Reforming Public Education
Soon I will publish my first eBook introducing myself to the world. My debut eBook will carry the same name of this web site. The main subject of this debut eBook will be Reforming Public Education – the end result and the solution. What you will read below is the research that led me to the conclusions that I will share with you in the eBook. NOTE: The following information is my opinion based on research, information shared with parents, elected officials, students, and educators. This is and will be the longest Blog Post that will be on this site. And for good reason. Are you ready?
In my opinion, the average American is totally unaware of what reforming public education means to their children, their schools, their community, their state, their region, their country, their global presence. Most Americans do not have a clue nor do they know where to start researching the history of American education less known how to track the reform agenda of American education. And most do not understand what they have supported and implemented in our school systems. There is a lot to tell. The purpose of this blog is more about sharing information than about collecting data. Feel free to comment.
This Blog Post is long because this is the most important issue to me and IS the reason I created this site. I want you to know “What the F Happened” to our education system and why things are.
To understand the goals of reforming public education in America, it would do you well to understand the timeline of compulsory education in America. You would also need a clear understanding of compulsory free/public education and its purpose.
For the purpose of this discussion, I want to talk about five areas of reforming public education in America; the laws that mandated public education in America.
1. The enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (President Lyndon B. Johnson)
2. Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 (President Ronald Reagan)
3. The creation of the U.S. Department of Education (President Jimmy Carter)
4. The enactment of the Improving America’s School Act of 1994, The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, the Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and the Carl D. Perkins Act of 1998. (President William J. Clinton)
and 5. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. (President George W. Bush)
I will not take up your time talking about all of the things I find wrong with the federal involvement in public education. This is not a site where you come to feel good about your involvement unless you are seeking information needed to force REAL CHANGE and none of that YES WE CAN bull! You read! You Verify! You Decide!
I will tell you that since mandatory compulsory education was enforced by law, in my opinion, federal involvement in state and local education is a violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; but who cares? Well, it looks like the people in Utah do. Utah Senator Aaron Osmond of South Jordan, Utah is calling for the end of compulsory education. He wants the people to determine how they want their children educated. What is so wrong with public education that states like Utah, Alabama, and others are seeking to enact legislation to get the federal government out of the business of mandating how and what public education teaches its citizens?
Instead of complaining and egging you on to do the same, I am going to do my best to outline what I believe the federal government has planned for the role our public education system will have in economic and workforce development. But first, we must walk through the steps that got us where we are. As you read through these steps, I hope you will connect the dots. If you have any questions, then please post a comment to ask me the question or make a comment to add anything I may have forgotten. Feel free to use my Contact Zalee Page on this site to engage in private dialog with me. Here we go!
1963 – 1968 – Under President Johnson these are the laws that were passed that affected, impacted, dictated, and/or other-wised set in play federal control over public education in America:
1961 – Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act (P.L. 87-274)
1962 – Manpower Development and Training Act (P.L. 87-415)
1962 – Educational Television Act (P.L. 87-477)
1963 – Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Act (P.L. 88-156)
1963 – Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act (P.L. 88-164)
1963 – Higher Education Facilities Act (P.L. 88-204)
1963 – Vocational Education Act (P.L. 88-210)
1964 – Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (P.L. 88-352)
1964 – Economic Opportunity Act (including Adult Basic Education; P.L. 88-452)
1964 – National Defense Education Act Amendments (P.L. 88-665)
1965 – Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA; P.L. 89-10))
1965 – Higher Education Act (P.L. 89-329)
1965 – National Vocational Student Loan Insurance Act (P.L. 89-287)
1965 – Older Americans Act (P.L. 89-73)
1966 – Comprehensive Health Planning and Public Health Services Act (P.L. 89-749)
1966 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1966 (P.L. 89-750)
1966 – Child Nutrition Act (P.L. 89-642) [Note 6]
1966 – Higher Education Amendments of 1966 (P.L. 89-752)
1966 – Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (P.L. 89-358)
1966 – Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act (P.L. 89-754)
1967 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1967 (P.L. 90-247)
1967 – Age Discrimination in Employment Act (P.L. 90-202)
1967 – Mental Health Amendments (P.L. 90-31)
1967 – Education Professionals Development Act (P.L. 90-35)
1967 – Mental Retardation Amendments (P.L. 90-170)
1968 – Bilingual Education Act (reauthorization of ESEA; P.L. 90-247)
1968 – Architectural Barriers Act (P.L. 90-480)
1968 – Handicapped Children’s Early Education Assistance Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-538)
1968 – Higher Education Amendments of 1968 (P.L. 90-575)
Under the Johnson Administration welfare, government subsidized housing, Health Care for women and children, Free school lunch (Establishment of Title-1), postal zip code (zone improvement plan), Affirmative Action (quotas for hiring minorities, awarding contracts, and minority participation for Blacks in particular were mandated) and voting districts (1964 & 1965 Voting Rights Acts) were a few of the projects that were implemented under the guise of helping the minorities (blacks in particular) gain equal status by enforceable federal laws.
While these laws were being implemented in every state under the Union, President JFK, his brother, Senator Kennedy, Malcolm-X were assassinated. Dr. Martin Luther King gave the “I Had A Dream” Speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. He witnessed the signing of the 1964 Voting Rights Act and claimed that it fell short of the goals and that claim was why the Supreme Court ruled on what would become the revised version of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, established and provided for Title-1 funding for Free Meals in schools and other related federal laws that supplemented housing, health care, and services for women with children. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Black – people burned down their communities. Vietnam started. The government almost went broke. There was a shortage of gas, food, and funding for economic projects. Ten years since the above laws had been passed and the processes had been implemented, Americans had settled down into a new way of life.
To many, they believed that finally there were enforceable laws in place that protected the Black man. A generation of Black folk raised on government funded housing, free meals at schools, and health care. States had completed reforming public education American Promise and programs aimed at reforming public education. Black women received raises on their welfare checks each time they had another baby out of wedlock. Black men were working ‘breadcrumb’ jobs, moving up to the East Side of town, moving across 110th Street in New York City, Entertaining us in sitcoms and Hollywood, dominating the music industry, and sitting besides government officials in politics, integrating elected offices of local and state government, securing government and Corporate employments and living in America in high places. We arrived!
These are the education laws that were enacted between 1977 – 1980 under President Carter:
1977 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-112)
1977 – Consolidated Grants to Insular Areas Act (P.L. 95-134)
1978 – Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) amended (P.L. 95-524)
1978 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1978 (P.L. 95-561)
1979 – Department of Education Organization Act (P.L. 96-88)
1980 – Creation of Department of Education
1980 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1980 (P.L. 96-374)
1980 – Refugee Education Assistance Act (P.L. 96-422)
History will prove that the Unions put Jimmy Carter in the White House. History will prove that Jimmy Carter’s gift to the Unions was to create another layer of government for another Unions controlled group and that was the creation of the U.S. Department of Education. Just like the school bus industry, now there is a controlled agency that controls every school and every teacher, school administrator, and principal in America. This was the ultimate violation of State’s Rights (the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution). Creating this new federal agency, not only assured the government access and soon, total control over every school private or public, but access to every child, every parent, every household, and every state official that had anything to do with education. If President Carter didn’t do anything else while president, creating the U.S. Department of Education was enough.
