Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, has sent a letter to Secretary of Education DeVos praising the managed economies and “seamless” education and workforce systems of Europe. In it, he is particularly excited about countries where the government and business control career and technical education, believing “business and labor” should “own it, period.” He giddily describes the Swiss system, in which business and labor “set the standards” for various system components, “define the progressions,” and “even examine the candidates seeking credentials.”  This is hardly a free market, but more descriptive of the “personalized learning,” digital badges, data mining, and social emotional learning associated with Common Core. This letter seems to be the continuation of the concepts of Tucker’s 1992 letter to Bill and Hillary Clinton. That letter described Tucker’s plan to “remold the entire American 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, including “national standards” that became Common Core and “job matching,” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” This scheme has been incrementally carried out via numerous federal laws and is moving forward with the proposed merger of the U.S. Departments of Education & Labor and the passage of the new version of the Perkins Career and Technical Education bill. Eagle Forum has long opposed and will continue to oppose this kind of central planning School-to-Work system where the choice of individuals is subservient to the needs of corporations and the directives of the state; and workforce training is elevated above the acquisition of broad-based knowledge.   

An Open Letter to Secretary DeVos: How to Create a World-Class Career and Technical Education System