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Education Reporter

Hillary Letter Lays Out
School-Workforce Plan
RALEIGH, NC -- An 18-page letter written by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center of Education and the Economy (NCEE), to Hillary Rodham Clinton shortly after Bill Clinton was elected President lays out the plan by which the education establishment hopes to achieve interlocking control over both the public school system and the nation's economy.

One would naturally have expected the implementing legislation for the NCEE-Clinton agenda to come from their liberal allies in Congress, but surprisingly, it has come in the form of H.R. 1617 (Consolidated and Reformed Education, Employment, and Rehabilitation Systems Act, known as the CAREERS Act), sponsored by many conservatives. There are numerous parallels between the plan set forth in the Tucker letter and the provisions of H.R. 1617, but the following should suffice to demonstrate the connections:

  1. The NCEE plan refers to all being "taken care of at the local labor market board office by one counselor accessing the integrated computer-based system." H.R. 1617 (Sec. 108) describes a "one-stop career center system [that] shall include unified and linked computer systems."

  2. The NCEE plan calls for a system that "creates a seamless web of opportunities to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave." H.R. 1617 (Sec. 3,a,5,E) indicates that among the "major goals of any reform of the Federal workforce preparation and development system must be . . . encouraging lifelong learning and skills upgrading through a seamless system."

  3. The NCEE plan calls for "a seamless system of unending skill development that begins in the home with the very young." And H.R. 1617 (Sec. 402) refers to "early childhood education" and "training for parents."

  4. The NCEE plan "creates a single comprehensive system. . .[that] means sweeping aside countless programs, building new ones, combining funding authorities, changing deeply embedded institutional structures, and so on." H.R. 1617 (Sec.3,a,5,A) lists as a major goal: "to streamline and consolidate individual workforce preparation and development programs, eliminating unnecessary duplication and fragmentation in such programs."

  5. The NCEE plan would "create a National Board for Professional and Technical Standards" and would develop "national performance standards." H.R. 1617 (Sec. 224) would establish the "National Skills Standard Board" and would have "performance goals."

  6. The NCEE plan would have "counselors available to any citizen to help them assess their needs" and workers would be assisted "in the selection of education and training programs offered." H.R. 1617 (Sec. 306,b,3,B and D) provides for "individual counseling and career planning" and "development of an individual employment plan."

  7. The NCEE plan calls for a "Dislocated Workers Program." H.R. 1617 (Sec. 305) describes how "the employment and training needs of dislocated workers" will be served.

  8. The NCEE plan provides that workers would "receive vouchers for education and training." H.R. 1617 (Sections 109 and 306,c,4,A) calls for "vouchers" for "education and training services.

In a surprising role-reversal, liberal Democrats in Congress in Report 104-152 accompanying H.R. 1617 correctly warn that "this bill actually could reduce local and individual accountability because it centralizes too much control in the hands of one set of decision-makers: the State Governors. The bill could actually result in the undermining of State organizational decisions and in the lessening of the ability of local officials to develop job training programs most suitable for local needs."

Commenting on H.R. 1617, Virginia Miller of the Public Education Network in Pittsburgh said: "H.R. 1617 erects a mechanism by which government can centrally plan the economy (and government bureaucrats take on the role of social engineers). Labor Market Information System projections will become the basis of the vocational-technical education that is integrated into the curriculum of our local schools. Our children will thus be trained according to government projections. Shades of totalitarian regimes, such as China, where under a centrally planned economy, academic theory is discarded in favor of specific training for specific jobs."

And Eugene Maxwell Boyce, Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Georgia, wrote in The Coming Revolution in Education that "in the communist ideology . . . education is tied directly to jobs -- control of the job being the critical control point in an authoritarian state. Level of education, and consequently the level of employment, is determined first, by level of achievement in school. They do not educate people for jobs that do not exist. No such direct, controlled relationship between education and jobs exists in democratic countries."

Reported by Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D., who has taught in public schools and universities, and is a former Senior Associate with the U.S. Dept. of Education.

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