It’s helpful to examine what the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is funding in a given locality. Such an examination provides a small cross-section, with very concrete examples, of where its progressive, political advocacy is headed.
In the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, CCHD grants, totaling $691,000 have been awarded to 5 organizations over the past 5 years. Two of those are Albuqueruqe Interfaith – an affiliate of the Alinskyian organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation – and Partnership for Community Action. Between 2010-2015, Albuquerque Interfaith was awarded a total of $155,000 for 4 grants in the areas of education and economic justice and Partnership for Community Action was awarded a total of $101,000 for 2 grants, one in the area of education and one in the area of immigrant rights. It would be interesting to see what CCHD got for its money.
The Industrial Areas Foundation, parent organization of Albuquerque Interfaith, has been supporting “education reform” across the country since the 1990s. As far back as 1995, researcher Lynn Stuter wrote:
“The Industrial Areas Foundation joined the National Alliance for Restructuring Education (NARE) as a “public engagement” design task partner with the Public Agenda Foundation. According to the NARE proposal to the New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC), the public engagement design task is to
“orchestrat[e] citizen education campaigns,” and that parents “must see themselves as collaborators in their child's education."
“This will be accomplished through “six week media campaigns that include daily newspaper and prime time television coverage on many aspects of education … launched by media partners recruited by Public Agenda” and through community organizing. The goal is to ‘foster sustained support for world class standards and a radically changed education system’.” [i]
Albuquerque Interfaith was also engaged in “education reform” 20 years ago.[ii] On January 24, 1996, it held the first in a series of Professional Development Seminars[iii] funded by a $450,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.[iv] Involving about 60 teachers, administrators, community center directors, high school students, and parents from the city’s public school system, these all day seminars at the Albuquerque Hilton were, according to one local school board member, designed as the educational establishment’s response to the radical right. As New Mexico, at that time, had no vocal, organized group operating in opposition to systemic school reform, the necessity of a professional development program to counter that voice was curious.
Geri Paiz, an Albuquerque parent who attended the first seminar, described her reaction to the first of these programs.
“You know, I’ve been to hundreds of meetings like this. They want you to feel like someone is listening to you, but they couldn’t care less. The organizers have complete control over whatever they record and how they present it. They’re going to put it together to push their own plans and then they’ll say we were the ones who came up with them. It’s such a farce. The only thing different about this seminar was that usually whatever is put on by APS [Albuquerque Public Schools] is low budget. Somebody put out a lot of money for this; we were drinking from crystal.”[v]
Twenty years down the road in this effort to create a “radically changed education system” and New Mexico still ranks at the bottom of the country for academic progress.[vi] Nevertheless, Albuquerque Interfaith received the last of its four grants for an “education” project.
So, what is Albuquerque Interfaith doing in New Mexico to radically change the education system?
Its webpage explains it is “building Alliance Community Schools with a focus on the South Valley.” Alliance Schools are part of the IAF’s national effort to bring this particular kind of “education reform” into the United States: “Alliance Community Schools is an organizing model of the Industrial Areas Foundation that places a heavy emphasis on identifying and training leaders, both teachers and parents, within the school. It engages parents as educational partners in their children’s education through Parent Academies, research actions, and ‘house meetings.’” [vii]
Alliance Community Schools embrace a particular sort of “reform.” They are part of a national effort to impose federal control over education (as opposed to local control),[viii] implements mastery learning pedagogy (in contrast to classical pedagogy), mandates federally-determined outcomes (that include secular values), and intends to eventually plug the student into a workforce development system.[ix]
A coordinated, nationwide “Day of Action” for public education reform in 2013 described the public actions across the country in an effort to create “a national movement that will unite and galvanize communities around a shared vision of equity in education.” The New Mexico event described the comprehensive nature of this reform:
OLE, Albuquerque Interfaith, NEA New Mexico, the AFT, AFSCME and 15 congregations kicked off a weeklong bus tour with a press conference in Albuquerque, followed by multiple stops in schools across the state to gather support for their community-union vision for public education in New Mexico. Among their specific demands are increasing funding for public schools, wraparound services in our schools, reforming the state’s teacher evaluation program, and defending the need for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.[x]
Federally, movement in this direction can be seen in the “Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2015” recently introduced into the United States Senate. It would extend funding for five years for schools that participate “in a community-based effort to coordinate and integrate educational, developmental, family, health, and other comprehensive services through community-based organizations and public and private partnerships.” [xi]
Services funded in such schools would include: “early childhood education…remedial education… enrichment activities…nurse home visitation services…teacher home visiting…summer or after-school enrichment…mentoring and other youth development programs…child care services…nutrition services…primary health and dental care… mental health counseling…and parenting education.”