These are the education laws that were enacted between 1980 – 1992 under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush’s administrations:
1981 – Community Services Block Grant Act
1981 – Education Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA, reauthorization of ESEA; P.L. 97-35)
1981 – Adult Education Act Amendments of 1981 (in P.L. 97-35)
1981 – Follow Through Act (in P.L. 97-35, repealed in 1994)
1981 – Head Start Act (in P.L. 97-35)
1982 – Student Financial Assistance Technical Amendments Act (P.L. 97-301)
1983 – Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1983 (P.L. 98-199)
1984 – Helen Keller National Center Act (P.L. 98-221)
1984 – Education for Economic Security Act (P.L. 98-377)
1984 – Elementary & Secondary Education Amendments of 1984 (P.L. 98-511)
1984 – Bilingual Education Act amended (in P.L. 98-511)
1985 – Health Research Extension Act (P.L. 99-158)
1985 – Child Development Associate Scholarship Assistance Act (P.L. 99-425)
1986 – Education of the Deaf Act (P.L. 99-371)
1986 – Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986 (P.L. 99-457)
1986 – Sections 51 & 52 of Internal Revenue Code (Work Opportunity Credit)
1986 – Handicapped Children’s Protection Act (P.L. 99-372)
1986 – Higher Education Amendments of 1986 (P.L. 99-498)
1986 – Anti-Drug Abuse Act (Title IV, Subtitle C, Indian Education Programs; P.L. 99-570)
1987 – McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 100-77)
1987 – Hawkins-Stafford School Improvements (P.L. 100-297)
1988 – Tribally Controlled Schools Act (in P.L. 100-297)
1988 – Section 414(c) of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act
1988 – Education and Training for a Competitive America Act (P.L. 100-418)
1988 – Educational Partnerships Act (P.L. 100-418)
1988 – Bilingual Education Act amended
1988 – Section 5051 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (National Commission on Drug-Free Schools; P.L. 100-690)
1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act (P.L. 101-336)
1990 – Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-476)
1990 – Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (P.L. 101-508) (repealed, 1998)
1990 – National and Community Service Act (P.L. 101-610)
1991 – Education Council Act (P.L. 102-62)
1991 – America 2000 proposed, but not enacted
1992 – Higher Education Amendments of 1992 (P.L. 102-325)
1992 – Higher Education Facilities Act of 1992 (in P.L. 102-325)
1992 – EEOC Educational, Technical Assistance, and Training Revolving Fund Act (P.L. 102-411)
1992 – Education of the Deaf Act Amendments of 1992 (P.L. 102-421)
By the mid-1980’s if you opened your dictionary to find the meaning for complacent people, you’d find a picture of the Black man and a Black family! Black men in movies, major sport celebrities, in pulpits, receiving degrees, becoming professors, in politics, in government, owning businesses, selected to lead Fortune 50, 100, and 500 companies, and blacks became great doctors and lawyers! Black woman in the low-middle income bracket found themselves making more money than their Black male husbands or mates. Blacks had achieved the amount of success allowed by the system when out of nowhere reports of gang violence, black on black crimes, and something about a strange disease killing black males. Black women received the high-paying office jobs and the black male took on driving, delivery, warehouse, food service, construction, and other industrial or warehousing type jobs. Reports of an increase in teen pregnancy in the black family. Reports of young black males dropping out of school and living lives of pimps, drug pushers, and gang leaders. Our music changed from Rhythm and Blues to rap and from rap to Hip-Hop scrap (emphasis on scrap).
As the culture changed so did television and music. Dress codes and hair dos changed. You could not have a job and be on welfare. Single mothers with dreams of living better, started supplementing their welfare incomes by selling drugs with and/or for their drug dealing boyfriends…got hooked on the drugs, and degrading themselves for the sake of a hit. Enter center stage, the age of Crack mothers giving birth to Crack babies. The sudden appearance of crack and guns in black communities created an environment of crime, death, drug addition, increase of single mothers, and increase prison/jail population of the Black male. These new social issues were sensationalized by the new media that was now on television 24-hours a day. Magnifying these issues in the black communities forced political leaders and government agencies to declare War on Drugs, War on Teen Pregnancy, and reinvented the War on Poverty. Jesse Jackson ran for political office twice. In 1984, Jesse Jackson merged his Rainbow Push Coalition with his new National Rainbow Coalition to promote CIVIL RIGHTS for all Americans and Al Sharpton started the National Action Network to help protect CIVIL RIGHTS for all Americans.
By the mid-1980’s more corporate firms had been formed in this generation than in any era before it. Corporate America was larger than the federal government. Corporate America was now able to contribute to political champagnes making it able to have a larger voice in America’s policy making decisions and political agenda. Leaders of these companies were former land owners whose ancestors were slave owners; that opposed school integration amongst other racial issues Blacks dealt with during the era of Jim Crow.
Congress appropriated tax-dollars for Corporate America to fund their “research and development” projects. Congress funded one study after the other. They studied the worth of college grants (Pell Grants). They studied the effectiveness of Title-1 (free and reduced meals in schools for poor people; especially for blacks).
Once such study that helped launch the next wave of education reforms was the study of a sample of 10th – 12th grade high students across America. The name of the study was known as the “Values Clarification”. This study was done under the ops-pus that the government wanted to know what this age group thought to be their morals and values as in what is right, wrong, fair, unfair, appropriate, not appropriate, kind, evil, bad, or good. The study was used to collect data from students by states and by zip codes to determine their strengths, beliefs, and ethical behaviors when it came to God, homosexuality, sex, parenting, educational dreams, family, and other cultures.
When reviewed collectively, the government learned what ‘core-values and beliefs’ our children were learning from home. Congress learned what new slang words and phrases were used between teens to communicate with each other or on various issues such as sex, problems with parents, and things considered cool and not cool. The data collected submitted to Congress in 1983 as a report entitled: “Values Clarification Report” of 1983.
I cannot find a URL to link you to that exact Values Clarification study and report for you to review, but trust me, the study happened. Do a search on your own and you’ll get an idea of how the collection of data was used for this study and how the information collected from students who were in the 10-12th grades between 1981 and 1983 helped the government determine what values had to be modified in order to set in play their goals for reforming public education.
While the Values Clarification study was a critical milestone to reaching the goal of reforming public education, in my opinion, nothing damaged public education more than the “Nation At Risk” study that was reported in 1983. Congress commissioned and funded a group of people to read all of the studies that had been done on our school aged children since 1981. This group worked with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to gain access to all schools, (public, private, college, and university) to produce the educational “Shock-N-Awe” report! (I am not going to take for granted that you will read the 48-page) report.
If you never read it in total, here’s what you need to know about it. Found in the first six pages an excerpt from the introduction reads: “All, regardless of race or class or economic status, are entitled to a fair chance and to the tools for developing their individual powers of mind and spirit to the utmost. This promise means that all children by virtue of their own efforts, competently guided, can hope to attain the mature and informed judgment needed to secure gainful employment, and to manage their own lives, thereby serving not only their own interests but also the progress of society itself.”
Below are the six reasons the U.S. Department of Education claimed it needed to produce this report. Read each reason carefully. I believe that these reasons came from data collected from our 10-12th grade students between 1981 and 1983 during the National Values Clarification Study:
1. Assess the quality of teaching and learning in our Nation’s public and private schools, colleges, and universities;
2. Compare American schools and colleges with those of other advanced nations;
3. Study the relationship between college admissions requirements and student achievement in high school;
4. Identify educational programs which result in notable student success in college;
5. Assess the degree to which major social and educational changes in the last quarter century have affected student achievement; and
6. Define problems which must be faced and overcome if we are successfully to pursue the course of excellence in education.
Finally, read the declaration the report makes about the condition of America’s Public Education system. As you read this, please remember that you are reading a report that was broadcast across America and became the ‘official’ tool Congress would use to force the reforming of public education back in 1983!
“Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur — others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.
If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.
For our country to function, citizens must be able to reach some common understandings on complex issues, often on short notice and on the basis of conflicting or incomplete evidence. Education helps form these common understandings, a point Thomas Jefferson made long ago in his justly famous dictum: I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
Indicators of the Risk
The educational dimensions of the risk before us have been amply documented in testimony received by the Commission.
1. For example:International comparisons of student achievement, completed a decade ago, reveal that on 19 academic tests American students were never first or second and, in comparison with other industrialized nations, were last seven times.
2. Some 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate by the simplest tests of everyday reading, writing, and comprehension.
3. About 13 percent of all 17-year-olds in the United States can be considered functionally illiterate. Functional illiteracy among minority youth may run as high as 40 percent.
4. Average achievement of high school students on most standardized tests is now lower than 26 years ago when Sputnik was launched.
5. Over half the population of gifted students do not match their tested ability with comparable achievement in school.
6. The College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) demonstrate a virtually unbroken decline from 1963 to 1980. Average verbal scores fell over 50 points and average mathematics scores dropped nearly 40 points.
7. College Board achievement tests also reveal consistent declines in recent years in such subjects as physics and English.
8. Both the number and proportion of students demonstrating superior achievement on the SATs (i.e., those with scores of 650 or higher) have also dramatically declined.
9. Many 17-year-olds do not possess the “higher order” intellectual skills we should expect of them. Nearly 40 percent cannot draw inferences from written material; only one-fifth can write a persuasive essay; and only one-third can solve a mathematics problem requiring several steps.
10. There was a steady decline in science achievement scores of U.S. 17-year-olds as measured by national assessments of science in 1969, 1973, and 1977.
11. Between 1975 and 1980, remedial mathematics courses in public 4-year colleges increased by 72 percent and now constitute one-quarter of all mathematics courses taught in those institutions.
