(Following quotes taken from the deliberate dumbing down of america, 1999, and revised updated version, 2011.)
THE CHALLENGE: America’s Skills and Knowledge Gap
As a nation, we now invest more in education than in defense. Nor is the rest of the world sitting idly by, waiting for America to catch up. Serious efforts at education improvement are under way by most of our international competition and trading partners.
While more than 4 million adults are taking basic education courses outside the schools,
there is no systematic means of matching training to needs; no uniform standards measure the skills needed and the skills learned.
[Ed. Note: Carnegie’s Marc Tucker took care of matching training to needs when his Human Resources Development Plan for the United States, developed by the National Center for Education and the Economy, was unveiled in 1992. (See Appendix XVIII.) As far as keeping track of the progress of our “international competition and trading partners” is concerned, the NorthAmerican Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreements for Tariffs and Trade (GATT),and international co-ordination of ISO 9000 and 1400 through the United Nations will ensure that we maintain “computability.”]
BRITISH COLUMBIA TEACHERS’ FEDERATION IN 1991 PUBLISHED “WHAT IS THE MARKET Model?”
Excerpts from this interesting flyer made available to Canadian teachers follows:
AIMS: The Market Model aims to reduce learning to an instrument serving social power. More specifically public education is enlisted in the Market Model to serve the needs of corporate capital in an information age of global production.
1. In Canada the market model started in higher education, and is now moving to
2. Cuts in government funding, with corporate funding targeted to particular projects.
3. Purpose of education—to compete economically in the international marketplace.
4. Demands that public education be redesigned to serve as a knowledge producer for
private corporations in the national economic competition.
5. Textbook production and distribution under control of private corporations.
6. Academic teachers are conceived as “business persons” who provide goods and
services under Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA.
Competition, Market Discipline
“The Campus as Corporation” (Strangeway, 1984)
Resource Units or Resource Packages
Uniform Standards Skills
MAIN SOURCE: McMurtry, John, Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1991.
[Ed. Note: Many of McMurtry’s tongue-in-cheek ideas are to be found in so-called “conservative”think tanks’ papers on education restructuring. Number 6 under “Features” is particularly offensive in that the idea of teachers becoming “private contractors” instead of school system employees is being discussed and proposed around many a policy maker’s table in this country. What a peculiar thing. If teachers are being trained not to concentrate on subject matter or “lower level skill development,” what would they have to market? The ability to“train” students to perform certain tasks in a certain way in a certain period of time? Market Model Maniacs?]
THE 1993 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION OF WASHINGTON, D.C., dedicated to their twentieth year celebration, revealed the following:
The idea of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originated with Heritage
Fellow Richard Allen and has long been advocated by Heritage policy analysts…. The idea of creating a North American free trade zone from the Yukon to the Yucatan was first proposed by Heritage Distinguished Fellow Richard Allen in the late 1970s, refined by then Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and further developed in a major 1986 Heritage Foundation study. (p. 4)
[Ed. Note: The Free Trade Agreement got the ball rolling for the development of skills standards by the newly formed National Skills Standards Board, endorsed by the 1992 U.S. Labor Department Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) study originated under Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, and eventually led to the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and the dumbing down of American education curriculum for workforce training. With all of this emphasis on “standards” it should be pointed out that NAFTA allows exchanges ofall categories of professionals, with those coming from Mexico and Canada having met their own countries’ standards, not necessarily equal to those required in the United States. If thisprocess evolves the way most of these exchange processes have in the past, that disparity will be addressed in one of two ways—by changing U.S. standards to match foreign standards, or by altering both NAFTA nations’ standards to align with international standards like ISO 9000 or ISO 1400 monitored by UNESCO. This should be of concern to professional organizations in the United States.]
THE IMPACT ON EDUCATION OF THE UNITED STATES SIGNING THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT was discussed in an article entitled “USIA’s Grants Go to Schools in NAFTA Nations” was published in the September 12, 1993 edition of The Washington Times. Some excerpts follow:
United States Information Agency Director Joseph Duffey attending a four-day “implementation”conference at Vancouver, British Columbia, yesterday announced the first North American three-way university affiliation grants to involve exchanges of faculty and staff among Canadian, Mexican and U.S. universities for teaching, lecturing, research and curriculum development.
“We often have university affiliation grants,” Mr. Duffey said in an interview before
he left for Vancouver. “This is the first time we’ve decided to start awarding three or four a year that involved three countries in North America.”… Each USIA award will carry about $100,000, plus travel and per diem expenses, for exchanges of faculty, administrators and educational materials.
The agreement, part of the broadened dialogue that has come out of the North American
Free Trade Agreement, will support an array of projects focused on history, economic
development, international trade and the environment.
“What we seek to do is, among other things, nothing less than dismantling barriers to
academic mobility,” Mr. Duffey said in a speech at the conference. Mr. Duffey said he expects the North American countries to succeed in achieving a sense of regional community where the quest for a common community of nations in Western Europe has foundered.
“We’re trying to reverse the tradition of nationalism and people, who in looking to their identity, look backwards to the past,” he said. “Instead, we want them to look to the future.” (p. A–5)