Flannery, Documents of Vatican Council II. See also Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1982, #16.
Sharing the Light of Faith, National Catechetical Directory for Catholics of the United States, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1977, #208.
Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1982, #16.
op.cit., Buetow, p. 274.
op.cit., Buetow, p. 278.
To Teach as Jesus Did, A Pastoral Message on Catholic Education, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972, #103.
0p.cit., Buetow, p. 17.
Origins, March 23, 1989, Vol. 18: No.41, p.684.
op.cit., Buetow, pp.50-66.
Realism accords to the objects of a person's knowledge an existence which is independent of the person thinking about them. (P.65)
Idealism's major positions area view of the contemporary scene `under the aspect of eternity', a theory of truth in which propositions must cohere with one another to form a harmonious whole, delight in dialectics, the centrality of mind, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil...Both Catholic schools and Idealism are concerned with the realization of the self in the context of a relationship with the Ultimate Being. (p. 66)
Theistic Existentialism, despite criticism, is consonant with Catholicism in such areas as revolt against dehumanizing technological applications to the person, abhorrence of movements against individuality, and opposition to the concept of the school as a factory. Catholicism shares with Theistic Existentialism a desire for individual freedom, personal authenticity, commitment, responsibility, the use of the humanities as a vehicle to present the problems of humankind, emphasis on personal conversion, the dramatic quality of the human condition, the greatness as well as the uniqueness of the person...(p. 66)
op.cit., Buetow, p. 29.
Op.cit., Origins, March 23, 1989, p. 685.
Skinner, B.F., Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, 1971. Reprinted in 1989.
Ibid., Skinner, pp. 214-215.
Ibid., Skinner, p. 5.
Op. cit., Origins, p. 686.
L'Osservatore Romano, March 27, 1989, p. 5: "The Holy Father's Letter to the Bishops of the United States: Our Task Is to Speak Always the Truth of Jesus Christ."
Letter to Dr. Sharon E. Freden, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Topeka, Kansas, March 27, 1991, from Sister Clarice on behalf of the Diocese of Wichita: "Attached is an application from the Catholic Diocese of Wichita requesting to be included in the Quality Performance Accreditation Pilot Program for the state of Kansas." See Appendix A.
"Pacesetters in Innovation, Cumulative Issue of All Projects in Operation as of February, 1969, Title III," U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Ronald Havelock, "Guide to Innovation in Education," developed under contract with U.S. Office of Education, 1970; Roy L. Davis, Chief, Community Program Development Branch, HEW, "New Models for Health Curriculum and Teacher Training," Health Services Report, Feb., 1973. A Department of Education memorandum from Dr. Donald Senese, Assistant Secretary of Education, OERI, Nov., 1989 estimated that 90% of all educational research is carried out by the Federal Government.
"America 2000, An Educational Strategy," U.S. Department of Education, 1991, p.8.
Ibid., pp. 11-24.
Lezotte, Lawrence, School Improvement Based on Effective Schools Research, September, 1989, pp.13-15: "Phase V: Alignment Beyond the Local School District...Finally, the effective schools movement has become an international movement in the true sense of the term...The international dimension begins to give a global perspective to the notion that we can organize schools that truly teach all children.."
Information on this Conference held on November 2, 1989, is on videotape.
Op.cit., Buetow, p. 155: "it is becoming more and more apparent that the cultural deprivation of children is almost as harmful as social and economic deprivation. Children who are culturally deprived do not learn readily, have difficulty with symbolic and abstract thought, and have a sparse pool of knowledge and experience upon which to draw during the maturation process." Also:
"The great power of a totalitarian system is that it doesn't just control armies and parties, it tries to control information and access to the past," according to Rudolph A. Pikhoia, director of the Russian state archives, as reported in The Washington Times, "Depth of Soviet repression comes to surface at archives," July 15, 1992.
Memorandum, Kansas Legislative Research Department: To: Special Committee on Children's Initiatives Re: Strategies for Implementing Targets for Children's Services. September 11, 1991.
"Facing the Future: A Blueprint for Kansas Children & Families;" a brochure printed by Kansas Action for Children, a statewide advocacy organization working to insure that the needs and rights of children in Kansas are met [which also] provide[s] a link between the public and the Special Committee on Children's Initiatives. Pages are not numbered but this quote comes from the first page.
Op.cit., Kansas Legislative Research Department Memorandum, 9-11-91, pp. 4&5.
This is accords with a federal initiative too. Legislation before the Congress authorizes money to be used for these programs: H.R. 520/S.551.