12. Average tested achievement of students graduating from college is also lower.
13. Business and military leaders complain that they are required to spend millions of dollars on costly remedial education and training programs in such basic skills as reading, writing, spelling, and computation. The Department of the Navy, for example, reported to the Commission that one-quarter of its recent recruits cannot read at the ninth grade level, the minimum needed simply to understand written safety instructions. Without remedial work they cannot even begin, much less complete, the sophisticated training essential in much of the modern military.
14. These deficiencies come at a time when the demand for highly skilled workers in new fields is accelerating rapidly. For example:
15. Computers and computer-controlled equipment are penetrating every aspect of our lives–homes, factories, and offices.
16. One estimate indicates that by the turn of the century millions of jobs will involve laser technology and robotics.
17. Technology is radically transforming a host of other occupations. They include healthcare, medical science, energy production, food processing, construction, and the building, repair, and maintenance of sophisticated scientific, educational, military, and industrial equipment.”
Shortly after the Nation At Risk Report was published, every employer and every school in America was ready to do whatever it would take to reverse what they had been made to believe was academic and economic catastrophic national emergency. Employers joined government sanctioned commissions to determine the high-order thinking skills that future employers would need. These skills were determined by proficiency that had to be developed by a local school. NOTE: Each proficiency had a proficiency level. This meant that a value had to be set on each skill. If each skill had a proficiency level, then a value would be set on each proficiency level.
Each employer belonged to an industry. Each industry had a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC number/established in 1937). President Reagan created a Skills Commission group made up of national Corporate and Government leaders who were used to collect these skills from employers all over the country, which by the way, included all of the members of the National Governors Association (NGA).
There were several reports produced by SCANS. One such report was named: “What work requires of schools” not a bad concept. In fact, this was a dam good idea. I worked for a Fortune 100 Company and I understood how much better America’s Economy would be if our schools were preparing our students better for work. When I heard about the coming changes, I jumped on it and helped promote it. Until, I researched how it was being implemented. All these school reform models were manufacturing people that would work on a different pay level, in a different industry, performing tasks with different competency levels in the workforce. Goals 2000 laid the foundation for determining which people would need to go to college or work by what these children were exposed to in school and how they were assessed at graduation. Click Here to review the MAPPING of what SCANS meant to how America reformed public education.
These industry leaders got together to inventory their job titles and define the skills they required of the employees that would hold these job titles. NOTE: This exercise also helped corporations with streamline their workforce when dealing with mergers and takeovers. And if you worked for a Fortune 100 or 500 Company in America between 1983 and 1992, you experienced either being laid-off, sold to another division within the firm, or reassigned because these leaders were being forced by federal law to consolidate economic interest, which required them to eliminate duplication and waste. (A study of NAFTA and GATT will help you make the connection.) This was a major undertaking because while employers were streamlining their workforce, they were engaged in developing the foundation of “What Work Requires of Schools” a SCANS commission report that you will learn later, is the source of why RESUMES will be a matrix of SKILLS FOR SALE!
Let’s say that every employer need their employees to have decision-making and critical thinking skills. That means the decision-making and critical thinking should be skills that employers need schools to develop for their future workforce. However, while these skills were common to every employer across every industry, a fast food hamburger company’s skill level for decision making would be different from the decision making skill level for the V.P. of Marketing at an high-tech IT company. This meant that the Skills Commission would have to establish an identifier for how to determine the different levels of skills. This need created what we know today as the Proficiency Level.
From what I have determine, each skill has a Proficiency Level from 0-5. Next the Skills Commission set three categories of Proficiencies; Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. All skill belongs to an industry. Each skill is assigned to one of the three proficiency categories. Each proficiency category has six (6) levels of proficiencies, zero through five (0-5). A Basic Proficiency level for any skill would be below Proficiency. Being Proficient would be anything below Advanced and at the number that is set for being Proficient. Let’s say zero (0) is not basic. Zero could be a Proficiency number set for people that will not graduate from high school because of a severe disability or cognitive disorder. Or, zero could be set as an indicator on an ‘assessment’ that tells an agency not to include the assessment data in the assessment report for that school. Lets say that being Proficient for a school district is set for 3; then that would mean that Proficiencies below 3 to 1 is considered Basic. Let’s say Basic is 2.9. That would mean that Proficiency levels 2.9 and 1 is Below Basic. Are you understanding how the matrix can be created? Some states will use the numbers in reverse just to confuse matters. With Proficiency Level 1 being greater than Proficiency level 5.
In 1989, an Education Summit was organized by the Bush Administration. Every state sent their Governor all being members of the (National Governor’s Association) to attend this nationally acclaimed Education Summit! The governor of Arkansas, William Jefferson Clinton attended. He took the leading role in creating the Six National Education Goals that would become the basis for the new America 2000 Education Reform Strategy.
After the governors made a pact to support America 2000, all sorts of reports were published through the media from Wall Street to Everyday Street throughout all school and their communities that promoted the wonderful new plan America had for its schools. Unions, educators, government agencies, and political officials were treated to upscale workshops and seminars to get their buy-in for the new phrases and buzzwords associated with the looming education reform agenda. It wasn’t long before everybody was using the new ‘education jargon’! The plan for reforming public education had a name: America 2000. Under the first George Bush administration (President #41), Sen. Newt Gingrich championed the need for reforming public education.
America 2000 would be the means to the end. America 2000 would do all of the things that the Nation At Risk Report declared we needed to do if we were to divert economic overtaking by another country. It would protect our military and academic status in the world. And, we would have the best citizens and employees in the world. It would all be done through reforming public education if we all agreed to follow these six (6) National Educational Goals of America 2000 – an education strategy:
Goal#1 – All children in America will start school ready to learn.
Goal#2 – The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
Goal#3 – American students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter, including English, mathematics, science, history, and geography; and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well, so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning and productive employment in our modern society.
Goal#4 – U.S. Students will be first in the world in science and mathematics achievement.
Goal#5 – Every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to complete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Goal#6 – Every school on America will be free of drugs and violence and will offer a discipline environment conductive to learning.
The 6 National Education Goals had been approved and was ready to be included in President George Bush’s Fiscal Year Budget for 1992 when he and other leading Republican members of Congress read the final report that detailed the negative impact of what this national education strategy would do to our schools, our children, our teachers, our economy, and how laws and processes would strip us of our Freedoms, Independence, and Civil Liberties. And the price tag for the first year of implementation? Reportedly, to make sure every school could at least implement the foundation and framework was somewhere around $700Million – just the education funding. To fund the Department of Labor policies, processes, and training required to link labor with education was another $450Million. Remember this was a budget conservative President and Congress. Education and Labor were just two line items on an already strapped federal budget that the taxpayers were asked to fund without raising taxes. Remember George Bush’s promise to American? “No More Taxes!”
Standing on the advice of Sen. Henry Hyde and yes, Sen. Strom Thuromon, in 1992, President George Bush did not fund his own education plan for America 2000. Was he crazy? He was running for re-election, had been a major player in helping to create and promote America 2000, the education strategy for reforming public education, and at the last minute he let the time expire for approving the funding lapse; thus killing the funds that would the states was waiting for.
Scroll back up and look at the education bills for Presidents Reagan and George Bush. You will see that America 2000 was proposed but not enacted. That’s because President Bush (the father; President #41) would rather known for not funding education reform and not be re-elected, than to be linked to what went wrong with America’s education system. To make matters really bad for President George Bush, killing the funding for the most anticipated education budget happened in the fall of 1992, when America was preparing to either Re-Elect George Bush or Elect new this well spoken, very knowledgeable on all the political issues that happened to be a dual Rhode Scholar and the then Governor of Arkansas, and a flamboyant saxophone player whose name was William Jefferson Clinton.
When William Jefferson Clinton learned that President George Bush chose not to fund America 2000, he made sure that the American people knew that President George Bush, a Republican refused to fund the education that America had planned for its most neediest citizens; the poor black children. Bill Clinton changed his campaign speeches to include a promise that if he is elected president that unlike the Republicans, he would fund education for minorities to make sure that our little black babies would have equitable ‘opportunities’ in the new global economy.
Americans elected William Jefferson Clinton to be U.S. President #42 in November 1992. By the time he sworn in in January, 1993, Marc Tucker wrote the infamous “Dear Hillary Letter“. In it, Marc Tucker explains to the new First Lady the importance of staying on the education reform track that he and others had helped developed in 1990 and had anticipated be implemented.
While President Clinton was tweaking America 2000 to make it HIS plan for reforming public education, his wife, Hillary Clinton was traveling around the country giving speeches written for her by Marc Tucker. The theme of her speeches was: “Tough-Choices-or-Tough-Times!” People listened to the new First Lady and was very interested in the position she was taking in educating America.
