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THE E-FILES                                NUMBER TEN
NOV. ‘01-FEB.’02


DURING THE 1990s many parents protested “Outcome Based Education”-OBE, for short, though few people know what it actually is. Even fewer know that OBE was first introduced during the 1960s under the name Planning, Programming, Budgeting System (PPBS), or that its introduction caused a national storm of controversy. Both PPBS and OBE are names for educational processes using a systems approach.

WHAT IS OBE/PPBS/SYSTEMS EDUCATION? It is a process that works like this: a group of selected individuals meets to discuss what educational goals should be set by the school, school district, or state (whatever the educational “unit” is.) The group, usually aided by a facilitator (see E-File # 6, Dialectical Education) then decides what specific objectives should be set to accomplish the goals. An educational program is designed, teachers are re-trained, and the program is used. Data is collected and assessments are made to check if the goals are accomplished. If not, “recycling” occurs in which the students are re-exposed to the program. The development of computers in the last 30 years has facilitated the rapid gathering and evaluating of large amounts of data. PPBS expert Mary Thompson wrote: “To understand PPBS it must be understood at the outset that PPBS is a total system. Its component parts…cannot be isolated from the system. PPBS constitutes a SYSTEM of management. In a systems management of the educational process, the child himself is the product.” A review of goals and objectives are supposed to take place every 3 to 5 years at least, to “reflect changes in society and technology in the operation of the schools”. “The goal process serves a double purpose. It not only replaces individual goals, but by involving the individual in the process, tends to precondition him or her toward acceptance of the preset goals”, noted Maureen Heaton, one of the most dedicated PPBS researchers.

(1) The educational goals and objectives will probably not reflect what many parents would choose for their children. Most parents are unwilling or unable to attend long, frequent, often daytime meetings. Parents are in the minority in the group, and they are likely to be pressured to make compromises. The school personnel know that school goals would need to align with goals set by larger educational entities (such as the state’s) in order to qualify for that all-important federal funding (The carrot-and-stick approach is used.) Some parents in California in the 1960s said that when their school’s goals were printed up, they bore no resemblance to the ones the parents had agreed to. (2) As critic Cavell Bean stated in 1972: “Under PPBS management, the information input to the student will be limited; random encounter in the learning process will be eliminated; instruction will be highly prescribed; and programming toward a particular ideological, philosophical, political and social point of view will be the chief characteristics of the system.” (3) Again, Mrs. Bean: “The essence of the PPB system is to be able to test or evaluate student performance in each of the three domains (cognitive, concerned with the gaining of knowledge; affective--what his attitudes are, how he feels; and psychomotor, concerned with skills, motor performance, with what the student is able to do). The right of parents to determine what values and attitudes they wish developed is by-passed, and the objectives generate attitudes often inconsistent with those the parents prefer.” Assemblyman Robert Burke of California said in a May, 1971 report, “The entire system has become a “people control” mechanism and has caused many in the educational field to lose sight of the real goal and purpose of education.” The domains referred to above are from Bloom’s Taxonomy, upon which performance objectives must be based; see an explanation and more links at <>. (4) The RAND Corporation, which assisted with the construction of PPBS for education, stated that the entire responsibility for the PPBS operation must reside with one person at the top. “No one at a lower level has the authority or the right or the ability to acquire the knowledge required to perform the necessary tasks”, said RAND.

HISTORY OF PPBS, FORERUNNER OF OBE: Often people know PPBS as a Defense Department program because it first became known for its use during the Viet Nam war. Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense, wrote in 1968, “One of the first things we did in 1961 was to design a new mechanism which would provide information and integrate it into a single, coherent management system. The product of this effort was the Planning-Programming-Budgeting System, which is now being widely applied throughout the U.S. Government and which is being introduced in foreign governments as well.” Author and researcher Rose Martin wrote in 1967 that PPBS was “designed to revise and capture the entire process of decision making in the Executive branch of the United States government.” Researcher Maureen Heaton noted in her PPBS White Paper Number One that the seeds for this were sown in the two “Hoover Commissions” of the 1950s. The first was “mainly concerned with constructing a new framework for the Executive department of the Federal Government”, known as “reorganization”, and is essential to channeling authority to the “strong executive” needed for the planned management system.” The second Hoover Commission “was composed of 20 task forces, each charged with examination of specific duties traditionally the province of the Executive.” A final report of the task forces contained 519 recommendations for change. One of the changes was for “a revolutionary new system of budgeting and accounting, and Congress responded with HR 8002”. It passed, though many representatives had grave doubts as to the appropriateness of the changes. Hon. John G. Schmitz of California said of it: “Neither of these steps (the two Hoover Commissions) gave any indication of the potential they carried for extension to such an instrument of control as has developed in the planning, programming and budgeting system.”

