Welcoming the Next-Gen Ed Overlords

Dr. Stephen Krashen, professor of linguistics and education at the University of Southern California, recently wrote the following:

Remember the Simpsons, 1994, “Deep Space Homer”? A radio announcer erroneously thinks the Earth is going to be taken over by giant space ants and says: “One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords.1 I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.”

All the major teaching organizations embraced the NCLB overlords. It is now widely agreed that NCLB was unsuccessful.   All the major teaching organizations embraced the common core overlords. It is now widely agreed that common core was unsuccessful.  Now that this has been made obvious, the insect masters are pushing competency-based education.

Competency-based education lacks hard empirical support, will cost billions, promises to lead to more testing than ever, reduces the classroom to little more than programmed online instruction, and threatens to drastically reduce the need for teachers.

Are the organizations getting ready to welcome the new competency-based education overlords?

Will the leaders of the teaching organizations soon cheerfully declare themselves eager to participate in the destruction of the teaching profession and round up students to toil in front of computer screens, working through unvalidated and often untested programs designed by employees of testing companies?

Now, personally, I have trouble discerning the difference between the overlords and those simply welcoming them, but to help answer Dr. Krashen’s questions, I’ll leave you with the following:

Here is the cover page of a document produced by a think-tank called “Convergence”:

Screen shot 2016-03-17 at 6.01.31 PM.png


And here’s who helped fund this initiative:



Here’s what they’re planning for us:

Screen shot 2016-03-17 at 6.08.21 PM

Including, of course, the use of technology to “embed assessment seamlessly into learning, help provide adaptable and personalized learning pathways, and enabling coordination among networks of learners and adults.”

And here’s who signed off on the “vision”:

Screen shot 2016-03-17 at 6.10.05 PM.png

Yes, those are the two major teachers’ union presidents you see up there, and here’s what KnowledgeWorks (see Judy Pepper in upper right hand corner) thinks the future of teaching should look like: Screen shot 2016-03-06 at 3.45.26 PM

Now, how to stop them from rounding up others to toil in the underground CBE sugar caves… ?



Author: Emily Talmage

My name is Emily Talmage and I teach fourth grade at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. In addition to teaching in Lewiston, I have also taught special education and general education in New York City, including one year at a “high-performing” charter school in Brooklyn. I also have two master’s degrees; one in Urban Education from Mercy College, and another in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have also worked as a research analyst and assistant at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia and Oldham Innovative Research in Portland.

4 thoughts on “Welcoming the Next-Gen Ed Overlords”

  1. Randi/Lily of NEA/AFT are lifetime members of the Democratic Party establishment so they sign on to whatever the corporate Dems and Hillary want to push. Removing these two fakes and installing real labor leaders is absolutely crucial if teachers are to save not only their teaching profession but also the learning future of their students.


  2. I’m really surprised by John Jackson of the Schott Foundation and Peter McWalters, former Commissioner of Ed in RI (pre-Broad trained Gist and our current Commish Wagner, recently of NYDOE). Do they just swallow the glowing rhetoric and not look under the hood?


  3. It just occurred to me how ironic it is that David Coleman infamously said, as the rationale for his misbegotten CC$$ ELA standards: When you are in the adult world, no one gives a shit what you think or feel. It turns out that the megalith of corporate/elite/technology and data obsessed school manipulators do care very much about what children think and feel. They are collecting massive amounts of continuous data to ferret out what children supposedly think and feel, on all the hand-held wifi devices that will be delivering “instruction” more and more until classrooms resemble call centers. Why on earth is there a need for all of this data? The assurances of data security are preposterous. Even sensitive government agencies have been hacked. How can any sane and sober human being go along with this twisted agenda? How can the edtech overseers not realize that a dedicated, thoughtful, and perceptive human teacher can gauge a students’ thoughts and feelings better than any computer algorithm, and that the human relationship between teacher and student is the key to student engagement, rather than the bells and whistles of mesmerizing gadgets?


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