For example, Kentucky has an active grassroots organization which opposes that State's school restructuring plan: Parents and Professionals Involved in Education,Inc.(PPIE).
In Pennsylvania, a grassroots organization of more than 50,000 citizens, Citizens for Educational Excellence, is opposing their State's restructuring plan which is farther along than the Kansas plan. In Pennsylvania, in 1992, the State General Assembly passed a Resolution, #293, calling upon the State Officials to delay the "consideration and implementation" of the restructuring until " a thorough and complete investigation of the substance and process of these proposed regulations by a special legislative committee..."
Kamarck, Elaine Ciulla and Galston, William A.; "Putting Children First: A Progressive Family Policy for the 1990's." Progressive Policy Institute Study, 1990, Washington, D.C.
"A Design for Building Outcomes-Focused Curricula, A Resource for Kansas Educators," Kansas Board of Education, p. iii. Dr. Lee Droegemueller, the Commissioner of Education in Kansas, said very emphatically that: "QPA says we're going to change our schools according to the Effective Schools Model," in his Welcome Address at the 3rd. Annual Effective Schools Conference on April 30, 1992.
The Effective School Report, July, 1984; "Effective Schools for Results" by Dr. Robert E. Corrigan and Dr. George W. Bailey.
Ibid. See also School Improvement Based on Effective Schools Research by Lawrence W. Lezotte, September 1, 1989, p. 6.
Coleman, James S. and Hoffer, Thomas, Public and Private High Schools: The Impact of Communities, New York: Basic Books, 1987.
In Support of Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, Statement of the United States Catholic Bishops, USCC, November, 1990, p. 5.
Op.cit., The Effective School Report, July, 1984.
Learning and Instruction in Chicago Inner-City Schools, A Position Paper, Prepared for the Planning Staff of the Chicago Public Schools..by William W. Farquhar and Les S. Shulman, Michigan State University and Chicago Public Schools Committee: Evelyn Carlson, Associate Supt., Laura Ward, Chairman, Sophie Bloom et al., June, 1968.
In passing, it is interesting to note that the same comprehensive Mastery Learning Plan described above was implemented in Chicago inner city schools starting in 1968 . In the mid-1980's, after examining the Chicago Public Schools, Secretary of Education, William Bennett announced that things were so bad in the Chicago Public Schools that they had reached the point of "meltdown." Everyone agreed with him and so yet another major restructuring plan was initiated in Chicago.
Op.cit., The Effective School Report, July, 1984.
Sr. Clarice Faltus, Associate Superintendent of the Diocese of Wichita, in her letter of March 27, 1991 to Dr. Sharon Freden of the Kansas Board of Education states that Catholic teachers "will be attending an Outcomes-based Education Workshop given by Dr. William Spady in June, 1991."
The programs of the State sponsored Effective Schools Conferences list workshops on Mastery Learning,e.g., The Second Annual Effective Schools Conference, April 30-May 2, 1991, Workshop #203, "Outcomes Based Education/Mastery Learning — 'Putting It Into Action'"
Op.cit., The Effective School Reporter, July, 1984.
Op. cit., School Improvement Based on Effective Schools Research, 1989, p. 5.
Op.,cit., Design, p. 24.
Some examples from two of the major theorists: Goodlad, John, A Place Called School: New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1984: "Some advocates of mastery learning believe that differences in individual learning rates can be eliminated...virtually all students can be brought along a full grade per year by techniques involving peer assistance, diagnostic testing, corrective feedback and the like."(p.166)
Bloom, Benjamin, All Our Children Learning: New York, McGraw- Hill Book Company, 1981. Bloom believes that differences in learning occur as a result of errors in teaching or learning and thinks that if student error is systematically corrected at each stage, there will be little difference in final outcomes (p.213).
Geiger, Bernard, M., OFM, Immaculata Magazine, December, 1972, "PPBS — Blessing or Curse?" and "PPBS and Public Education" by Gail Dearborn, 1984, GEM Article.
March 3, 1992, Memo from Craig R. Shove, Team Leader, Outcomes Education Team, to QPA Pilot Schools and Interested Kansas Educators.
May 1, 1992 presentation at the Third Annual Effective Schools Conference, May 1, 1992, sponsored by Kansas State Board of Education, Approaching Effective Schools From a Quality Perspective. This presentation is based almost entirely on Demings' definitions and recommendations to achieve quality control in the manufacturing business.