CHARLES HITCH was responsible for the development of PPBS. Rose Martin wrote in 1967: “Hitch went from Harvard to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar in 1932. (In those years, Fabian Socialist influence at Oxford was general. Not a few Rhodes Scholars of the thirties…quietly joined the London Fabian Society)…During World War II, Hitch remained in England. He served with the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Office of Strategic Services…In 1961 Hitch had been one of an elite corps of former Rhodes scholars called to fill key policy-making posts in Washington by the late President Kennedy…Chiefly they were college professors who had varied the tedium of academic life with tours of duty in government service and/or the great tax-free foundations…For more than 10 years before becoming Comptroller of the U.S. Department of Defense in 1961, Hitch directed research for the semi-public, semi-private RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.”

DENNIS CUDDY wrote in “Secret Records Revealed”: “Hitch came to England as a Rhodes Scholar at a time when the British Political and Economic Planning (PEP) organization had recently been instituted. PEP was a Fabian-sponsored (see E-File #9, U.S. History Education) organization. In the May 3, 1934, Congressional Record, Congressman Louis McFadden will quote PEP member Israel Moses Sieff as saying: “Let us go slowly for a while, until we can see how our plan works out in America.” The “plan” to which Sieff referred is the New Deal, which was drafted in the U.S. by the National Planning Association (NPA). The NPA is, and the Committee for Economic Development (CED, founded in 1941) will be, descendents of PEP. In the 1990s, the CED will be composed of some two hundred and fifty business leaders and educators, almost one hundred of which will be CFR members.” ( In February, 2002 CED called for free-high-quality preschool education for children age 3 and over to be provided by states and the federal government.

CHARLES HITCH was president of the University of California from 1968-1975. In 1970 he participated in the H. Rowan Gaither Lecture series at the University of California, Berkeley. The lectures were incorporated into a book, “Systematic Thinking for Social Action,” compiled by Alice M. Rivlin, who also lectured in the series. Information supplied by the book stated that Mrs. Rivlin “played a major role in implementing the planning, programming, and budgeting system in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in which she served as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation during the Johnson Administration. “Systematic Thinking for Social Action” was published by The Brookings Institution, 1971.

The front page of the book explains, “THE H. ROWAN GAITHER LECTURES IN SYSTEMS SCIENCE are named in memory of one of the founders and the first Chairman of the Board of the RAND Corporation. They were established by gift of the System Development Corporation, formerly a division of the RAND Corporation, and are arranged by the Graduate School of Business Administration and the Center for Research in Management Science of the University of California, Berkeley. Charles J. Hitch was the first lecturer in the series. Charles L. Schultze was the second. Alice M. Rivlin was the third.”