Soon, President Clinton’s education agenda was ready to unveil for all to see. Instead of America 2000 with six National Education Goals, President Clinton’s plan for education was to be called: “Goals 2000, Educate America“. Instead of six National Education Goals, Goals 2000 had eight National Goals. Backdrop: Remember that President George Bush let the funding for this education proposal expire. This means that the Congress that debated the education proposal formerly known as America 2000 was very fresh on their minds and since both houses were Republican, a Democrat President was not going to force them to fund and pass what they considered to be very bad for America.
President Clinton took the message to the people through the media. By 1993, he had become a media darling. They loved his charismatic style. He carried the message to the talk shows. The new cable news network he help fund for his Hollywood political supporter (Turner) CNN short for what I call the Clinton News Network. Clinton became ‘The Soundbyte King’. Most Americans grew to hate the Republicans because they believed what Bill Clinton told them: “The Republicans do not want to educate America’s poor little black babies.” He instructed everyone to call our Congressmen and demand them to vote for the education proposal that is going to provide better economic opportunities for our children.
Without questioning why President George Bush would not provide funding for education even if it cost him a second term as U.S. President, Americans (especially Black Americans) made the phone call. Led by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, we wrote and called Congress until they agreed to give us a small portion of the bill $450Million to pilot a sampling of education reform programs in cities with large minority urban (black) communities who voluntarily took the federal money.
What these school districts did not do was read the small print. For accepting $1 of federal money of this education proposal now called Goals 2000, school systems and employers would be forced to implement the program in total even if there were no federal funds available. It would be a few years before this reality hit cash strapped school systems in the face.
It took, President Bill Clinton two years to get his new education proposal for Goals 2000 passed.
These are the education laws that were enacted between 1992 – 2000 under President Clinton:
1994 – Education of the Deaf Act Amendments of 1993 (P.L. 103-73)
1994 – Goals 2000: Educate America Act (P.L. 103-227)
1994 – School-to-Work Opportunities Act (STWOA; P.L. 103-239)
1994 – Improving America’s Schools Act (reauthorization of ESEA; P.L. 103-382)
1994 – Education Infrastructure Act (in P.L. 103-382)
1994 – Bilingual Education Act amended (in P.L. 103-382)
1996 – Museum and Library Services Act (P.L. 104-208)
1997 – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reauthorization (P.L. 105-17)
1998 – Workforce Investment Act (replaces/repeals Adult Education Act; P.L. 105-220)
1998 – Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (P.L. 105-244)
1998 – Reading Excellence Act (in P.L. 105-277)
1998 – COATS Human Services Reauthorization Act (P.L. 105-285)
1998 – Head Start Amendments (in P.L. 105-285)
1998 – Indian Education Assistance Act (amends Johnson-O’Malley; P.L. 105-292)
1998 – Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (P.L. 105-332)
1999 – Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Act (Goals 2000; P.L. 106-25)
2000 – Sections 112 & 115 of American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 106-313)
The amount of money that Bill Clinton poured into reforming public education was the talk of the country. Not one mention about Goals 2000 or its companion bills School-to-Work, or Improving America’s School Act could I find in mainstream media. Mainstream media focused on the amount of money and the so-called educational benefits being realized by URBAN school districts.
By 1992, 15 states and/or cities voluntarily requested funding to pilot the new education reform programs; under Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994 – President Clinton’s plan for reforming public education in America.
1. Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, St. Mary’s County, Maryland
2. Los Angeles County and San Diego City, California
3. Benseville and Chicago, Illinois
4. North Branch and St. Cloud Minnesota
5. Alexandria, VA
6. Hollandale, Mississippi
7. Rochester District, District Three, and New York City, NY
8. Phoenix and Kayneta, Arizona
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts
11. Indianapolis, Columbus, Beech Grove, and Greentown Indiana
12. Gaston County and Charlotte, North Carolina
13. District One and District Three, Kentucky
14. Decatur, Georgia
15. Douglas County, Colorado
Unlike America 2000 that had 6 National Educational Goals, Goals 2000 had 8 National Education Goals. The two additional goals were: teacher education and parental involvement.
On March 26th, 1994, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, was passed by the U.S. Congress. This bill was intended to “improve learning and teaching by providing a national framework for education reform; to promote the research, consensus building, and systemic changes needed to ensure equitable educational opportunities and high levels of educational achievement for all American students; …[and] to promote the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards and certifications….” With the pressure President Clinton, his operatives (that included his wife Hillary Clinton) and the America people, Congress appropriated some $11 Billion Dollars with the passing and signing of Goals 2000, School-to-Work, Improving America’s School’s Acts to include all of the labor laws that were changed that forced big business to relocate, restructure, and reform how they recruited, trained, and partnered with government and schools.
Part A of the legislation outlines national goals for education, to be achieved by the year 2000. The goals are organized in eight categories. They were: (1) school readiness; (2) school completion; (3) student achievement and citizenship (including access to physical and health education); (4) teacher education and professional development; (5) mathematics and science; (6) adult literacy and lifelong learning; (7) safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools; and (8) school and home partnership. In each category, one goal and several objectives were specified.
(1) SCHOOL READINESS
Goal: By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) all children will have access to high-quality and developmentally appropriate preschool programs that help prepare children for school;
(ii) every parent in the United States will be a child’s first teacher and devote time each day to helping such parent’s preschool child learn, and parents will have access to the training and support parents need; and
(iii) children will receive the nutrition, physical activity experiences, and health care needed to arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies, and to maintain the mental alertness necessary to be prepared to learn, and the number of low-birthweight babies will be significantly reduced through enhanced prenatal health systems.
(2) SCHOOL COMPLETION
Goal: By the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) the Nation must dramatically reduce its school dropout rate, and 75 percent of the students who do drop out will successfully complete a high school degree or its equivalent;
(ii) the gap in high school graduation rates between American students from minority backgrounds and their non-minority counterparts will be eliminated.
(3) STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND CITIZENSHIP
Goal: By the year 2000, all students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography, and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well, so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our Nation’s modern economy.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) the academic performance of all students at the elementary and secondary level will increase significantly in every quartile, and the distribution of minority students in each quartile will more closely reflect the student population as a whole;
(ii) the percentage of all students who demonstrate the ability to reason, solve problems, apply knowledge, and write and communicate effectively will increase substantially;
(iii) all students will be involved in activities that promote and demonstrate good citizenship, good health, community service, and personal responsibility;
(iv) all students will have access to physical education and health education to ensure they are healthy and fit;
(v) the percentage of all students who are competent in more than one language will substantially increase;
(vi) all students will be knowledgeable about the diverse cultural heritage of this Nation and about the world community.
(4) TEACHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Goal: By the year 2000, the Nation’s teaching force will have access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare all American students for the next century.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) all teachers will have access to preservice teacher education and continuing professional development activities that will provide such teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to teach to an increasingly diverse student population with a variety of educational, social, and health needs;
(ii) all teachers will have continuing opportunities to acquire additional knowledge and skills needed to teach challenging subject matter and to use emerging new methods, forms of assessment, and technologies;
(iii) States and school districts will create integrated strategies to attract, recruit, prepare, retrain, and support the continued professional development of teachers, administrators, and other educators, so that there is a highly talented work force of professional educators to teach challenging subject matter;
(iv) partnerships will be established, whenever possible, among local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, parents, and local labor, business, and professional associations to provide and support programs for the professional development of educators.
(5) MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE
Goal: By the year 2000, United States students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) mathematics and science education, including the metric system of measurement, will be strengthened throughout the system, especially in the early grades;
(ii) the number of teachers with a substantive background in mathematics and science, including the metric system of measurement, will increase by 50 percent;
(iii) the number of United States undergraduate and graduate students, especially women and minorities, who complete degrees in mathematics, science, and engineering will increase significantly.
(6) ADULT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING
Goal: By the year 2000, every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) every major American business will be involved in strengthening the connection between education and work;
(ii) all workers will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills, from basic to highly technical, needed to adapt to emerging new technologies, work methods, and markets through public and private educational, vocational, technical, workplace, or other programs;
(iii) the number of quality programs, including those at libraries, that are designed to serve more effectively the needs of the growing number of part-time and mid-career students will increase substantially;
(iv) the proportion of the qualified students, especially minorities, who enter college, who complete at least two years, and who complete their degree programs will increase substantially;
(v) the proportion of college graduates who demonstrate an advanced ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems will increase substantially;
(vi) schools, in implementing comprehensive parent involvement programs, will offer more adult literacy, parent training and life-long learning opportunities to improve the ties between home and school, and enhance parents’ work and home lives.