This SCANS Report emphasizes those aspects of education which should prepare people to make a living: "Workplace Know-How." Interestingly the Jobs Analysis in Appendix D of this Report by businessmen and educators, which is supposed to tell how to prepare the workers of tomorrow to deal with the new age of information and technology focuses on what could only be considered Blue Collar jobs: Chefs, Front-desk clerk, Assistant Housekeepers, Bank Tellers, Truck Drivers etc., P. D-1. Do they really think that the entire education system has to be restructured to prepare students for these jobs? Is this the "real world" of the future?
Chesterton, G.K., The Everlasting Man; Image Books, New York, 1955; pp. 137-138.
A mother of a Virginia public school student in 6th grade related that her daughter usually ended up doing all of the work in her group but everyone got the same mark.
Goodlad, John, A Place Called School, Prospects for the Future, McGraw-Hill Book Company,New York,1984; p. 296.
Ibid., Goodlad, p. 296.
Learnball League International, P.O. Box 18221, Pleasant Hills, Pa, 15236.Used in the Andover, Kansas public schools.
Ibid., p. 71.
Ibid., p. 75.
Ibid., p. 75.
Ibid., p. 85.
Op.cit., A Design for Building Outcomes-Focused Curricula, p. 24.
Statement of Margaret Mead quoted in the Rationale for the Global Education Program for Peace and Universal Responsibility,1990.
Muller, Robert, World Core Curriculum Manual, p.7. See also p. 2, Item 2 and item 7. On page 12, Muller puts a gnostic interpretation on the Book of Genesis to bring out our "Godlike" ability to develop these new codes even more clearly: "Fourthly as described in the story of the Tree of Knowledge, having decided to become like God through knowledge and our attempt to understand the heavens and the earth, we have also become masters in deciding between good and bad..."
Ibid., P. 46 and quoted from page 1 of Education in the New Age, by Alice Bailey, well-known theosophist and occultist.
Ibid., p. 1.
Ibid., p. 13. See also the "Declaration of Human Responsibilities for Peace and Sustainable Development," developed at a Conference in Search of the True Meaning of Peace, June, 1989, Costa Rica, and presented to the United Nations General Assembly as an official document: "Given that all forms of life are unique and essential, that all human beings have the right to development and that both peace and violence are the product of the human mind, it is from the human mind that a sense of responsibility to act and think in a peaceful manned will develop. Through peace-oriented awareness, individuals will understand the nature of those conditions which are necessary for their well-being and development (Chapter IV, Art. 9; Emphasis added).
Op.cit., Muller, World Core Curriculum Manual, p. 24.
Ibid., p. 12.
Dr. Robert Muller has called himself a Catholic, notably in his address to the NCEA in 1985, but he also makes clear that his appreciation of Catholicism is based on its universality and social services, not upon its doctrine. Dr. Muller indicated in his talk that all religions had something positive to contribute to global understanding and most of his insights seem to come from the Eastern religions. He stressed the oneness of all being in this NCEA talk, "Do not make a distinction between science, material knowledge and spirituality. This is all spirituality",and in his World Core Curriculum, he uses occult and Eastern resources and concepts throughout.
Feder, Don, "The Growing Paganism of the Environmental Movement," column carried in the June 27, 1992 issue of Human Events.
Dr. Hershey did not describe the game on the workshop video but it was described, as it was taught at another workshop, in the Lamplighter Newsletter, as a plastic sheet that could be spread out on the floor. A huge earth occupied the center, and he held velcro pieces of elements and people in his hand. The teachers were to place the sun on the spread sheet and ask the children, "Can mother[earth] live without the sun?" The correct answer being no, the sun would stay. Then he would place a cloud on the sheet, "Can mother live without air?" No being the correct answer, the cloud remained. Then water in the form of a wave, "Can mother live without water?" Of course not. Then came the faces of the children on a velcro add-on. "Can mother live without children?" Yes is the correct answer, so the children are removed from the earth. His comment was that teachers should expect small children to be very disturbed at being removed from the earth. They might even cry and demand to be put back. In that case, the teacher should explain that mother earth is a self generating mother and that she can generate herself at will, and that if indeed we are just a part of her, she can bring us back anytime. In fact, if the time is bad, and she is overcrowded, then the children should not (especially if they have taken an earth pledge) see going away as anything but noble and honorable at this time, for they can come back in this teaching.
Vatican Position Paper, Earth Summit: Environment, Development and Population, prepared for the June 3-14, 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Printed in Origins, June 11, 1992,pp. 70-72.