H. ROWAN GAITHER was a long-time president of The Ford Foundation, which Rene Wormser called “the gargantuan of philanthropy” in his book “Foundations, Their Power and Influence.” (See E-File Number Seven.) In an interview with Dr. Stan Monteith (, Mr. Norman Dodd, chairman of the Reece Commission of the House of Representatives that investigated the tax-exempt foundations in the early 1950s, quoted Mr. Gaither as stating to him: “Mr. Dodd, we invited you to come and see us this morning hoping you would off-the-record tell us that why Congress was interested in operations of foundations such as ours. Mr. Dodd, those of us here at the policy-making level have all had experience either with the OSS or the European Economic Administration in operating under directives the origin of which was the White House. We today operate today under just such directives. Would you like to know what the substance of these directives is? The substance of the directives under which we operate is that we shall use our grant-making power so to alter life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.” Mr. Dodd remarked to him, “Mr. Gaither, in the light of what you’ve just told me, many of your grants make sense. I can understand them. But I do not feel that you are entitled to withhold this information from the people of this country to whom you are beholden for your tax exemption, so why don’t you tell them what you’ve told me?” Rowan Gaither replied, “Mr. Dodd, we wouldn’t think of doing that.” Mr. Dodd wrote on Jan. 15, 1958, “These experiences will illustrate what we should now know: that what has happened to us as a people was condoned by privately owned wealth and for this condition to continue, it is necessary that this knowledge be kept from us. We can anticipate that the power of wealth will continue to employed for this purpose. And since these foundations are tax exempt, thereby placing an added burden on all other taxpayers, it means the whole people are being forced to contribute to the project of the destruction of the American system of private enterprise.”

HITCH SAID IN A LECTURE BEORE THE ROYAL INSTITUTE IN LONDON, 1966: “We had several hundred analysts at RAND and elsewhere developing programming and systems analysis techniques for a decade before the Department attempted any large scale application.” Rose Martin commented on this, “In other words, the entire system of civilian controls and centralized decisions that Hitch installed at the Pentagon had been secretly researched and blueprinted outside of government in advance of his appointment as Comptroller.”

They developed, as Martin described it, “a computer-based system with a bias towards centralization, that bypasses individuals and groups with whose judgments the programmers do not agree. PPBS was introduced in the Defense Department and was used for justification of “unalterable” and “irrevocable” decisions by Secretary Robert S. McNamara in the Viet Nam war.”

IN HER PBBS WHITE PAPER #1, Maureen Heaton said, “The goals of the United States of America were set in the Declaration of Independence, and they governed the writing of the Constitution, which in turn became the governing force in supporting those goals. Those goals were an expression of the will of the citizens, and could only be changed by the authority of the people-by any legal means…In 1959, a massive assault was begun to condition the American people to accept…new goals.” A Report of the President’s Commission on National Goals was produced, called “Goals for Americans” under President Eisenhower. The American Assembly of Columbia University administered the Commission. The Commissioners were the President of Brown University, the Chairman of the Board of General Dynamics, the Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Science Monitor, the President of Harvard, the Governor of Virginia, the President of DuPont de Nemours, a retired Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, a retired U.S. judge, the President of the University of California, the Chairman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the president of the AFL-CIO. Specialists in education, science, media, business, etc. (such as John Gardner, Clark Kerr, and William Bundy) wrote the chapters outlining the goals. The project was financed by the Carnegie Corporation and these foundations: The Rockefeller, The Ford, Alfred P. Sloan, Johnson (of Racine), The Maurice and Laura Falk, and U.S. Steel. This book was required reading in many university classes in the 1960s. The preface notes: “The book will also provide a basis for deliberations by regional, state and municipal sessions of The American Assembly as well as by civic groups, classes and other discussion meetings”.

PPBS WAS BROUGHT INTO EDUCATION upon passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. Because ESEA is best known for Title I, providing funding for high poverty students, it is easy to overlook the importance of ESEA to bringing Systems to education. Title III of ESEA provided for the agencies and their funding to implement the Federal programs into the school systems of California, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin as pilot states. Assemblyman Burke wrote in Feb. 1971, “Utilizing the authority and procedures established by this Act (ESEA), directives have gone to every corner of the country establishing State Bureaus and local centers known as PACE (Projects to Advance Creativity in Education) for guiding school administration and curriculum toward stated objectives of a controlled society. Under the guise of innovation and change, the centers encourage local schools to abandon traditional educational goals and methods and to utilize the techniques prescribed by educational planners who had received their training from another ESEA source, Operation PEP (Prepare Educational Planners). Utilizing the tools of PPBS and Bloom’s Taxonomy, the planners are able to determine attitudes of individual students on specific issues, as well as their broad outlook toward life. These same tools are then used to prescribe the changes necessary to direct and mold the child’s attitude into one determined by the managers to be more beneficial for society. Common change agents, such as sensitivity training, can be employed to break down old “irrelevant” attitudes and develop new “meaningful” outlooks.” In a booklet, Operation PEP, referred to above, is described as “A System Approach to Planned Change in Education.” Another Operation PEP brochure was entitled “Social Indicators, Social Reports and Social Accounts Toward the Management of Society.”