“This is basically the government schools taking over the duties of families. It’s very scary,” agreed Dr. Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch. “I have been fighting against both the data-mining of students and the psychological profiling of students for many years. This program is horrible because it continues the great expansion of federal psychological profiling of children, and it also will result in a ton of data-mining of students and their families about very non-academic subjects. It will not only run your life, but control what your kids are taught.”[xii]
Then there are the “economic justice” awards.
Despite having been awarded three of its 4 grants in the area of “economic justice,” Albuquerque Interfaith doesn’t use that term to describe any of its projects.
It is likely that what is meant is its “workforce development” initiative, WORKFORCE READY” – which is part and parcel with the Alliance Schools, as explained above and confirmed on Albuquerque Interfaith’s website.[xiii]
“Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century,” published by the US Federal Reserve System[xiv] cites various other workforce development programs run by various Industrial Areas Foundation affiliates. In Texas, “these efforts provide intensive longer-term skills training, typically offer stipends to offset the costs of training and foregone earnings, and ensure broad-based community support.”
One essay in this publication explains the need to connect education and workforce development by means of a “unified data system that connects postsecondary fields of study and degrees with actual labor market demands. Such a system would enable students to better understand how their training is likely to fit into the real-world job market, and it would also motivate institutions to be more accountable for shaping their programs to fit their students’ needs. The good news is that the data and technology needed to create such a system already exist, and the costs of integrating them into a unified whole are relatively low. The federal government is the logical place to house the exchange.” [xv]
Linking the workforce and public education into a single, managed system controlled by data-tracking isn’t “economic justice” – it is serfdom.
Partnership for Community Action
Partnership for Community Action has received its CCHD grants in the areas of “education” and “immigrant rights” but, again, trying to ascertain what exactly programs have been funded is impossible, as they are never specified. However, Partnership for Community Action and Albuquerque Interfaith run a bilingual collaborative together called the Académias Escolares e Instituto Para una Vida Pública (Community Academies and Institute for Public Life), to “engage immigrant and non-immigrant families in issues related to improving educational outcomes and participation in democracy through outreach to community schools, churches and other institutions.”[xvi]
What sort of “improved educational outcomes” they have in mind can be seen in another connection between Partnership for Community Action and Albuquerque Interfaith. Partnership for Community Action initiative, “Learning Alliance of New Mexico,” includes board member Kara Bobroff, sister of Albuquerque Interfaith’s lead organizer.
Among other things, Partnership for Community Action is a “parent-engagement” tool for developing federal “early childhood education” in New Mexico. [xvii] Its “Learning Alliance of New Mexico” is committed to early childhood education, as well.[xviii] One of the problems with this federal package, like many the other federal education packages, lies in its comprehensive nature – in this case, that it includes birth control counseling.[xix]
Partnership for Community Action and Albuquerque Interfaith are both partners of the “Bernalillo County South Valley Early Childhood System of Systems (SOS) Developmental Alignment Plan” [xx] - an “evolving” system that follows children from their “prenatal period through age 8,” giving attention to the “interlocking components [of] health, early learning, family support and special needs/early intervention.” (p. 3) Nutrition and maternal and child mental health are concerns, as well (p 4) and an “Early Childhood Accountability Partnership Roadmap for Success” chart adds that “children have stable and affordable housing” and “children live in families that are economically secure.” This is a comprehensive program.
