Then comes national economic planning. Tucker calls for federal legislation to get the states "to create regional economic development authorities" that would develop "goals and strategies for their regions," and coordinate "the work of the region's education and training institutions to make sure that each region's workers develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in that labor market."
Those who follow education fads and follies will remember Marc Tucker as the author of a master plan for the federal takeover of public schools spelled out in his famous 18-page "Dear Hillary" letter, written on Nov. 11, 1992.
That letter urged the incoming administration of former President Bill Clinton "to remold the entire American (public school) system" into "a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone," coordinated by "a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by counselors "accessing the integrated computer-based program."
Tucker's ideas formed the basis of the Goals 2000 and School-to-Work laws passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 1994. School-to-Work became the code word to change the mission of the public schools from teaching children knowledge and skills to training them to serve a national planned economy in jobs selected by work force boards.
Nothing in his plan had anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read.
The Tucker 1990s plan to restructure public schools was based on specific mechanisms of control:
Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures by redirecting the funding.
Build a database ("labor market information system") into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family.
Use the slogan "high standards" to cement national control of tests and assessments.
"Tough Choices or Tough Times" is so deja vu. It will not make American students smarter; it will just make them cogs in the global economy.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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