<>. A quote from the International Society of the Systems Sciences: “We need a global system of mutually symbiotic societies, mapping new conditions in a flexible institutional structure and dealing with change through constructive reorganization”. A systems founder, Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “advocated a new global morality, an ethos which does not center on individual good and individual value alone, but on the adaptation of mankind, as a global system, to its new environment”. An ISSS meeting reveals it was to create a “weltanschuung” (worldview) for a “global sustainable development”. (See E-Files on global, environmental, and New Age education at

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON announced on August 25, 1965 that he was introducing a new Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PPBS) for all departments and agencies in the federal government.

IN THAT SAME EVENTFUL YEAR OF 1965, the American Management Association published a book by Charles L. Hughes called “Goal Setting: Key to Individual and Organizational Effectiveness”, which must have soon had businesspeople engaging in the systems process by dialoging about goals and objectives and gathering data and checking performance against personal and organizational goals.

PPBS RESEARCHER MAUREEN HEATON wrote in 1978: “Twelve years after citizens in California discovered that a management and control system was being installed in the government schools, there are still a great many people not aware that the system is being implemented universally…During these twelve years, the System has been inserted into every function of government…Evidence of a continuing intent to usurp the sovereignty of the citizen is abundant. It exists in laws passed that are clearly not an expression of the will of the people, but flow, instead, from unidentified “experts”, with an allegiance to a “different cause”. Such evidence has surfaced in development of the movement to replace representation with administration. It is evidenced in creation of the regional structures, which permit experimentation with alien methods of governance. Without the consent of the citizens or the States, from the Office of the President of the United States, directives have been issued which begin the dissolution of State boundaries. Evidence clearly indicates that regionalism is the channel through which the system operates.”

ON FEBRUARY 10, 1972 President Nixon signed Executive Order No. 11647, which said, “There is hereby established a Federal Regional Council for each of the ten standard federal regions. Each Council shall be composed of the directors of the regional offices of the Departments of Labor, Health, Education, and Welfare, and Housing and Urban Development, the Secretarial Representative of the Department of Transportation, and the directors of the regional office of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration”. Many critics, among them writers Jo Hindman and Phoebe Courtney, said that government in the ten federal regions would be administered by federal appointed bureaucrats accountable only to Washington, D.C., a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION now has ten appointed Secretary’s Regional Representatives located in cities in their multi-state regions. California, for example, is in region IX, which takes in Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada as well. The first digit of each zip code is the region number.

MAUREEN HEATON WROTE in her PPBS White Paper #1, “ Rockefeller money… provided the impetus for the University of Chicago to become the network of “social science” organizations now known as “1313”. (The headquarters are located at 1313 E. 60th Street in Chicago.) “The inherent character of regionalism provides the channels for systematic management which is the essence of the System sometimes known as Planning, Programming and Budgeting…1313 affiliates initiated the National Resources Planning Board, which developed the regional frameworks.” Who are members of 1313? A multitude of associations of public administrators such as the American Public Works Association, the Public Personnel Association, American Society of Planning Officials, American Society for Public Administration, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and so on. These organizations are involved in projects of urban renewal, reapportionment, regional planning, and other areas in which private citizens can suffer damage without recourse via the ballot box.