(7) SAFE, DISCIPLINED, AND ALCOHOL- AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS
Goal: By the year 2000, every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
The objectives for this goal are that:
(i) every school will implement a firm and fair policy on use, possession, and distribution of drugs and alcohol;
(ii) parents, businesses, governmental and community organizations will work together to ensure the rights of students to study in a safe and secure environment that is free of drugs and crime, and that schools provide a healthy environment and are a safe haven for all children;
(iii) every local educational agency will develop and implement a policy to ensure that all schools are free of violence and the unauthorized presence of weapons;
(iv) every local educational agency will develop a sequential, comprehensive kindergarten through twelfth grade drug and alcohol prevention education program;
(v) drug and alcohol curriculum should be taught as an integral part of sequential, comprehensive health education;
(vi) community-based teams should be organized to provide students and teachers with needed support;
(vii) every school should work to eliminate sexual harassment.
(8) PARENTAL PARTICIPATION
Goal: By the year 2000, every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.
The objectives for this Goal are that:
(i) every State will develop policies to assist local schools and local educational agencies to establish programs for increasing partnerships that respond to the varying needs of parents and the home, including parents of children who are disadvantaged or bilingual, or parents of children with disabilities;
(ii) every school will actively engage parents and families in a partnership which supports the academic work of children at home and shared educational decision-making at school; and
(iii) parents and families will help to ensure that schools are adequately supported and will hold schools and teachers to high standards of accountability.
These goals and their objectives sounded so good to these unsuspecting parents, teachers, and political leaders that no one I knew that was responsible for the implementation of these reforms asked how the federal government would enforce this idealistic agenda. And when someone like me asked how Goal #1 would be measured and enforced, people stared into space with real dumb looks on their faces. Goal #1; By year 2000, ALL CHILDREN WILL START SCHOOL READY TO LEARN! It said all. Not just black children. The law said “ALL” children will start school ready to learn. Laws are written are enforceable and must be enforced people! How are they going to enforce this legislative goal?
Read the objectives that go with that Goal. Sounds like the Government would have someone be there when you were born and raise your child to their specifications so that when your child entered school whether it be day care or kindergarten, your child would be ready to learn what they have planned for you to learn based on your home zip code. I wanted to know if I was right. This was the red flag for me. And it hit me square on the chin in 1994 when me and a few parents ordered copies of the laws and started reading them page by page.
Today people do not know that Goals 2000 even exist. They have been led to believe that NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and its unfunded mandates is what caused problems in America’s schools. No, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The problems were manufactured by the false report of the Nation At Risk Report of 1984 and followed up by the trumped up plan to fix the fake problems presented in the proposal for reforming public education known as America 2000, which was technically defunded by the very President that proposed the sweeping education reforms. Goals 2000 became the solution and trust me, I strongly believe that President William Jefferson was fully aware of the adverse impact his education proposal would have on the very people he claimed needed it most and would benefit greatly from.
In order to understand Clinton’s education proposal, one would have to think in these terms: Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994 was the proposal, the goal setter, the objectives, and the road map of tasks each state had to perform to set the reforms in place. School -to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 was the second mandate that states who volunteered to implement Goals 2000 had to implement in conjunction with Goals 2000. Each state had to establish workforce zones within their state; establish workforce zones within each county; and connect these zones to government, colleges, and corporations.
Goals 2000 was a national volunteer initiative used for reforming public education. States first thought they could do whatever they wanted to do with the money from these laws so long as they implemented their intention for what they thought was expected of them in each of the 8 Nati0nal Goals. NOT! States quickly learned that there was only one way to implement each program if they were to receive the funds from the cash-register for Goals 2000, which was Improving America’s School Act of 1994. If you took $1 from this cash register, even if it was to pilot the reform initiatives, you were forced to implement the Goals 2000 and School-to-Work as outlined and MANDATED by the federal script. PERIOD.
Fast-forward. Fall of 1995. The agencies that supervised the implementation of these pilot education reform programs started reporting good news about the effectiveness of the education reforms under Goals 2000. State officials amazed by the information they were fed by these report, allowed these supervisors to start testing the piloted programs. These state had no clue or fear of mandates or any form of punishment that included the with-holding federal funds for failing to fully implement the education reforms. They handed our children and our schools over the new education reform leaders.
States found themselves implementing the reform programs in large minority school districts with the largest number of poor children. This was determined by the number of children that received “Free and/or Reduced Priced Meals” from Title-1 funding that had been in place since 1965. I believe once states realized that they were forced to implement these programs, they started with schools with little to zero parental involvements. No, PTA, no watchdog parent group, no parents attending school board meetings raising hell, or no parent group expressing concern about the type of education their children were receiving. The school selected could easily document children that attended school hungry, needing hygiene, needing health care, needing supervision and discipline, and needing guidance. Even the Black families that lived across town from these poor schools was glad to hear that the state was doing something about those Black people who lived in that community. These were the schools that underwent the reforms first. Oh, ditto for poor farm or rural communities that were equality as poor the only difference was they were white or Hispanic.
While the White or wealthier school districts were allowed to keep in place the traditional academic education, Black Johnny in zip-code 20748 was learning how to count using floor tile while White Johnny in zip code 20906 was learning math using traditional academic teaching methods. Black Johnny was happier because he was not stretched beyond his capacity to think and he was getting good grades for justifying the decisions he made that led him to conclude that 1 +1=3. He was getting high grades for getting along well with others and for helping the teacher. Black Johnny was being promoted to the next grade without having completed the traditional academic exercises or test that proved he was ready for Post Secondary education. Teachers and parents had no clue and today do not understand what implementing these reforms meant nor how workforce skills were being developed by schools. They do not know that these schools could not exceed the proficiency levels that were set by the state for each school. Everybody felt good.
School districts did not understand that their State Department of Education was no longer a mediator of employment issues. They were now the CONTROLLER of education and the MASTER over all education issues. By 1995, states had to complete the following: (I cannot list all the changes Clinton’s education bill made…let me put it this way, every area of education, social services, day care, workforce, college, and educating those with disabilities was reformed, created, and/or restructured by the Clinton administration. In the interest of space and your time, I am highlighting the key changes for you to grasp the magnitude of what these reforms did to the traditional academic way of learning and testing what was learned. Click here to read a more detailed the list of changes):
Establish: Workforce Zones/Regions within the boundaries of the state.
Establish: Workforce Zones/Regions within the boundaries of the school district/County
Eliminate Standardize testing and implement assessments for grades 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 or whatever the state determined was adequate; so long as it met the mandates of Goals 2000
The creation of standards base education – One size fits all. (No more letter grades. Assessments in groups. Established confidence ratings of schools and teacher performance.)
Mandated Teacher certification – teachers had to be certified in order to be qualified to teach to these standards. (Not one teacher that taught in a private school had to be ‘certified’.)
Developed an Outcome-base education system that tracks Johnny from cradle to grave – as he is a Life Long Learner.
Create more Title-1 (Free and reduced meals) schools. This is where the money was appropriated. The poorer your school, the more minorities attending your school, the more federal money states received for your schools district. Schools found themselves manufacturing poverty; just to get the money. The flip side is that Black/Minority Johnny (Except Asians) received a education rated Basic Proficiency; that is unless Black Johnny lived in a wealthy or majority white school district/zip code.
Reform: Head Start, Kindergarten, PreSchool, DayCare – Education children received matched the proficiency level set for them according to the workforce zone they lived in.
In 1995, when it was time to appropriate more funding to the education bills or add more lows to complete the reform, Congress said no more money. Most Republican led states had refused to volunteer to implement the reforms. Those states that was losing manufacturing plants and/or had large corporations moving to another country refused to take the funds for education under these education reform laws. The Clinton Administration provided companies with huge tax incentive that voluntarily accepted federal funding assistance in laying off American workers and hiring people that lived in countries with ‘favored nation status‘. President Clinton had the people on his side. The Republicans had the power of being in control of both the House and the Senate, which made it easy to shut down the federal government for five days in 1995 and for twenty three days in 1996. They hoped the American people would wake up and start asking questions as to why the argument over education reform and workforce development resulted in shutting down the government. The Republicans lost the hold-out battle. They had to give in to restart the government and fund Clinton’s social and economic reforms and most of them paid for their participation in the debate with their seats; in 1996, there was almost a new Congress.
