Finney: Systems Education Defined

Many Americans are coming out in opposition to Common Core. I applaud that. But I have to wonder how many understand that Common Core is nothing more than the move from state standards to the standardization of exit outcomes, nationwide?

In every state, the exit outcomes, as measured by the assessment, runs the show. Everything that occurs, in the classroom, is aligned to the exit outcomes.

An assessment is not a standardized test. A standardized test can be norm-referenced; an assessment cannot be. A standardized test focuses on right answers; an assessment focuses on wanted behaviors with the right answer secondary to that. A standardized test has one right answer; an assessment is scored on a rubric with points given according to a list of best to worst answer; the best answer being that the student displays the wanted behavior; the worse answer being that the student does not display the wanted behavior at all.

It doesn’t really matter whether we are talking about Common Core or the State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs), the focus is still the same. Both Common Core and the EALRs are part and parcel of systems education, implemented in Washington State under ESHB1209, laws of 1993, and peripheral laws. The generic term for both is exit outcomes. What Washington state established, under this law, had to align with the national Goals 2000 and SCANs Competencies, setting the stage for national standards (or exit outcomes) that came by way of the NGA, Achieve, and finally, Common Core.

It has been the intent, under the laws transforming education, that exit outcomes be standardized, nationwide. With the standardization of exit outcomes came the standardization of the assessment tool being used to determine whether the child is demonstrating the wanted behaviors as a result of his/her “educational” experience, also known as SBAC or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. SBAC is the Common Core assessment tool.

Demonstrating the wanted behaviors has nothing to do with academics. As made clear by proponents of systems education, the system does not want a Naïve Nancy (the child with Christian values) or a Selfish Sam (knowledge-based intelligence), the system wants a Fairminded Fran (the global citizen who practices situational ethics). Changing the child’s belief system is paramount. This is made perfectly clear in books written by advocates for systems education. The process of turning Naïve Nancy and Self Sam into Fairminded Fran also has a name; advocates call it critical thinking. It is anything but. To think critically and analytically, one must first be able to think for oneself, know how to gather information from diverse sources and apply logic to determine accuracy and truthfulness. Systems education does not encourage children to think critically and analytically, systems education teaches children what to think, not how to think.

The focus of the classroom is no longer reading, writing and arithmetic, the focus of the classroom is unit themes or thematic units that fall in four areas: 1) world economy; 2) world ecology; 3) world security; and 4) world population growth. Collectively, these four define social and life-related issues. When parents see worksheets coming home, from school, that deal with such topics as deforestation of the Amazon; the shrinking glaciers; promoting every religion but Christianity; starving populations; welcoming refugees and illegal aliens into the U.S.; gay, lesbian and transgender issues; women as second class citizens; blacks as victims of white privilege, etc, this is why. This is what is considered real-life or life-role education. If the child needs to know that 2+2=4, in the teaching of a unit theme or thematic union, it will be taught; otherwise, it won’t. Academics are only taught as they are used and applied in addressing social and life-related issues in the classroom.

Unfortunately, the majority of parents have no concept this is going on until the odd worksheet comes home from school, unintentionally, and the parents’ eyebrows get raised. In one instance I was contacted by a parent whose daughter came home very upset because she had written about what God meant to her. The teacher told the child she couldn’t write about that as it might be offensive to another student. The child was told that she had to change the word “God”, signifying the one true God in which she believed, to “god”, or the universal god denoting every religion. If an issue is made of it, parents are usually assured that it’s an anomaly, out of the norm. Such, however, is not the case. You can go on any school website and find links to groups promoting radical environmentalism; gay, lesbian and transgender orientation; one-world religion and one-world government. Parents opine the lack of teaching of civics and government, of American History, of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This is not by happenstance, it’s deliberate even though parents are told otherwise. As one Washington State official put it, some years ago, “Kids should be taught to think global, act local.” The implication of this is a little hard to miss.

