Beverly K. Eakman is an American educator and writer who co-founded the National Education Consortium in 1994. For nine years she was a high school teacher of English, literature, and debate. From 1974 until 1979 she was editor-in-chief, science editor and technical writer for the official newspaper of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She has also been chief speech writer for the National Council for Better Education, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, the Commission on the Bicentennial of the US Constitution, Voice of America, and a writer-editor for the US Department of Justice.

Her articles have been published in the New American, Education Week,  Chronicles: A Magazine of the American Culture, The Washington Times, Insight on the News, National Review, Crisis Magazine, Vital Speeches of the Day, and the Washington Post.

News With Views published her speech delivered to the 9th Annual Freedom 21 Conference, Dallas, Texas, July 26, 2008 as their speech of the month in the December 2008 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day. You can read the entire speech here.

What Eakman spoke about then are issues that we are still concerned about today, with data gathering and a shift in the focus of public education from providing content knowledge to indoctrinating and assessing for proper uniform thought. She made the case that  what was already in full swing in 2008, had been happening to education since the 1980’s and had been a liberal goal since the 1930’s. Her speech, now seven years old, could be delivered today with a few more “real world” examples added to demonstrate the accuracy of her predictions, but with little other content changes.

“Most hot-button topics of the day—from global warming to globalization—are first tested in the educational marketplace by psychologists using predictive computer technologies. Disinformation is thriving in the nation’s classrooms. Today, I will present proof-positive that schools were used as the prototype for data-mining throughout the entire U.S. population. I will show you how government helps ensure—and enforce— the radical changes of ideals and attitudes and thus bring about a universal code of thought that others, including myself in past years, have alluded to. I am going to show you how unique ID numbers are assigned to each child, ostensibly by the state, but under the auspices of a federal mandate; how each state pretends to craft its own ID procedures, then transmits to the federal government for cross-matching with other federal data. You are going to see hard evidence that educrats, who are not even supposed to mention religion, are applying nitty-gritty labels like ‘Nazarene’ and ‘Calvinist’ to schoolchildren, then categorizing any firm religious belief as ‘mental illness.’ You will see documentation of secret videotapes showing in ‘approved’ day care/pre-school settings— which apparently is why government is so hot to get every kid into a state-approved ‘early childhood program.’ You will also see that data is collected from mothers’ records, beginning in their pregnancies.”

Interested in learning more?

“The late columnist and author, Dr. Samuel Francis, nailed today’s version of the strategy when he coined the term ‘anarcho-tyranny.’ Anarcho-tyranny is a campaign of planting deliberately mixed messages, coupled with the imposition of increasingly petty restrictions and intrusive, oppressive ‘gotcha’-type mandates that curtail the everyday activities of law-abiding citizens while permitting violent criminals, roving gangs, illegal aliens and drug-runners to essentially run amok—always out on probation; always getting “credit” for good conduct in prison; always miraculously “cured” by mental-health professionals; always awash in government freebies, compliments of the U.S. taxpayer—unless, of course, it’s a policeman or Hollywood celebrity who’s the victim. Last June’s Supreme Court decision taking the death penalty off the table for child torture-rapists is typical of this sort of thinking.

Eventually, the public becomes cynical; local law enforcement is demoralized. Local police become paralyzed in their attempts to carry out their proper role of public safety and, instead, resort to what Dr. Francis calls ‘purely fictitious functions that will raise revenue,’ as per the headline: Washington Times – PG County takes on cluttered lawns and/or Washington Times – PG County takes on cluttered lawns (both July 2, 2008)]. This, of course, enhances the power of…bureaucrats, ‘foster[ing] the illusion that the state is doing its job,’ as Dr. Francis put it. Think speed bumps; surveillance cameras; leash-laws to snag an easy $500; click-it-or-ticket stops; bicycle-helmet fines; ever-increasing auto inspections; complicated recycling rules; and even consent forms for youngsters to fill out (as in the State of Vermont), authorizing their own parents to peruse their library records; arbitrary, unwarranted drug tests at $300 a pop at many doctor’s offices; and random strip searches by school officials looking for aspirin.”

Francis was a speaker, columnist, and controversial figure. His comments have been taken as realist or racist by different audiences. But haven’t we seen a rise in the very things he mentioned? In today’s PC world, aren’t our police crippled into inaction and demoralized in doing their jobs? How did we end up with people like Quentin Tarrantino and those who follow him?

Eakman says they all went through our school system which has been working on creating citizens who focus on emotions, equity, and their cousins diversity sensitivity and racism. She is not shy about sharing her perspective on what is going on.

“See our schools turn out little socialists year after year. Watch them compete for pet liberal ’causes.’ Observe the National Education Association, its state chapters and spin-offs, lobbying for decades while illegally retaining a tax-exempt status. Watch patriotism, the Bible and ROTC spin down the proverbial toilet.

See how the school curriculum is watered down along with the tests. Notice how steeped they are in psychological queries. Read the new school codes, like Michigan’s, which specifies that only those who have ‘earned doctorates in psychology…are qualified to interpret tests.’ Say what? If the ‘tests’ weren’t covert mental health surveys, would such a caveat be necessary?

So now, a liberal education establishment can assess and predict just how much of its leftist message, embedded in curriculum, will be sopped up by the pupils. Great!…

No wonder today’s schools revolve around psychology and emotionalism: ‘survival and coping skills,’ ‘anger management,’ ‘conflict resolution,’ ‘self- esteem,’ ‘diversity,’ and, of course, personal popularity (under the cover of teamwork).”