By 1998, Congress had passed loads more sweeping labor laws that forced employers to connect directly with the state department of education and partner with schools to provide workforce development education. These two laws (Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the restructured Carl D. Perkins Act of 1998) converted public schools into workforce development centers. Schools were out of the pilot stages of the education reforms and by now, found themselves knee deep in eliminating old traditional academic programs, terminating traditional teachers and administrators, and now hiring teachers that had been trained in other countries, and stripping elected school boards and creating appointed school board memberships made up of people that would rather curse God than to make the state education superintendent mad at them.
Massive grassroots efforts by groups of people who were researching what these reforms was doing to our education system had started publishing books, manuals, reference materials, and with the new Information Super Highway we know today as the Internet, people like me with limited resources could connect with these researcher and share information. I learned so much from reading mountains of materials produced by both the government and these researchers that it did not take me long to have that Ah-Hah! moment; followed by Oh My God! Me and my husband was in a transition of becoming empty-nestters when we learned what the impact of these reforms had on the value of our little house. I detail the story in my eBook. Let’s just say that from 1992 to 1996, the high school my daughter graduated from with a validated 4.71 GPA and a Project Excellence Scholarship, went from being the 13th best High School in the state to the worse; underscore worse.
Was there a report on Clinton’s Goals 2000 Education Reforms? Nope. Did anyone produce a manual that helped Americans understand the impact the 8-National Goals had on education? No. None that I could find. Remember I said not many educators even knew that President Clinton was responsible for and any legislation that had anything to do with the horrible reports they had start to hear about when all of a sudden their Black schools could not compete with their White counterparts across town. Clinton was termed limited and could not run for a third term in office (thank you 22nd Amendment)!
By 2000, President Clinton was working really hard to keep a Democrat president in the White House because they feared all that had been implemented would be repealed or modified and much of what had been accomplished for the new global system would be lost. Al Gore was not elected. It was not that America did not like the Democrats…it was mostly because they were afraid of Al Gore. That guy was scary. The lessor of the two evils was George W. Bush the son of President #41 would become the 43rd President. Yes, America put another Bush Republican in the White House. Education was the forefront of the political issues between these two candidates. Al Gore did not talk about changing or correcting education, George Bush did and the Republicans rallied around him during the Year 2000 Election Season.
By the time, Bush #43 was elected, funding had run out for all of the education reform laws that America had implemented by President Clinton between 1992 and 2000. States with Republican Governors allowed liberal leaders of urban communities in their states to implement the education reforms; but did not require their State Department of Education to perform state-wide school reforms the same as states had that were led by Democratic Governors. Therefore when George W. Bush (#43) took over as President, he immediately started working on an education proposal that aimed to undo the most adverse portions of what Clinton added and subtracted to America 2000 education reform strategy that he used to create his own education strategy (Goals 2000).
By Year 2000, a new epidemic was brewing – Black children could not read and needed remediation to learn how to comprehend!Absolutely amazing! How did that happen?
By the time No Child Left Behind was passed the following reforms were in place: (not necessarily in the order of occurrence between 1995 and 2000)
1. Every majority minority school was involved in school reforms and was being assessed by the new system.
2. News reports, government reports (considered official), State Education Agencies assumed 100% control over their school districts, being forced by law to implement workforce zones, converting employment agencies to workforce centers, connecting institutions of higher learning (colleges and universities) to workforce zones and secondary schools. Every school in the state public or private involved in reforms handed down to them and controlled by the state education agency.
3. School reform models had quietly disappeared and had transformed into workforce development practices with no mention of the previous reform models or what they had done to our children’s thinking and ability to learn.
4. The National Governor’s Association, National Education Association, Federal Teachers Union, National PTA and a few others were all officially committed to the reforms as outlined by SCANS and the federal oversight of the implementation of the Eight National Goals, School-to-Work, and Workforce Development.
These are the education reform laws that were enacted between 2000 – 2008 under President George W Bush:
2001 – No Child Left Behind Act (reauthorization of ESEA of 1965; P.L. 107-110)
2001 – English Language Acquisition Act (in P.L. 107-110; replaces Bilingual Education Act)
2001 – State and Local Flexibility Demonstration Act (in P.L. 107-110)
2002 – Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act of 1946, amended (P.L. 108-269)
2002 – Education Sciences Reform Act (P.L. 108-185)
2003 – Education of the Blind Act
2004 – Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (P.L. 108-446)
2006 – Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act (P.L. 109-270)
2007 – America Competes Act; P.L. 110-69
2007 – Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (P.L. 110- 134)
George Bush had been the Governor of Texas; a Republican state. He understood what Goals 2000 was about and he certainly understood why his father refused to fund America 2000. He knew the strategy that was played with the implementation of the education reforms and how schools failed to teach Johnny how to read and self-learn. He understood what it meant to have the Opportunity to Learn as outlined in Goals 2000 and School-to-Work. He wanted his education bill to promote the teaching of reading using systemic phonics based learning aids. He understood that teen pregnancy was a problem linked to the moral decay of our culture so he promoted Abstinence Education.
The new President George W. Bush (#43) had the pleasure of having a Republican Controlled House and a narrow majority leadership in the Senate with Dick Cheney as the tie breaker. George Bush made all kinds of compromises to get his education bill passed. Eventually, Congress passed what everyone in the education world know today to be: “The No Child Left Behind, Act of 2001″. The bill was passed on January 8, 2001.The bill was promoted as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This was very confusing because the cash register for Goals 2000 was the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. The Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 was also promoted as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); but I noticed it did not say that it reauthorized the 1965 version of the ESEA. Very confusing because Bill Clinton’s Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 allegedly replaced the 1965 version of the ESEA and funded the Goals 2000 and every mandate.
It was frustrating for me because as you will read in my eBook, I was an education and political advocate during the time these bills were passed and implemented. I was one to research and follow the money, which very few Black (African Americans) did. I was not one to believe everything I was told. And I certainly did not believe the hype concerning the promises this new education system would do for ‘urban’ children. When I heard White people say Urban, to me I heard little Ghetto black people. They just could not say Ghetto. When I heard the phrase “education programs”, it was like hearing that another Amendment of the Constitution had been added. I used to question what was the 17 Amendments were called after the 10 Bill of Rights? Think about it. If the first 10 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution are called The Bill of Rights, then what does one call the remaining 17? The Bill of Wrongs?
My father used to complain about Affirmative Action and the 14th Amendment. He used to say: Anytime the Federal Government set aside a ‘special program’ to comply with a law, you can rest assure that the people the program is intended for will be segregated or made different in society. He said just like ‘freedom does not mean free’; Affirmative Action does not mean equal – why else would you need a program? Now that’s coming from the first Black General Contractor in Dallas, Texas and the Union President for Local 648 – back in the day when I was growing up. So, trust me, I grew up questing programs that the government created for dark skinned people that are born and live in America.
Okay, back on track. The reason I got on that tangent was because people in the ‘Education World’ did not talk about Bill Clinton’s education bill Goals 2000. All we heard was that between 1992 and 1995, Bill Clinton was the only president to provide the largest amount of federal funds into educating minorities than any American President on record. Bill Clinton became ‘the’ Black President the great one to replace JFK in the hearts of blacks. And if anyone dared questioned the motives or ask about how things would be implemented and enforced, you were sent to the woodshed and dealt with by your own people.
Little things that should have been questioned like, why all this money was linked to “programs’, how and why minority schools were being reformed first and not the White schools (unless they were on farms or lived below the poverty line like Black schools). No one asked about why little Black Johnny and little Black Tamika were in programs that were being ‘piloted’; they told us that these pilot programs would not affect Johnny’s and Tamika’s education or ability to graduate. These programs were being tested for determining future education programs. If you pulled a copy of the marketing brochure for a reform program associated with the education funding and read the small print…paid for by the Institute of Education Sciences or other educational firms that were created from SCANS (Secretary Commission on Achieving the Necessary Skills), National Education Goals Panel, and New American Schools.
If you lived in or worked for a school district that underwent a school reform between 1992 and 1998, you should remember the following terms and occurrences:
1. School Reform Project/Model (and pages and pages of new education jargon. Most of us called these new phrases edubabble) Why? Because these phrase made you feel good but had no substance; i.e. symbolism!
2. People who were trained to be Change Agents and books and manuals on the theory of ‘Change’ how to force change from bottom up and have change be accepted in the way school taught. In other words, the schools went from academic learning classrooms to workforce development training centers right under the noses of parents, teachers, public officials, and the government that paid for it all to take place without protest and without realizing the change.
3. Performance Outcomes and Mastery Learning (Proficiency Levels of OBE)
4. Assessments (replaced standardize testing; a.k.a. standards based) The very first Official Assessment Report was produced in 1994-1995 by the National Education Goals Panel.
