School to Work; Goals 2000; Outcome Based Education
The following excerpt from the Congressional Record neatly summarizes
and exposes the origins and intents of OBE, STW, and Goals 2000.
HON. HENRY HYDE
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1997
Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, no one doubts that education is a vital importance to our country. The question that must be answered is what role should the Federal Government play in supporting education? We have seen more and more legislative efforts to increase the Federal, as opposed to the local role, and this trend concerns many Americans, including myself.
As we engage in debate, it is useful to understand the context, the historical background, of some efforts to increase the central governments intrusion into what has been a largely local responsibility. Dr. D.L. Cuddy, a former senior associate with the U.S. Department of Education, has written an interesting historical commentary on the school to work concept which I believe warrants the attention of Members.
(BY DR. D. L. CUDDY)
With `School -to-Work (STW) legislation (H.R. 1617/S. 143) soon going to conference committee in Congress, its important to look at the background of this concept. Plank 10 of Marxs Communist Manifesto provides for a `combination of education with industrial production, and in 1913 when Stalin was having difficulty getting his Marxist cadres into key positions for the `class struggle, he described a `regionalism strategy (e.g., NAFTA, later) against nationalism and used the slogan `workers of the world unite.
Self-described American communist Scott Nearing in The Next Step (1922) described how a world economic organization (e.g., GATT and World Trade Organization, later) would be the first step toward world government, but first in The New Education (1915) he applauded `breaking away from the 3 Rs and Cincinnatis `half time in shop, half time in school system.
In the Oct. 12, 1917 New York Times, Judge John Hylan wrote about a letter by Dr. Abraham Flexner (Secretary of the Rockefeller General Education Board and formerly of the Carnegie Foundation) describing a `secret conference of New York City Board of Education members to elect a Board president who would institute a type of STW/OBE (Outcome-Based Education) program. Hylan became Mayor of New York and `pitched out the Rockefeller agents, . . . the kind of education the coolies receive in China . . . for the mill and factory, William McAndrew, who had been in charge of the `new-program schools , admiringly referred to the `polytechnic institute (which the Soviets would adopt). And in Raymond Fosdicks memorial history of the General Education Board (GEB), he described the Board as part of Rockefellers effort toward `this goal of social control.
After Hylans expose of this STW/OBE plan, it wasnt until the `Eight-Year Study (1933-41) funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the GEB that another major attempt was evident. Research Director for the studys Evaluation Staff was Ralph Tyler, who would later conduct a project for the Carnegie Corporation that would in 1969 become the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). One of Tylers associates in the `Eight-Year Study was `values clarification originator Louis Raths, and another associate was Estonian `change agent Hilda Taba.
In the early 1950s, Ford Foundation president H. Rowan Gaither told Congressional committee Research Director Norman Dodd that they were operating under directives from the White House `to make every effort to so alter life in the U.S. as to make possible a comfortable merger with the Soviet Union. And in 1960, HEW published Soviet Education Programs, stating `wherever we went, we felt the pulse of the Soviet governments drive to educate and train a new generation of technically skilled citizens. ... USSR plans to bring all secondary school children into labor education and training experiences through the regular school program.
By 1970, Americans were coming to be thought of as `human capital (note Lester Thurows 1970 book, Investment in Human Capital), and in 1971 UNESCOS Secretariat asked George Parkyn to `outline a possible model for an education system that resulted in Towards a Conceptual Model of Life-Long Education describing how students would choose a vocational field and work part time, and receive `certificates of educational attainment.
Two years later, Michael Lerner (who would become an important advisor to Hillary Clinton) wrote The New Socialist Revolution, proclaiming: `Education will be radically transformed in our socialist community ... the main emphasis will be on learning how to ... live and work collectively ... The next level is learning some series of skills, for ones first set of jobs. And in Vladimir Turchenkos The Scientific and Technological Revolution and the Revolution in Education (1976) imported into the U.S. is described `linking instruction with productive labor.
In the early 1980s, neither the Soviet nor German socialist education systems had been adopted nationwide in the U.S., as Prof. Eugene Boyce in The Coming Revolution in Education (1983) wrote that `in the communist ideology ... education is tied directly to jobs ... No such direct, controlled, relationship between education and jobs exists in democratic countries.
However, in 1985 two things happened. At the beginning of the year, the Carnegie Corporation gave $600,000 to establish the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy; and later that year the Carnegie Corporation negotiated the Soviet-American Exchange Agreement for the U.S. government, whereby Soviet educators became involved in planning curricula for some U.S. schools . In the Winter 1987/1988 edition of Action in Teacher Education, Professors Martin Haberman and James Collins wrote in `The Future of the Teaching Profession that `schooling is now seen primarily as job training and, for this reason, quite comparable to schooling in non-democratic societies. Once education is redefined as a personal good and as emphasizing preparation for the world of work as its first purpose, our schools can appropriately be compared with those of the USSR.
