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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

How the Radical Left Is Destroying Free Enterprise and Traditional Education

By Carole Hornsby Haynes October 11, 2019

The American Republic was founded on limited government and free enterprise. Now more than two centuries later, the nation is dangerously close to falling to a socialist government that controls the economy.

Under the U.S. Constitution, education was left by the Constitution to state and local control. Traditional education produced independent individuals who were creative thinkers and, until recent years, the U.S. had the best educated workforce in the world. Now we have the worst, according to the recent policy brief by the National Center On Education And The Economy.

Small businesses, incubators of innovation, thrived with few government regulations and the vast number of American inventions have provided the world with a higher standard of lifestyle. Firms with fewer than 20 employees, make up 89 percent of American businesses.

Of great concern is that the number of U.S. self-employed has dropped notably since 2008.  Business owners state that it is far more difficult to start a business today because of the current stifling government regulations.

The federal government has usurped control of education and the economy. Now we have government dictating workforce training and certifications, economic sectors, in-demand industries, alignment of career and technical education with the needs of in-demand industries, and required workforce training for K-12 students.

Collectivism planned for America

Since the mid-1800s, there has been a continued left wing march toward setting up a massive central government that controls every aspect of our lives, including the economy and education. Thus, the reason for the founding of public education which now controls what children learn and think and their worldviews.

Using the master plan laid out in the infamous “Dear Hillary” Letter penned in 1992 by NCEE President Marc Tucker, Congress passed three laws to implement changing public education to workforce training centers and the economy from free enterprise to a centrally planned economy with national workforce development.

Tucker’s plan would“remold the entire American system” that would be coordinated by a system of labor boards at local, state, and federal levels where curriculum and job matching would be handled by counselors accessing an integrated computer-based program.

This is why we see the coordination of labor now through state and local workforce commissions and additional legislation such as the unconstitutional Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

This system adopts the failed ideas of a state planned economy similar to those of the former Soviet Union. History is littered with the remains of regimes – such as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany -- that have tried to herd people into a government designed lifestyle only to crash after destroying the lives of millions.

Clinton legislation for Soviet-style planned economy

The first law designed to implement Tucker’s grand scheme was Goals 2000 which created a partnership between the federal government and education for national standards, testing, and data mining to create a cradle to grave workforce database. This was implemented by Common Core Curriculum Standards, high stakes standardized testing, data mining of student personal information during testing, and competency-based/computerized training for machine-based skills.

The second law, School-to-Work, created a partnership between business and education to convert schools from academic learning into job training centers with students beginning vocational training no later than middle school grades and locking in a career by end of the 10th grade.

Core subjects are merged with vocational education and school-based learning with workplace learning.

Academics are watered down to allow time for field trips, encounter groups to discuss feelings, and sessions with counselors about workforce choices. Individual achievement is replaced by cooperative learning, group grading, peer tutoring, block scheduling, job shadowing, mentoring, job site visits, and horizontal enrichment.

Federally mandated state longitudinal database systems store personal student information under a child’s social security number for labor market data. School personnel scans information about the child and his family that includes academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and counseling sessions. The data is available to the school, the government, and future employers.

The third law, Workforce Investment Act 1998, established a nationwide network of state workforce boards with government-appointed representatives from business, education, and government to implement and manage the central system locally. Federal funds bypass elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures and flow directly to the governor and his appointees on workforce development boards. (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2013 replaced WIA.)

Feds and big business dictate policy

The government and businesses now dictate decisions that always have been made in America by individual choice. Business executives claim rights to decide what courses and skills should be taught in K-12 to train their future workers. They even help write the curriculum standards and curriculum. Common Core proponent Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson angered many American parents when he described students as a “product.” He views “human value only in terms of productive capability.”

The 2018 reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act further promotes federal economic planning over free enterprise. The bill requires using “State, regional, or local labor market data to determine alignment of eligible recipients’ programs of study to the needs of the State, regional, or local economy, including in-demand industry sectors and occupations identified by the State board, and to align career and technical education with such needs…”

States implement unconstitutional legislation

Since the 1990s the federal government, with state assistance from all 50 states, has been implementing policies to destroy American free enterprise. Both Democrats and Republicans are complicit.

In Texas Governor George W. Bush used the 1996 federal grant for STW implementation and the help of state agencies to move Texas full steam ahead toward a federally planned economy. The State Board of Education didn’t approve this radical transformation of the public education system and the Texas Legislature had not voted to amend the education code to adopt STW.

American economic failure looms

Marc Tucker’s plan to replace free enterprise with a nationally planned economy and workforce development has been implemented across America. Students are no longer being broadly and deeply educated to be adaptable to the rapidly changing job market. As a result, American students have become the least well-educated in the industrial world.

Washington has partnered with corporations to create workforce apprenticeships and colleges scurry to create new majors and narrowly focused programs tailored to get students a job upon graduation. American education from primary through college currently is focused on teaching skills that will mostly be automated in the future. With  advances in artificial intelligence and related disciplines, entire industries will be wiped out and jobs in others will be transformed so as to be unrecognizable.

Solution

If America continues down this centrally planned economy path, we will fail just like the others. The solution is to get the government out of economic planning and education and to get back to the basics of academic learning. On then can America can continue to produce the freedom, wealth, and generosity that have made it the greatest civilization in history.

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