New Education Practice Called “Hacking”


Our North Dakota PIE President recently attended the North Dakota Innovative Education Summit in Bismarck where national presenters taught attendees about the newest education re-brand: Next Generation High Schools. These schools incorporate Project-Based Learning, social and emotional learning, personalized learning, and all types of “innovation,” including an experimental practice call “School Retool” which teaches educators to “hack” students toward deeper learning… this is not a joke.

“Hacking” is

  1. “Tweaking/modifying what you already have;
  2. exploiting/utilizing certain attributes of what you already have;
  3. drawing inspiration from others;
  4. experimental- you’re not sure it will work
  5.  creating something new”

Check out this slideshow which was shown at the education summit. It’s ludicrous!

Ted Dintersmith who was appointed by Obama in 2012 to the UN General Assembly for global education was among the panel of speakers at this education summit. He is the producer of the documentary Most Likely to Succeed. The featured school in the documentary, High Tech High in CA, is using a model of “innovative” education called Project Based Learning. The school is a non-traditional school (Charter) with no textbooks, no homework, no memorization, no standardized tests. Teachers have no scope nor sequence, learning is not as deep, and students develop “soft skills” such as grit, tenacity, and perseverance through collaboration and problem solving in a Project Based Learning environment. In this environment learning is student led and researched where teams of students produce a final “exhibition” that is used as a way of assessing students. All this sounds great, right?

During the Q & A portion of the summit, Mr. Dintersmith stated that no empirical statistics exist to prove this type of learning works. Further, Ted explained that it might take 10 to 15 years to find out if it even does work! Just like Common Core, it’s all one big experiment and America’s children- our future- are paying the price.

So, why are they promoting this educational reform? It was explained that students must be prepared for life in the 21st Century and the workforce. Collaboration/teamwork is what businesses feel will produce well prepared “human capital” (yes, this term was used).

The speakers noted that North Dakota will be the model for the rest of the country when it comes to the Next Generation High Schools. We are sharing this information because it is deeply concerning and we cannot allow this type of child abuse and behavior modification to continue. Please look into what it happening in your state.

3 thoughts on “New Education Practice Called “Hacking”

  1. The thing that caught by eye was Dintersmith and the use of “hack.” Are you aware of the concept of “hackable” high school that is being used in Ohio?

    It is part of out of school time learning. Essentially if you can demonstrate something a student does outside of school fulfills a demonstration of a competency, they get school credit for it. It’s part of the OH credit flexibility law.


  2. Wow! Thank you so much for this information. Seems Ohio has their own form of hacking. I would like to encourage you to visit and Join the Movement to Stop Fed Ed. I presume you are from Ohio and USPIE would love to have you get involved. You may contact Communications Director April Few at for more information.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s