The next year, the National Center on Education and the Economy (formerly the Carnegie Forum) with Marc Tucker as president was asked to help in developing the National Education Goals upon which `America 2000 and `Goals 2000 would be based. Then in June 1990, NCEE (with Board members Hillary Clinton and David Rockefeller, Jr.) produced Americas Choice: High Skills or Low Wages? (proposing a `Certificate of Initial Mastery), which greatly influenced the establishment of the Secretarys Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) by the Department of Labor.
In September, Polytechnical Education: A Step (funded by the U.S. Department of Education) by Robert Beck was published, stating: `The Soviet Union. . . (has) developed a curriculum known as polytechnical education. . . . rooted in Marxist-Lennist ideology. .. . The German Democratic Republic has accomplished a good deal with its polytechnical education. . . The ideology of Soviet education has blessed the melding of restructured academic studies . . . and the preparation of students for skilled labor. . . . That this should be carefully monitored for possible adaptation in American public education is not a farfetched idea. (Polytechnical Education: A Step was published by the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at the University of California at Berkeley just 3 months after Americas Choice: High Skills or Law Wages?, a report by the NCEEs Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce which included Laura DAndrea Tyson, the Director of Research for the Berkely Roundtable on the International Economy at the University of California at Berkeley, who has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and would become Chairman of President Clintons Council of Economic Advisers.)
In June of the next year (1991), the SCANS report recommended establishing a national system for certifying competency, similar to Germanys `certificate of mastery. Also in 1991, Carnegie Foundation chairman David Hornbecks so-called Human Capital and Americas Future was published describing an approach he admitted might be subject to the charge of `big brotherism.
On Aug. 2, 1992, Assistant Labor Secretary Roberts Jones announced that the federal government was preparing to deny aid and student loans to schools that fail to prepare their graduates with the skills needed to compete for jobs in the modern workplace, saying `this is a touchy subject. Shortly thereafter, Marc Tucker wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton saying he had just come from David Rockefellers office where they were `celebrating Bill Clintons election as president, as that will allow putting into place their agenda to integrate education into a national system of `human resources development . . . from cradle to grave . . . (for) everyone. . . . We propose that Bill (Clinton) take a leaf out of the German book (regarding required) `apprenticeship slots.
Relevant to this, however, was a paper commissioned by the School -to-Work Transition Team in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) within the U.S. Department of Education (one of a set of commissioned papers published by OERI in June 1994). In this paper, `Determinants and Consequences of Fit Between Vocational Education and Employment in Germany, Professors James Witte and Ame Kalleberg stated that `the German apprenticeships system is so expensive. . . Germanys contemporary vocational education system is closely linked to its secondary educational system. At age 10, students are tracked in a rigid educational system. . . . After initial assignment, movement between tracks is rare
NCEE Board member Hillary Clinton had been promoting the Certificate of Initial Mastery concept, and in April 1994 NCEEs Tucker had published The Certificate of Initial Mastery: A Primer. The same year, Senator Ted Kennedys School -to-Work Opportunities Act was passed, and a national campaign is underway to promote the concept. Recently, Miss America 1996, Shawntel Smith in Michigan spoke about `our investment in human capital. Thats what School -to-Work is all about.
Currently, students have the most to say about what career paths they take. But as `human capital, their paths increasingly will be directed by society via STW/OBE educational programs so that they `demonstrate certain skills. A leading OBE consultant today, Harvard University Professor Howard Gardner, (who was involved in the infamous MACOS project), wrote Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, in which he proposed that `ultimately, the educational plans that are pursued need to be orchestrated across various interest groups of the society so that they can, taken together, help the society to achieve its larger goals. Individual profiles must be considered in the light of goals pursued by the wider society; and sometimes, in fact, individuals with gifts in certain directions must nonetheless be guided along other less favored paths, simply because the needs of the culture are particularly urgent in that realm at that time.
Student `profiles are an important part of certain STW initiatives, with employers having continual access to these as part of a permanent file on all individuals who are now considered to be `lifelong learners. In Communist China, the file is called a `Dangan and describes the value of the individual (`human capital) to the State. Gardner has also written To Open Minds: Chinese Clues to the Dilemma of Contemporary Educations.
If Americans arent careful, STW/OBE educational programs will pave the way toward an ominous techno-feudal world of the future.
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