I put together a presentation to warn California educators, parents, and elected officials about Boston Consulting Group’s ties to compulsory dyslexia screening legislation. See the consulting firm’s July 2020 white paper, The Economic Impact of Dyslexia in California. This is the cost-offset analysis that will be used to justify future data extraction schemes. BCG was behind the closure of 23 schools in Philadelphia in 2013. That event launched my personal journey into researching human capital finance. This article I wrote in 2018, Silicon Valley: A Laboratory of Smart Surveillance and Privatization, provides useful background on impact investing in the Bay Area. Pay particular attention to the parties involved with the Strong Start and Big Lift pay for success deals (pre-k and early literacy). The latter effort is backed by the San Mateo County Office of Education one of the funders of the UCSF dyslexia risk screening tool AppRise, which has ties via Curious Learning to global ed-tech investors and defense / neuroscience interests.
Source: Fumiko Hoeft, UCSF Dyslexia Center and Curious Learning Research Partner
I suspect California’s proposed bill SB237, which is backed by Governor Newsom, is intended to be a national model. It would require ALL kindergarten through second graders be screened each year for dyslexia RISK. It does not actually require districts to use a tool that diagnoses dyslexia or to provide IEP supports to children who may eventually receive such a diagnosis. Instead, pay for success deals in universal pre-k and early literacy will disincentivize providing those supports to students in need. It will encourage ever larger numbers of children be identified as being “at risk,” so tech interests can force them onto literacy remediation apps where their online behavior will also be tracked under the guise of social-emotional learning, another social impact market. Many of the dyslexia “risk screening” tools were designed as “school readiness” indicators, which is exactly what is needed as the Biden and Harris administration makes their push for universal pre-k investment markets based on the Chicago Boys’ Heckman Equation. Remember, special education is the cost-offset.
We recognize that providing children with the assistance they need to become confident, engaged readers is vital for a functioning society. Unfortunately the billionaire class has teamed up with defense technology interests, cognitive neuroscientists, and impact investors to remake children as digital commodities, tracked according to their behavioral compliance. The goal of the elite is a miseducated, illiterate populace that will consume media content without question and learn just enough to live as cogs in a global gig economy set on transforming the world into a silicon-based planetary computer. Schools are being incorporated into this anti-life agenda, but it is death by a thousand cuts and most of the arguments for digital surveillance are framed in progressive terms.
Too few realize the social progressivism agenda of the early twentieth century was also steeped in eugenics. Yes, we need to treasure young learners. Instead of creating markets in digital profiling, tax the rich and use those funds to lower class sizes, hire literacy coaches and librarians, buy LOTS of PRINT BOOKS (not screen-based reading that collects millions of meta-data points), buy FICTION to spur their imaginations, encourage classroom READ ALOUDs to build community. Then, after children have the chance to come into their own as readers and become proficient with English if it is NOT their first language, offer those who are still struggling appropriate diagnostics and get them the additional supports they need.
This bill will not do that. Given that Decoding Dyslexia chapters are in all 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces, I suspect similar bills will be showing up everywhere soon. Pay attention. This is not about helping children, but incorporating them into the data commodity supply chain to foreclose their futures as redundant human capital in a world increasingly run by robots. We must fight the whole program. It is tempting to take the easy route and delude ourselves with the misguided belief that consultants like Boston Consulting Group care, but they don’t.
In the pit of your stomach you know that. For the sake of the children I ask you to have the moral courage to look at the horror that is unfolding. Look at AppRise and OptoLexia and Lexia RAPID. Know how they fit into the post-literacy world of globotic remote labor. Do the right thing. The future of natural humanity could very well depend on what you do next.
Slide deck can be accessed here.
Map One – Interactive Version – California Dyslexia Gamification
Map Two – Interactive Version – People Acknowledged In Boston Consulting Group’s White Paper on Dyslexia in California