5. Atlas Communities, Modern Red Schoolhouse, (Inbound-Outward-bound Expeditionary-Learning), Success for All, Comprehensive School Reform, America’s Choice, Direct Instruction, Roots and Wings, Audrey Cohen College, COMER (failed in Prince George’s County, MD), and Accelerated Schools were the names of a few of the most popular school reform models that were being implemented across America under the Clinton Administration Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994 and paid for by the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.
6. School system Superintendents were being traded and transferred from one state to the other – just like football coaches. No one new; all the same players – making the same promises, using the same jargon, being instant friends with the state officials, and ducking anyone with a rooted question. The only difference was they had moved to a different school district somewhere in a different state or town.
7. Parent Participation (National Education Goal #8) Parental Involvement
8. In my home state, Maryland the reforms were piloted early sometime around 1991 because our State Superintendent was a member of the initial SCANS Committee. In hopes for what many believed was to secure a higher federal position inside the government, this State Superintendent accepted the whole enchilada of education reforms. Not only did she pilot the programs, but all of a sudden, teachers that taught traditional academics found themselves going out on early retirement, criterion reference test, end of course test, and standardized academic test were thrown in the trash; gone was testing memory and academic knowledge.
9. By 1992, Maryland had implemented a new ‘assessment’ called MSPAP. The Maryland Schools Performance Assessment Program. Parents and education officials were assured that nothing their children was exposed to in their participation of the education and school reform models would go against their actual education scores for graduation. Therefore, when it came time to assess the students that were participating in the piloted school and education reforms, parents and officials had to be re-assured because all of a sudden things appeared to be real and the school year was ending; these parents noticed changes in their children that they started to question. If they were piloting a program that was not going to affect their graduation, then why did our children need to take this MSPAP – end of year (test)? Well, these children got a pass to the next grade. But the next year, we all were in shock.
10. By 1993, Maryland received its first MSPAP report. The report summarized and documented the following: That Black students fell way behind their White counterparts in reading and math – by huge percentage points! They told us that these reports would be used to make determination of what kinds of changes the school system needed to make to help the poor little Black students learn better. Certified teachers, more or less rigor and more hands-on learning in groups, parental involvement, and more money to purchase the reforms were examples of what we were told these ‘assessments’ would be used for. This was the first of the bottom up reforms that was promoted in the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. The State Department of Education learned how to use the media to condition us to accept the reforms and to go along with the information being fed to us.
11. Like countless other school districts, Prince George’s County (my home school district) had contracted this so-called education guru/consultant, Willard Daggett. Bill Daggett was on a mission to help everyone understand that times were going to be rough at the beginning but in a few short years, we would see the different in our students and our education system. Daggett was like the “Jesus” of education. He made people feel so good about ripping our schools apart and putting our children through one experiment after the other that after he left us, there was a hush. No one questioned; they just wanted to make sure the schools got the money it needed to implement what they needed to make the reforms work. As soon as we’d figured out how the processes of school reform worked for one model and begin questioning it, they’d change the reform model, move teachers, and principals, and convince the PTA to replace some of its leading members. They only wanted to talk with people that supported the reforms. Oh no, do not say anything negative about ‘our’ efforts in reforming our school. The school system and board members only talked to parents with children in schools. People (a tax-payer) like me who paid it forward for other children in school after my children graduated was not welcome in circles of parent groups that were pushing the reforms.
It was not the the bill to repeal and return traditional academic education teaching methods to our schools. But it did allow for states to return unspent funds to opt out of certain reforms. The No Child Left Behind Act also allowed states to teach reading, comprehension, and phonics based reading. Finally, the No Child Left Behind Act provided funds for any state that wanted to teach Abstinence Education as methods to teach students that they have options and alternatives to the sex crazed world they were forced to deal with everyday. I supported the bill because of its focus on teaching phonics and abstinence education. That is all he could get Congress to support and I was okay with that until I learned the following:
1. Congress added a stipulation/cause to this bill. If a state that did not volunteer to implement Goals 2000 but wanted money to from President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind bill then that state would have to fully implement Goals 2000, School to Work, and all of their associated federal mandates and they were required to do so with no money because there was no more money in those bills. Yikes!
2. States that had left over funds from Goals 2000 and returned it but requested money from No Child Left Behind could not return the money; they had to complete the Goals 2000 mandates. Why? Because in reality, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, combined the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 that was passed under the Johnson Administration and the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 that was passed under the Clinton Administration. That is why states became so upset with the education reforms, No Child Left Behind gave states a window of time to make their minds up to on how they would reform their schools; after that time, the gig was up – All school district across America was forced to implement the reforms as dictated by Goals 2000.
3. The two things I liked about the No Child Left Behind was (1) the fact that it allowed states to spend money left over money on reading programs, which by the way was missing in Goals 2000. In fact, Goal #3 of Goals 2000 did not include the teaching of reading at all. More on that in a separate blog that will be posted on this site later. And (2) the funding for states to implement abstinence education in their sex ed or health education classes. As I mentioned earlier, I really supported this feature of the bill even though majority minority school districts refused to implement abstinence education.
4. As I mentioned earlier, No Child Left Behind was signed into law in January of 2001. Funding for Goals 2000 had run out. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind had a different set of Goals. During the year that the legislation was being shaped, the president and congressional leaders created a new, highly specific metric to assess annual progress for all elementary and secondary schools and to determine which schools, districts, and states would be sanctioned for failure to meet progress targets. The formula had three elements: (1) By the year 2014, all students must be performing in reading, mathematics, and science at the “proficient” level; (2) in each school each year, student “adequate yearly progress” must increase at such a rate that 100% proficiency would be met by 2014; and (3) the annual rate of progress applies not only to the aggregate student enrollment of a school, district, or state but also to “disaggregated” groups of students according to income, race, gender, English language ability, and special education status. If any of the groups are below expected progress rates, the entire school is considered “failing” and in need of improvement to be realized through presidential sanctions.
In reality, the No Child Left Behind aimed to make right the wrongs of Goals 2000 by giving states ten years to fix their problems. The problem with that? What about the students that had been damaged by the eight year experiment from 1992 to 2000 of Goals 2000? These students had passed through schools unable to fluently read, comprehend, or ready for college or work. Remember when McDonald’s put the picture of the big-mac on their cash register? That was because these students could not perform simple math or subtracting a $2.49 Meal from a $5 dollar bill. The only way students that were exposed to these reforms could make decisions was in group agreement – consensus. There was no leadership or individual critical thinking amongst this new breed of graduating seniors. Guess what the in-ability to think as an individual would mean to someone that became a parent, or had to perform a task on a job, or live independent of their parents? So now the No Child Left Behind education law gave states from 2001 to 2014 to make sure that Every student is proficient in reading, math, and meets the Adequately Yearly Progress thresholds set by the state. Yeah Right! Pandora’s box was opened, the Genie was out of the bottle, the horse had left the barn, and the cows did not come back home. We were in trouble.
From January 2001 to August 2001, Republican states (Governors) quickly took money from the No Child Left Behind Act and sent back money it had unused from the Goals 2000 and used the new money to remediate students in readying and math and taught abstinence in schools with high teen pregnancy or STI/STD rates. Democrat led states used up their money from Goals 2000 because they would not implement No Child Left Behind! We all know what happened on September 11, 2001. Terrorist from the Middle-East hated us so bad that they flew planes into the World Trade Towers in New York City. On that day, America experienced a tremendous loss of life and economic prosperity.
Because of the affects of losing our Global Trade operations, America’s economic engine had run out of gas and a war was brewing. All monies that had not been used in the federal government was being rescinded and appropriated for the U.S. Military to use for its War on Terror.
Now, Democrat led states started crying fowl because there was no money for them to continue their education reforms. States learned that they did not read the small print of Goals 2000. The rude awakening for states was that they had to keep the reforms going themselves. This meant that they would have to raise taxes, partner with businesses, or get rid of other programs so that they could remain in compliant with Goals 2000 or be sanctioned for not meeting the 8 National Education Goals.
This is where schools learned they had to get rid of music, arts, physical education, teacher raises, constructing new schools, and they had to find money for lowering classroom sizes. They found themselves closing remote educational facilities for disabled students and mainstream these students in the public school settings, and decreasing funds for community recreational facilities just to supplement funding necessary to remain in compliant with the mandates of Goals 2000.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Nation At Risk Report was released in 2008. An abstract of the 25-Year-Report of education reforms in America reads:
” In 1983, A Nation at Risk misidentified what is wrong with our public schools and consequently set the nation on a school reform crusade that has done more harm than good. The diagnosis of the National Commission on Excellence in Education was flawed in three respects: First, it wrongly concluded that student achievement was declining. Second, it placed the blame on schools for national economic problems over which schools have relatively little influence. Third, it ignored the responsibility of the nation’s other social and economic institutions for learning.”