STEVEN JACOBSEN of MCiA Media said in his tape, “Mind Control in America”: “The political concepts have undergone a gradual alteration in order to promote administrative government by appointed bureaucrats rather than the constitutionally mandated representative government by elected officials. A network of organizations… called 1313 at the University of Chicago have been working to restructure local, state and federal government. 1313 affiliates developed the regional framework to merge city-county government and county-district, district-state, state-region, and on to a region-international merger into a one-world government. The program of these social science organizations is a totally managed and controlled society. Centralization of government functions is a basic socialist principle. Centralization takes government away from the people. The key factor is control. The computer based Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System is the mechanism for that control. This system was promoted as a modern, space-age method for budgeting and accounting, but it is used to achieve behavioral objectives designed to capture the decision-making process of government. Systematic management and control of society replaces self-government. The use of social engineering to control what people think makes a mockery of the informed consent of the governed, the very cornerstone of the Constitution. The conditioning of the mind is not a legitimate function of government. It is the hallmark of tyranny.”

BACK TO THE PROGRESS OF PPBS IN EDUCATION: Maureen Heaton said, “It is no accident that there is never an honest effort to inform the public in any of the promotions for the System. In “Implementing PPBS in State, City, and County” (a report on the 5 state pilot project) the line of persons to be informed begins with top administration, through staff and chief executive to agency heads and personnel, legislative staff, and then the legislature, and the public is to be the last to know!”

ONCE PPBS WAS OPERATIVE in California, public relations “road shows” took place, presented by The Professional Development Program or PDP, to “sell” PPBS to the public. Some parent groups rallied against the PPBS takeover of their schools, especially in California and Wisconsin. Subsequently, it appears the term “PPBS” was publicly dropped, while away from the public’s prying eyes, “off-the-shelf” legislation (“model bills”) was written by the 1313 agencies supportive of PPBS that were promoted to legislators. In this way, legislation that all had similar PPBS phraseology and key words appeared in different areas.

THE 1983 report “A Nation At Risk” encouraged Americans to see education as a national crisis. In 1989, National Education Goals were embraced by the president and the fifty state governors. GAO (General Accounting Office) report HRD-93-97, dated April 30, 1993 stated, “Attention is being focused on change designed to improve student outcomes by determining what students should know and be able to do, and ensuring that all the key components of the educational system are directed to achieving those outcomes. Many researchers and educators are focusing on system wide reform as having the greatest potential to improve student learning and achieve the National Education Goals (GOALS 2000). The system wide view of education reform implies that some change in the federal role may be needed…Systemic reform sets high standards for all students and holds the system accountable for student outcomes relative to the standards…The standards are the driving force in these reforms. They define what students should know and be able to do, and they apply to ALL students…Efforts are underway on a variety of fronts to develop high national standards. In 1991, Congress created the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, which recommended setting voluntary, national standards for five core subjects…and developing a system of national assessments reflecting those standards…Legislation introduced in the 103rd Congress includes provisions to provide federal support for system wide reform. Efforts are under way at the national levels to develop systems to measure student progress toward achieving high standards…At the national level, though not federally-funded, the New Standards Project (joint program of NCEE and Learning Research and Development Center, U of Pitts) is working to develop, by 1997, a national examination system tied to a shared set of high standards.” This is systems education all over again (PPBS, OBE). (NCEE is the originator of School to Work, see E-File #1).

PARENTS SOMETIMES TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR SCHOOLS by joining their School Site Council if their schools have “School Based Management”. GAO report dated 8/94, GAO/HEHS-94-135 states that “School Based Management is used by districts as part of broader education reform efforts which seek to: 1) establish goals or standards for ALL students, 2) develop curricula linked to those standards; 3) institute professional development to train educators to understand the curricula and effective ways of instructing students; and 4) create and implement student assessment systems based on the curricula. Districts typically implement SBM BEFORE undertaking reform efforts.” This is PPBS again. Researcher Rebecca Bocchino summarizes, “Outcome-based frameworks utilize the concepts of standards, accountability mechanisms (data feedback), and the principles of…recycling for constant improvement or change to leverage the nationally-imposed reforms.”

PPBS researcher Mary Thompson said way back in 1972, “It is regrettable that straight thinking people who operate on the basis of principle become worn out in six month’s time battling one phase or another of the restructured education never realizing that they are dealing with a totally different entity from what they have known traditional education to be”.

See No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 at and see, a group opposed to it.
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.    The E-Files     Susan O’Donnell