As one business owner stated, some years ago, these kids graduating high school are not shy to tell you how they feel about any issue; unfortunately, they have no clue how ignorant they are.

I received an e-mail from one of these kids, a few years back. I was appalled at the lack of sentence structure, lack of punctuation, lack of ability to articulate thoughts in a cohesive manner to make the missive understandable in context. There were no commas, no capitals, no periods. The missive was simply run-on verbiage. It was appalling. This individual was a public school graduate. He was quite proud of his missive. He had no clue how ignorant he was because he believed everything he was being taught (subjected to) in the public school classroom.

There is a religion behind all of this; it’s called humanism – the belief that no deity will save us, we must save ourselves. That can only happen, the proponents believe, if systems are leveraged to keep them in balance. Al Gore’s book, Earth in Balance, is a great source of what proponents believe. Marilyn Ferguson’s book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, is another such book.

Systems philosophy or thinking, which under girds system education says, simply, that the world is a system of subsystems (also called systems), all interconnected and interdependent to form a wholistic or holistic system; that within any system is an infrastructure that is analogous (the same) across systems, irrespective of physical appearance.

Then we have the Gaia Hypothesis, which runs parallel to systems philosophy or thinking; the Gaia Hypothesis states that the world is a living, breathing organism, irreducible to its parts; that what affects one part, affects all parts; that in the name of saving spaceship Earth, we must change our society. The Gaia Hypothesis also finds basis in a religion; it’s called New Age. The New Age religion is nothing more than humanism with an occult spiritual dimension incorporated. A book, very revealing about the New Age religion, is The Light Shall Set You Free by Shirley McCune, an associate of Dr Terry Bergeson, former OSPI, Washington State. McCune became a Washington State employee under Bergeson. New Age is heavily infused in systems thinking, practiced by many whose writings are finding their way into classrooms nationwide.

All of the transformation we are seeing in our nation, whether in governance structure, or in a subsystem such as fire fighting or education, is intended to align with the world or global system. Ervin Lazslo wrote a book, published in 1972, that explains systems transformation. The book is titled, A Strategy for the Future: The Systems Approach to World Order.

It is not just fighting Common Core, it is fighting the whole concept. That cannot be done unless you know what you are dealing with. And most do not. What most people do not understand is that systems thinking also under girded the former U.S.S.R., Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini. Each of these tyrannies imploded because they were unable to effectively gather and analyze data to leverage the systems. With the advent of nanotechnology, bigger and faster computers, systems theorists now believe they have the means to leverage systems.

Cut out the CORE

This is why there has been and is such a push to gather information on people and systems, from birth to death: medical records, court records, legal records, tax records, bank records, school records, education records; you name it, the government wants it.

This is also the weakest link. If enough people do not provide information, systems cannot be properly leveraged, they will, given time, implode, just as the U.S.S.R. imploded. In unpublished papers, Barbara Marx Hubbard, World Futurist, stated that radical atoms (ie, people who dissent, refuse to participate, are patriots) must be exterminated in the greater good of the collective whole.

Our government (or public) schools are not educating children for intelligence. Our government schools are brainwashing children to believe they must subjugate for the common good; they must agree to live under tyranny for their own good in saving “spaceship earth”, they must be willing to work for minimal compensation for the greater good of the collective whole.

And it is going on right under the noses of parents, legislators, and taxpayers who believe assessments are standardized tests, that academics are still the focus of the classroom, that freedom, liberty and justice are alive and well.

© January 2016 – Lynn M Finney – All Rights Reserved.

Systems-Education-Defined (pdf)

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Submitted for publication to Kettle Moraine, Ltd. Publications by the author and originally published on February 2, 2016.

~ About the Author ~
Lynn M. Finney: Activist and researcher, has spent over two decades researching systems theory and systems philosophy with a particular emphasis on education as it pertains to achieving the sustainable global environment. She home schooled two daughters. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance, the sustainable global environment and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and a growing body of citizens concerned about the transformation of our nation from a Constitutional Republic to a participatory democracy. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Email her at