"Issues and Action in
February 5, 2005
"Issues and Action in Education" is an e-letter produced
EdWatch, a nonprofit organization at http://www.edwatch.org.
Clinton Education Agenda Being Pushed in Minnesota
Senate Republicans refuse to sign on
If Minnesota is any indication, Marc Tucker's new for-profit National
Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), will be coming to your
state. In Minnesota, Tucker will be conducting a private briefing for
legislators-only on what is being billed as "transformational
issues and trends affecting public education today."
"Transformational education" is understood to mean what the McGraw Hill
textbook website defines as existing for the purpose of "the
transformation of society."
Less than twenty-one months after the Minnesota legislature
overwhelmingly repealed the Profile of Learning, Marc Tucker a close
Clinton ally and recognized architect of the federal education
take-over (Minnesota's Profile of Learning), is privately selling his
curriculum to state legislators, beginning Feb. 9th. No media, no
staff, and no public are allowed into three nights of private wining
and dining by Tucker and his associates from the National Center for
Education and the Economy.
Marc Tucker is known for his infamous
letter [this is a pdf link] to First Lady-elect Hillary Clinton
after the 1992 presidential election in which Tucker wrote:
"We [will] have a national system of education in which
curriculum, pedagogy, examinations and teacher education and licensure
systems are all linked to the national standards [federal
curriculum]..." [p. 3]
Tucker and his NCEE organization have
been key players in the development and implementation of
transformational education in our country, largely through his
influence in the crafting of the Goals 2000 and School-to-Work
legislation of 1994, his America's Choice curriculum, and his New
Standards Project. Tucker's letter to Hillary Clinton proposed a plan
which,Tucker explained, came from a meeting of key players he brought
together. One of those participating in his planning meeting was
Lauren Resnick, a partner in his New Standards Project, and another
speaker at the private briefings to Minnesota legislators.
In his letter to Hillary, Tucker described his plan for transforming
education this way:
"to propose concrete actions that the Clinton administration
could take-between now and the inauguration, in the first 100 days
and beyond... We took a very large leap forward in terms of how to
advance the agenda on which you and we have all been working-a
practical plan for putting all the major components of the system in
place within four years, by the time Bill has to run again." [p.
All this laid the foundation for Goals
2000, School-to-Work, and the radical national standards (federal
curriculum) in civics, history, social studies, geography, and math.
(See the book FedEd.)
Tucker's NCEE changes to "for-profit".
According to an article in Education Week, November 17, 2004, Tucker's star is fading
under the Bush administration. Federal grants that were "once
lavished on it" are harder to come by. As a result, last year,
Tucker's NCEE reinvented itself as a for-profit company, with Tucker
himself as the majority shareholder. The EdWeek article states:
"Like other nonprofit initiatives involved in comprehensive
school reform, America’s Choice no longer can attract the large sums
of money that foundations and the federal government once lavished on
it for research and development. Instead, it sees its future tied
to the delivery of services to help schools improve... That
growing market niche for services has been richly supported by federal
grants and by funding distributed by states. Some states have endorsed
and steered districts toward specific improvement programs or lists of
programs...Mississippi, for example, has a contract with America’s
Tucker went on to explain to EdWeek that
America's Choice needs new money to expand to serve thousands of
schools, rather than hundreds. Tucker's group has used more than $100
million of foundation and federal grant money over the past 15 years
to develop its curriculum and training materials. Now those resources
"have largely dried up," Tucker stated.
How did Tucker get a private presentation to MN legislators?
St. Paul Superintendent Pat Harvey is a protege and former
employee of Marc Tucker. She has aggressively promoted America's
Choice in St. Paul schools, and next week she keynotes Tucker's national conference
on America's Choice in Orlando, Florida. Harvey's office
also played a key role in getting Tucker's group three private
briefings with the legislators.
In a slick insider job, an employee from Pat Harvey's St. Paul School
District headquarters approached the Democrat Senate Majority Leader
and the Republican Speaker of the House with a proposed letter to be
sent out to all legislators signed by the legislative leaders,
directing legislators to attend three evening forums and receptions in
February. Called "the Capital Forum Series 2005," the forums
are sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation, which also receives
hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grant money ($390,000
The forums are about "transformational" education. As
the letter to legislators stated, the forums are about
"transformational issues and trends affecting public education
today that may have significant impact on into the future."
Transformational education is all about changing society, not about
educating the student. (See McGraw Hill
The forums are also about changing Minnesota's laws and schools. The
letter to legislators stated that the forums will "reflect on
educational policies we can enact now that will affect long-term
outcomes for Minnesota's children." The first forum
features Marc Tucker himself on Feb. 9th. On Feb. 16th and on Feb.
23rd, two other close Tucker associates are featured, one of them
being Lauren Resnick (see above). In other words, Tucker is pushing
his radical transformational agenda.
Senate Minority Leader Dick Day and Senate Republicans refuse to
Tucker maneuvered himself and his new NCEE into being personally
promoted by Minnesota legislative leaders. Three of the
legislative leaders were quick to sign the letter. The Republican
Senate minority, however, refused.
If Tucker and the NCEE make their appearance in your state, make sure
your legislators know who they are, and insist that
knowledge-based education be given least equal time.
Julie M. Quist
105 Peavey Road, Suite 116
Chaska, MN 55318
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