Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Educstion Became a Weapon, Robin Eubanks
my review in Amazon.com & Amazon.ca
We Must Comprehend The Title’s Meaning
It’s much easier to describe, “licensed to kill”, than it is to explain this title — Credentialed to Destroy. But, there is a story that explains both title and general theme of the book.
Here is the story: A Math PhD was hired as an administrator and there was relief and belief that with this person at the helm, math scores would go up. They didn’t. The school board failed to take into account the specialization. The dissertation was on Equity Pedagogy — declaring traditional mathematics to be a form of social oppression. The “expert” was intent on moving the coursework “away” from the transmission of math knowledge, skills, and practices.
Critical Theory and Equity Studies are common in teacher training and it is not uncommon to integrate these concepts with a school subject as math or literacy. Often these graduates bring a tacit agenda with them when hired into the school system and will often gravitate to “social justice” or “social responsibility” themes in curriculum committees or school practice.
This story comes from pg 34 of the book “Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon by Robin Eubanks. The book takes on the “intended transformation” of public schools through Common Core Initiatives or other 21st Century Learning efforts. The PhD story explains the title — credentialed to destroy. The incremental dumbing-down in schools these past decades is charted and researched in this book.
The author is a lawyer. She carefully builds her case and brings forth persuasive exhibits.
Chapter 1 names key thought leaders of 200 years — Marx, Dewey, Vygotsky, etc. — who have envisioned education as a political weapon and tool to bring forth a collectivist worldview.
Chapter 2 takes on the reading wars and explains the intention not to teach reading and why.
Chapter 3 deals with math and science wars and how the analytical thinker is a threat to constructing a new worldview.
Chapter 4 deals with “competency” as a term and a notion that is to be embedded in the narratives and curriculum and meant to push aside our insistence on skills (3Rs) and knowledge.
Social engineering of a sophisticated nature is to be used to change minds, beliefs and feelings. Social emotional learning (SEL) is to become a measurable “competency”. To what end? Why, to develop “citizens” who will be in sync with 21st Century global needs! Creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration are the 4 Cs to emphasize.
Eubanks sees these contrived “transformations” as seriously jeopardizing prosperity. She has researched these education initiatives far and wide and searched UN documents and many sources. I can say right now that in British Columbia this “transformation” is well on it’s way, without real public understanding, with educators amateurishly cutting-and-pasting from international documents, and with core competencies becoming a fixture.
Eubanks suggests no solutions or approaches but carefully builds our awareness. Will we be in time to prevent wholesale serfdom and self-subversion? Exit and Escape may be the only alternative.