The roots of this ideology come from Communism and Fascism, topics we really don’t teach any more because all that supposedly died in the 1980’s when the Soviet Union fell and the Berlin wall came down. Putin seems determined to prove that the Soviet Union merely stumbled back then. The ideology behind the Russian government was not fully discredited and never fully dismantled. Eakman reminds us,

“We forget that Communism and Fascism were, and still are, a faith with its own doctrinal ‘sins.’ Communism was dedicated to the systematic destruction of social classes and the isolation of dissidents and mavericks. In America today, we increasingly hear statements about ‘leveling the playing field’ and ‘equality of outcomes.’ Well, this ‘playing field’ means ‘equity,’ and equity equates to decimating the middle class, now in progress. The coming generation is the first that, for the most part, will not be better off than their parents, will not be ‘upwardly mobile.’”

What is aiding this indoctrination is the pervasive technology available today that was not present back in the 1980’s.

But this tactic was on the drawing board back in 1984, when Dustin Heuston of the World Institute for Computer-Assisted Technology declared: ‘We’ve been absolutely staggered by realizing that the computer has the capability to act as if it were 10 of the top psychologists working with one student. Won’t it be wonderful when…no one can get between that child and that curriculum?‘”

How much of your child’s curriculum is currently on-line? Have you seen it? Could you if you asked? If you found psychological manipulation in it, would you be able to stop your child from using it, without having to resort to taking your child out of public school?

“Today, schools have a mechanism that allows the education establishment to track your child’s emerging attitudes and beliefs; in other words, to ascertain just how much of the malarkey being dished out in the classroom is being absorbed by the student. If the answer is, not enough, then a child’s electronic portfolio is ‘flagged.’ When that child starts applying to colleges, administrators see the flag and either turn down the application on some pretense, or they accept the applicant, then discourage him from a degree program that might lead to leadership and influence…

Once computerization became truly practical, marketing agencies started hiring statisticians with concurrent degrees in psychology. Marketing moguls have long known that the best predictor of what consumers might buy tomorrow was whatever they bought yesterday—your ‘purchase history.’ In the late 1970s, political experts realized that the same could be said for what a person believes.

Thus predictive tracking became part of the education landscape. This requires a lot of data. High on teachers’ complaint list today is the amount of data they are asked to track on each individual student. Education suppliers are happy to provide products and services to facilitate that job function and can use digital education platforms to collect the data for us. The ideologues created the need and the tech industry was happy to fill it.

Peg With Pen said the President’s recent apparent softening on the use of standardized tests is merely a sign that this other data collecting infrastructure is now in place which makes the year end assessment unnecessary. We now have the ability to collect student data on an almost daily basis.

“And now, they [the administration] simply have commiserated with the masses and said we need to reduce testing and make sure the testing that occurs is meaningful and does not take away from classroom instruction. This is accomplished so easily. It’s called online daily computer based testing. Followed by online daily computer based instruction. Call it mastery testing. Competency based testing. Proficiency testing. Whatever you like. It will begin to fall in place very quickly as states move away from the hated interim testing and massive amounts of end of year testing. There will be less need for these large tests with quick, tidy, END OF DAY testing TIED TO STUDENT GRADES and STUDENT PROMOTION to the next grade/digital badge – whatever it may be – and of course testing which tells the teacher what the next day’s online instruction must be. It’s already happening. And now the federal gov’t. is simply nudging it into the states’ hands with a resounding message of support, an apology for overstepping their boundaries and a few bucks along the way to make it happen.”

Eakman tries to address how, in a country that is majority conservative, we still have these liberal ideas imbedded in our school system.

Understanding these sleights-of-hand is critical if one expects to come to grips with the socialist footprint now being stamped on America’s religious, journalistic and educational institutions. Terms like ‘best practices’ and ‘public-private partnerships’ are codes for, in essence, bypassing citizens and state’s rights. Again, conservatives missed it…

The reigns are being taken away from the local decision makers and placed in the hands, not of our elected representatives, but of the bureaucracies they created when they abdicated their responsibility to govern. Eakman spent 13 years working in the federal government and this is what she learned about those bureaucrats.

“As a civil servant, I learned three lessons about government;

  • It takes longer to do things quickly;
  • It’s more expensive to do things cheaply; and
  • It’s more democratic to do things covertly.

The reason education reform policies fail is that career civil servants stay on through umpteen administrations. They are not paid to care if their boss’s policy is wrong. They’re paid to carry out the policy. The goals of bureaucrats and the goals of elected officials simply don’t mesh. Bureaucracies work to increase staffs and budgets, aggressively soliciting new tasks, and jealously guarding old ones, until today we have this monstrous behemoth that is out of control. Child “protection” agencies, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Education Department are just seven agencies infamous for bureaucratic overkill and obfuscation. Each is assigned quotas of one kind or another in order to loosen the purse strings of Congress and curry favor with special interests.”

 Eakman provides charts and screen shots to support her statements. There are those who will call her conspiratorial, but she joins the ranks of people like Charlotte Iserbyt and John Gatto who followed the tracks they saw in the past and drew them into the future with remarkable accuracy. When viewed through this lens, it is easy to see the proposed ESEA rewrites (HR5 and S1177) as merely a creative trimming around the edges of the existing programs and power of the bureaucracies rather than a true return to the governance structure originally handed to us.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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