Again, because of the secular, all-inclusive nature of this “system of systems,” many programs partners are morally compromised. First Choice Community Healthcare, for example, “provides low-cost confidential family planning services to teenagers up to age 19” in its teen clinic.[xxi] The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department home visit program coordinates a number of programs that connect the client with community resources[xxii] One of these, The First Born Program, is being used in several areas of the state[xxiii] and clearly understands family planning as a “value” to which clients are not merely introduced but in which they are trained: “All [First Born] home visitors receive a core training prior to service initiation. …Core training components include mission statement and core values.” These “core values” are then enumerated and include “family planning and/or sexuality issues.”[xxiv] Another home visit program coordinated by New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and which is used in several places around the state is Parents as Teachers. It also has a family planning component. [xxv]
It is not suggested that Partnership for Community Action is counseling birth control. The point is that the CCHD grant to Partnership for Community Action is being used to build a secular system that promotes contraceptive acceptance and therefore contraceptive behavior.
[i] Lynn Stuter, “Industrial Areas Foundation/Washington Rural Organizing Project Report,” December 1995. Her quotes are taken from “A Proposal to the New American Schools Development Corporation” by the National Center on Education and the Economy, 1992, page 18.
[ii] For information about the IAF’s early experiments with Alliance Schools, see Stephanie Block, “Organizing for Education,” The Wanderer, 8-5-99.
[iii]. Albuquerque Interfaith promotional material attached to December 13, 1995 minutes of the Peace and Social Justice Commission of the Newman Center of Albuquerque on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
Also the October/November 1995 Urban Educator announced a Rockefeller grant for Professional Development to the school systems of San Diego (which received $350,000 a year for 2 years), San Antonio, and Albuquerque.
[iv]. See Stephanie Block, “CHD-Funded IAF Serves as a Change Agent in Public Schools,” Wanderer, April 13, 1995. The Rockefeller Foundation is particularly active in the national push for “World Class Standards.” A February 7, 1996 Council for Basic Education press release states that the Rockefeller Foundation is hosting a symposium at its Bellagio, Italy Study and Conference Center.
[v]. Geri Paiz, telephone interview March 11, 1996. Ms. Paiz has been responsible, among other things, for leading her community to get the funding for a new school, after the old one developed serious sewage problems.
[vi] Rob Nikolewski, “Near the bottom in education results, but NM is 25th in per student spending,” NMWatchdog.org, June 28, 2013.
[viii] Charlotte Iserbyt, “Conservative Treason: Selling Out Your Children,” September 4, 2013.
[ix] Anita Hoge, “The School of Tomorrow, unmasker4maine.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/charlotte-womb_to_tomb-anita_hoge-1995-299pgs-edu-sml-3.pdf
Charlotte Iserbyt, editor, Exposing the Global Road to Ruin; Stephanie Block contribution: Education “Reform”
(adapted from Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing among Religious Bodies, Vol. II Systemic Reform, chapter 1.)
[xii] Dr. Karen Effrem, interviewed by Barbara Hollingsworth, “Senate Bill Would Fund ‘Parent Replacement Centers’ For 5 More Years,” CNSNews.com, August 21, 2015.
[xiv] US Federal Reserve System, “Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century,” 2015, p 199: https://www.kansascityfed.org/~/media/files/publicat/community/workforce/transformingworkforcedevelopment/book/transformingworkforcedevelopmentpolicies.pdf
[xv] Anthony P. Carnevale, Andrew R. Hanson, “Learn and Earn: Connecting Education to Careers in the 21st Century,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, p 77 of “Transforming US Workforce Development…”
[xvii] Partnership for Community Action, Project Co-Developed with The UNM Center for Education
Policy Research, “Using Community-based Participatory Research and ArcGIS Mapping to Understand Parent Engagement and Decision - Making in Early Childhood Education in South West Albuquerque,” November 2012.
[xviii] Adrian A. Pedroza and Christine Sturgis, “Eleven months to unlock education policy ,” The New Mexican,
[xix] Stephanie Block, “Family Planning as a component of early education programs,” Spero News, 1-31-14:
[xx] http://www.sharenm.org/knowledgebase/showFile.php?file=bmNjczE1NjY= (See p 16)
[xxiv] Ivan A. de la Rosa, Joanne Perry, Lisa Dalton, and Victoria Johnson, “Strengthening Families with First-Born Children: Exploratory Story of the Outcomes of a Home Visiting Intervention,” Sage publications, 2008 (p. 329): http://www.sagepub.com/kgrantstudy/articles/13/delaRosa.pdf.
[xxv] See: http://www.parentsasteachers.org/images/stories/documents/PWTP_SamplePacket.pdf, referring to p. 285.