President Obama was elected in 2008. On the slogan of “Yes We Can!, people that voted for him looked to him as if he were the Messiah! He’s Black so he will look out for his people.
This is the only education bill that have been enacted since 2008 – under President Obama:
2009 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5) (a.k.a. – The Race To The Top)
Documented by the New York Archives of the State’s Department of Education, “while much of the public attention in the first year of the Obama Administration has been on economic recovery and health care reform, significant education policy efforts have been initiated by the administration and Congress. Education spending was a major focus within the economic stimulus bill, entitled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act appropriated over $40 billion in stabilization aid to state governments to alleviate budget shortfalls, as well as additional funds through IDEA and Title-I of Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The stabilization aid is meant to fund short-term programs, as the funding will not be available past the 2011 fiscal year, but some states have replaced some of their own educational appropriations with federal funds, leading some to worry that state education funding could decrease sharply when stabilization aid ends. In addition, the administration has tied further state stimulus aid to a federal education reform agenda. This includes the Race to the Top Fund, a $4.35 billion competitive grant program that requires states that apply for the funds to submit a plan addressing four education reform goals, including the use of internationally-benchmarked standards and assessments, the recruitment and retention of effective teachers and principals, the adoption of data systems to track student progress, and the improvement of low-performing schools. In addition, states must remove any statutory barriers to using data about student achievement to assess the performance of teachers and administrators, and must remove limits to the number of charter schools allowed in the state.
The administration has also identified teacher quality as a major component in working toward educational equity. The 2009 appropriations bill includes a massive increase in funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund, a program available to state and local education agencies that provides funds for increased performance-based salaries for teachers and principals in high-need schools. Meanwhile, in a major speech to 200 education leaders at the end of September Secretary Arne Duncan launched the reauthorization process for the No Child Left Behind Act (ESEA), calling on them to “join with us to build a transformative education law that guarantees every child the education they want and need—a law that recognizes and reinforces the proper role of the federal government to support and drive reform at the state and local level.”
President Obama’s Race To The Top education bill is a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education contest created to spur innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education. It is funded by the ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Click Here to read what Internet contributors to the Wikipedia has to say about the Race to the Top education reform law. Pay close attend to the list of criticisms of President Obama’s education bill…scroll to the end of the page and read: “A coalition of civil rights organizations, including the Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Rainbow Push Coalition released a statement that “Such an approach reinstates the antiquated and highly politicized frame for distributing federal support to states that civil rights organizations fought to remove in 1965. Where were these guys when Bill Clinton was pushing this crap on our schools between 1992 and 1994? Did you read the 25th Anniversary of the Nation At Risk Report? It was flawed! Now, you say that the Race to the Top education reform law could take us back to Civil Rights battles we fought in 1965 to eliminate?
It has become obvious to me that we are headed to a one world government. I’m okay with that because the issues are much larger than I’ll ever be in life. I have watched closely every President in my lifetime how “reforms” have moved us towards the one world government My involvement in education reform placed me on that track. I believe the reason President Obama has not done anything legislatively to change education is because although he understands that education reform is bias and broken, the mission is to tweak it where possible and let the locals fight for their children – parental involvement. I believe he like presidents before him care about America and its people; but he like presidents before understands that anytime change is in full motion, there will be causalities. As much as I want to blame presidents, political parties, or even the American people, I cannot because the system is controlled by a much higher authority and these things must happened if we are to fulfill the promise. I am committed to pray, watch, and help others know and understand why things are.
In closing this Blog Post, I want to share one very important piece of information with you. Having an analytical mind and being a person that enjoys research and dialog, during my many years of advocacy the one question I asked myself was this: “Is there one common-denominator or one consistent thread that remained in play or that led these series of education reforms that I present in this Blog?” There has to be a root; a foundation; a go-to individual or mastermind. The universe that controls our destination needs common resources that lives across generations and is connected to the ‘source’ of change at the beginning. I went back from the time that I started the education reforms…1965 and guess what I found? Yes, there is a common source. And to my surprise that common source is none other than Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy – a Democrat. Ted Kennedy as he was affectionately known, sponsored and/or co-sponsored every education legislation that passed through the U.S.Senate from Lyndon B. Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to President Obama’s Race To The Top education funding tool that reauthorized President Bush’s No Child Left Behind with huge strings. Here’s what triggered me and led me to search this fact. Ted Kennedy was the member of Congress and served as the minority chair of the Senate’s HELP committee (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) that included the amendment to President George Bush’s (#43) No Child Left Behind education law. The summary of this amendment very simply put instructed any state that requested funds from the No Child Left Behind Act to first implement all of the mandates associated with Goals 2000, School-to-Work, and Improving America’s Schools Acts of 1994. In other words, if a state did not voluntarily take money from the Goals 2000 pot and found itself requesting federal funds for education needs in their state, THANKS TO SENATOR TED KENNEDY, THAT STATE HAD TO GO BACK AND IMPLEMENT ALL OF THE FEDERAL MANDATES ASSOCIATED WITH the GOALS 2000 Educate America Act of 1994 before it could use funding attached to The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001!
The last piece of legislation Senator Ted Kennedy signed into law on February 17, 2009 before he died was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included funds for Race To The Top. Just so that you know that we are talking about the same Senator Ted Kennedy. Read is bio below:
Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and was the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history, having served there for almost 47 years. As the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family for many years, he was also the last surviving son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.; the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassination; and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.
Kennedy entered the Senate in a November 1962 special election to fill the seat once held by his brother John. He was elected to a full six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times before his death. The Chappaquiddick incident on July 18, 1969, resulted in the death of his automobile passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and the incident significantly damaged his chances of ever becoming President of the United States. His one attempt, in the 1980 presidential election, resulted in a Democratic primary campaign loss to incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
Kennedy was known for his charisma and oratorical skills. His 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 rallying cry for modern American liberalism were among his best-known speeches. He became recognized as “The Lion of the Senate” through his long tenure and influence. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff authored were enacted into law. Unabashedly liberal, Kennedy championed an interventionist government emphasizing economic and social justice, but was also known for working with Republicans to find compromises between senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws, including laws addressing immigration, cancer research, health insurance, apartheid, disability discrimination, AIDS care, civil rights, mental health benefits, children’s health insurance, education and volunteering. During the 2000s, he led several unsuccessful immigration reform efforts. Over the course of his Senate career and continuing into the Obama administration, Kennedy continued his efforts to enact universal health care, which he called the “cause of my life.”
In May 2008, Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor which limited his appearances in the Senate. Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy died on August 25, 2009, at his Hyannis Port, Massachusetts home. By the time of his death, he had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman for American progressivism. (November 2009, President Obama introduced his Health Care reform proposal to Congress. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was passed and signed by President Obama in March of 2010. President Obama dedicated the passage of this bill to the now late Senator Ted Kennedy.
Edward Moore “Teddy” Kennedy – Senate member of Congress from 1962 – 2009
Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Sr. (father)
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald (mother)
Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Jr. (brother)
John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (brother)
Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy (sister)
Kathleen Agnes “Kick” Kennedy (sister)
Eunice Mary Kennedy (sister)
Patricia Helen “Pat” Kennedy (sister)
Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (brother)
Jean Ann Kennedy (sister)
PS: As I was writing this Blog Post and looking up Internet reports on Sen. Ted Kennedy, the Wall Street Journal, posted an Opinion entitled: “Was Ted Kennedy a Terrorist? The Obama, Nixon and the debt threat.” by JAMES TARANTO on Friday, September 27, 2013 around 3:33pm ET. WOW! Absolutely amazing. Confirmation that I am on the right track.
Public education in America needs to be reformed again…but not the way the federal government is planning to reform our education system. Lets go back and start over. Reforms from 1900 to 2015. Yes, lets air it all out. What we each need to know about What the “F” happened to America’s school system. This could get long and crazy. That is why I have chopped up the discussion into several blogs. Please try to stay on topic within each category.
1. For a more comprehensive look at the legislative policies U. S. Presidents promoted and/or enacted that is connected to reforming public education in America, CLICK HERE! Kudos to the people at the New York State Archives; States’ Impact on Federal Education Policy Project; Cultural Education Center. They did a great job outlining those the presidents and the laws passed under their administration that can be linked to “What the F Happened” to Public Education in America!
2. CLICK HERE to learn what Values Clarification mean.