In 1982, Special Advisor to the Department of Education’s Office of Research and Improvement, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, blew the whistle on Project BEST (Better Education Skills through Technology). A sub-project of President Ronald Reagan’s Private Sector Initiative, Project BEST was a plan to corporatize the American education system through public-private partnerships with Big Tech companies which replace human teachers with Skinnerian “teaching machines” programmed with psychological conditioning algorithms that train students for workforce placement in a planned economy.
Now, almost fifty years later, the next phase of Project BEST is being rammed through under the duress of COVID-19 lockdown, which has forced the entire US education system to shut down brick-and-mortar classrooms with human teachers in order to convert to virtual schools that deliver online instruction through “adaptive learning” software (the modern digitalized version of the “Skinner box” teaching computers engineered for Project BEST) and “socio-emotional learning (SEL)” biofeedback wearables (devices that data-mine students’ “stimulus-response” biometrics to implement Skinnerian operant-conditioning).
While teachers and students are held virtual hostage during COVID lockdown, “Disaster Capitalists” are using the “Shock Doctrine” of “Creative Destruction” to exploit the crisis by deregulating the new federal rules for “Distance Learning and Innovation” (85 FR 18638), which relax the oversight requirements for “adaptive learning” systems of “artificial intelligence,” such as Knewton and Clever, which are both funded by Bilderberger Peter Thiel: the speech writer for former US Secretary of Education Bill Bennet, who was in charge of Project BEST. At the same time, emergency COVID funds are being dished out by the current Secretary of Ed, Betsy DeVos, as the Department of Ed is paying out federal CARES Act aid to finance school districts in their efforts to “upgrade” their “technology infrastructure” with adaptive-learning AI and SEL data-mining that can be facilitated through virtual charter-schooling corporations, such as K12 Inc., which was set up by Bennett and funded by DeVos.
Fueled by this windfall of CARES stimulus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on May 5th his emergency COVID plans to “Build Back Better” through a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bilderberger Eric Schmidt, who is “Technical Advisor” of Alphabet Inc., which is Google’s parent company. This partnership between the State of New York, the Technical Advisor of Google’s parent company, and the Gates Foundation is called “Reimagine Education”: the same subtitle that Secretary DeVos has given to a special CARES competition called “Reimagine Workforce Preparation.”
After much public backlash following Cuomo’s announcement to “Reimagine Education,” the corporate media has published no further reports detailing any specifics of this public-private educational partnership between New York, the Gates Foundation, and Alphabet’s CEO. But a review of the Gates Foundation’s educational grants over the months during COVID lockdown indicate that New York’s “Reimagine” partnership will “Build Back Better” by implementing Big Data platforms that aggregate adaptive-learning algorithms and SEL biometrics from the entire student body in order to track such cognitive-behavioral and socioemotional data for the purposes of prescribing students into workforce job castes through virtual “career pathways” curriculums regimented by a technocratically planned economy.
Reimagine “Surveillance Capitalism” with InnovateEDU and Google Classroom
Looking into grantees in the Gates Foundation’s “Grants” database, it appears that Gates contracts with the New York non-profit InnovateEDU, which partners with Google, are a key pillar of the Reimagine Education revolution being pushed by Gates, Cuomo, and Schmidt. In the months of April and May during COVID lockdown, the Gates Foundation paid out two grants to the New York-based InnovateEDU, which has recently developed a “Data Extraction Tool for Google Classroom During COVID-19.” By aggregating all student and teacher data collected through “Google Classroom Connector,” InnovateEDU’s “Data Extraction Tool” links up with Google’s “BigQuery” in order to centralize and streamline data-mining of student-learning metrics, including cognitive-behavioral and socio-emotional algorithms, which can track students into career-pathways programmed to fill job quotas in a planned economy….