Op.cit., Design, p. 20.
Op.cit., "A Design for Building Outcomes-Focused Curricula, A Resource for Kansas Educators," January 1992; p. 7.
"Kansas Quality Performance Accreditation", Kansas State Board of Education, March 12, 1991, p. 2.
Ibid., p. Iv.
Ravitch, Diane, The Troubled Crusade, American Education 1945-1980; Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1983; pp. 45- 46.
Ibid., pp. 47-48.
Ibid., pp. 48-49.
Ibid., pp. 49-50.
Letter to Mary Jo Heiland, dated April 7, 1992.
Op.cit., "Design for Building Outcomes-based Curricula," p. 2: See also pp. 11, 13, 15, 19 in the "Design" document where directions for developing local outcomes all contain directives on including state concepts, e.g.,: "A. Review the state and district mission statements, the state outcomes, and the district exit and program outcomes to identify key ideas, concepts, processes and issues," p. 19.
Op.cit., Lezotte, School Improvement Based on Effective Schools Research, p.10.
Op.cit., Origins, March 23, 1989, p. 685.
Ibid., Origins, March 23, 1989, p. 685.
Sr. Clarice is heard on an audiotape made at the NCEA Conference.
Ibid., Ravitch, pp.53-54.
Op.cit., Building a School Profile, p. 15.
Assessment!, Assessment!, Assessment!, Kansas Quality
Performance Accreditation(QPA); Kansas State Board of Education, Topeka, Ks., January, 1992., pp. A-1, A-3.
Ibid., p. A-3.
Ibid., p. A-1.
Ibid., p. A-5.
Op. cit., A Design for Building Outcomes-Focused Curricula, p. Iii.
Ibid., p. Iii.
Op.cit., Assessment!, Assessment!, Assessment!, A-1.
Sizer, Theodore, Horace's School, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 1992:
A parent: "You mean to say that the students will do better if you cover fewer things?" "Yes. Precisely," said the mathematics teacher..."We must give the basic tools, the basic ideas, and show how these ideas were derived and can be used. We must get the students into the habit of such use and into the habit of learning on their own-by means of this use...If we do this, we'll wean them from us, from textbooks, from the list of facts that we give them...(p. 76).
Ibid., Assessment etc., A-2.
Ibid., p. B-2.
Ibid., pp. C-1 & 2.
Ibid., pp. C-2 & 3.
Ibid., p. C-3.
Ibid., p. C-4.
The Washington Post, May 18, 1992, Subtracting Multiple Choice From Tests,"But Michael H. Kean, vice-president in charge of public and governmental affairs for the CTB MacMillan/McGraw-Hill, the largest publisher of the current standardized tests, said he believes the country is unwisely latching onto a testing system as a panacea to fix bad schooling...Theodore R. Sizer, professor of education at Brown University and chairman of the group, Coalition of Essential Schools [said] 'But I think it is exceedingly unwise to make them into a national [or state] set of standards. Who sets the standards and by what right do they do it?...The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, in a February report, also advised applying brakes to the momentum 'building rapidly' for the new national [state] tests. Among the questions raised" Will grading standards be clear? What happens to students who don't test well? Is this the best use of money for education?"
The Washington Post, May 22, 1992, "Teachers Give New Md. Test Failing Grade," "The union that represents Maryland teachers called on state education officials today to discard the results of a new test[ the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program] taken by nearly 170,000 public school students this month, saying the test was riddled with flaws...it contains questions they think are too sophisticated for a particular grade level and material they consider to be offensive." (Appendix D)
Workshop Title: "Monitoring Student Progress Using Direct and Continuous Measurement Systems", given May 1, 1992.
The "J" Curve is the opposite of the Bell Curve which assumes that talents and intellectual ability are distributed over a scale with the majority of the people having adequate talents and intellectual ability; a few being deficient in talents and intellect; and a few having a superabundance of talents and intellectual ability.
See footnote #57.
Coles, Robert: "The ability to attend to the mysteries of life, to confess ignorance or partial understanding, is not part of the present system of education. To the contrary, the curriculum supposes that all problems are solvable, and that view undoubtedly contributes to despair and cynicism when students find out that it is not true...leaves them helpless to understand the powerful forces at work in the world — and in themselves." (quoted in "The Values Vacuum" by Harriet Tyson-Bernstein, in American Educator, Fall, 1987.
Op.cit., To Teach as Jesus Did, #103.
Op.cit., See footnote # 31.