SCHOOL-to-Work Opportunities Act
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; case down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
School-to-Work Opportunities Act
By Rosanna Ward
Implementation of Goals 2000
On May 1994, Bill Clinton signed into law the School-to-Work Opportunities Act.
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act is the "comprehensive education reform bill" that will "offer opportunities for all students to participate in a performance-based education and training program . . . [and that will] utilize workplaces as active learning environments in the educational process by making employers joint partners with educators in providing opportunities for all students." (Hearne, 1995, p. 46) The legislation which was proposed by Senator Ted Kennedy was written to help implement Goals 2000 (Hearne, 1995).
"On April 26, 1983, the National Commission on Excellence presented a report called ‘A nation at Risk' to then Secretary Terrel Bell and President Reagan. This report informed the nation that the weakness of our schools menaced our well being as a country." (Phillips, cover) It was a call to arms. In 1989 there was an Education Conference under President George Bush of which Governor Bill Clinton was the co-chair. This conference produced America 2000 which President Clinton later changed to Goals 2000 (Phillips) Also, in 1985 the Carnegie Foundation formed the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy which in 1988 became the National Center on Education and the Economy with Mark Tucker as its chairman. On its board was Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 1990 it published, "America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages!" This report was a product of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, a subcommission chaired by Ira Magaziner (who later helped Hillary Clinton write the National Health Plan). In the "America's Choice" report they stated that "a new educational performance standard should be set for all students to be met by age 16." (Hearne, 1995, p. 44) Ira Magaziner and Hillary Clinton then authored an article in Educational Leadership where they explained that "Students passing a series of performance-based assessments that incorporate this new standard would be awarded a Certificate of Initial Mastery and would then qualify to choose among going to work, entering a college preparatory program, or studying for a Technological and Professional Certificate." (Hearne, 1995, p. 44)
In 1989, The Business Roundtable of Washington D.C. was established as an organization of large employers committed to a ten-year effort to work with state policy makers and educators to restructure state educational systems (Hearne, 1995). The Department of Labor under Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole created in May 1990 the Secretary's Commission on Achieving necessary Skills, SCANS (Kjos, 1995), under executive director Arnold Packer (Sunseri, 1994). In June 1991 they published a report called "What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS report for America 2000." The next year they published "Learning a Living." Then in 1993 they came out with "Teaching SCANS Competencies" with a plan for implementing its requirements into school curriculum. School-to-Work was born.
Senator Ted Kennedy initially proposed the STWO Act and wrote the Workforce Development Act that was heavily debated. Senator Kennedy finds that, "the U.S. needs a comprehensive integrated labor market information system to ensure that workforce development programs are related to the demand for particular skills in local labor markets." (Hearne, 1995, p. 10) The language of Mark Tucker's writings appear in almost all state STWO grant applications and federal law reflects his thinking. He authored the manual on implementing STWO and Certificate of Mastery. In a letter to Hillary Clinton he suggested "a major proposal that has to do with government organization for the human resource agenda." (Hearne, 1995, p. 9)
How STW Works
School to Work programs include course work in high school and at a local community college combined with on-the-job training work sites representing a sampling of occupations, industries, and types of employers in the student's selected area (STWO Act). Career counseling starts no later than seventh grade and by the age of 16 every child will be on a career track. During the last two years of high school, students will be trained in a specialized career field through course work, college preparatory credit, and most importantly on-the-job training. The STWO goal is for "a new human resource development system" (Tucker, 1992), which literally means a source of human supply for government and business (Hearne, 1995).
Every state that applies has to show how they will implement the plan and then they each get $1 million for the first year of developing the program. After that they get implementation grants which are renewed every five years. This will help finance state and local school and employer partnerships that would combine academics and work experience. STWO requires a National STWO system that is based on national skills standards. The program is voluntary but if a state does not comply they do not receive the money that goes with it (STWO Act). The first round of grants was received by every state (Hearne, 1995).
Both Sides of the Issue
Business Involvement in Career Training
Many parents support the idea of job training for their children. The program creates partnerships between business and schools which will allow business to train their future employees at the government's expense.
A counselor will help children decide what they want to be when they grow up. This is the while idea behind It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. Through the Workforce Development Act and other legislation there will also be job market information that will help counselors know how many employees in each career will be needed. Counselors, with the help of computerized Individual Education Plans, can then direct enough children into each career (Hearne, 1995). For example, if there are too many lawyers, then that field is closed and another one is suggested.
The opponents of STWO indicate that this program allows for too much federal intervention into education which has historically been locally controlled. There is also the issue of why the Department of Labor is dictating to the Department of Education (Sunseri, 1994). "If we allow government to mandate SCANS competencies into the educational process then effectively the Department of Labor is dictating the goals, quality, and content of education for our children." (Sunseri, 1994, p. 42)
Purpose of Education
Is our purpose of education only to get a job someday, or is there a greater purpose for our lives? Do children, even sixteen year-olds, know what they want to be? Most do not. So counselors with the help of assessment tests will help them make this decision. What say do parents get in this issue? What is a child really wants to be a lawyer, but his test scores say that he is a slow learner, or what if a really brilliant child wants to be a homemaker? (Is this even an option?) What if a child wants to be a Minister, Rabbi, Priest, Missionary, etc.? They we run up against the issue of separation of church and state. How does this bill affect Christian schools and homeschools?
The whole idea of a school, especially a public school run by the federal Departments of Education and Labor, helping my child decide what she is going to do with her life is horrifying to me!! The Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5 that God knows us before we are born and Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." My children are important because of what they are in God not what they are in society. When we are only valuable as a person by what job we have in society that is socialism. In fact, "'human resources' is a Marxist term coined in the 1850's by Hegel." (Hearne, p. 9)
It is important for concerned citizens to wake up, get informed, become involved, confront legislators, and try to turn things around. America was founded with capitalist ideals and freedom of choice. It is very important for children to make their own career choices and for parents to be their guides. School-to-Work is socialist by nature.
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The following is an ACTION ALERT. Few local Chamber of Commerce presidents realize that the National Chambers of Commerce around the world are under the influence of the UN and are promoting School-to-Work globally.
An Action Alert from the American Policy Center, by Tom DeWeese, President
Long-opposed Careers Act Put on Fast Track in Senate
In an outrageous move, the US Chamber of Commerce has issued an "Urgent Action Call" in SUPPORT of S.1186—The Senate version of the House-assed H.R. 1385—the CAREERS Act. The Chamber is taking the "point" position to "grease the skids" to assure passage of this federal assault on American education.
The Chamber tells grassroots activists that the bill just "proposes a streamlined, business-oriented approach to job training." THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE!!!
S. 1186 was originally written and introduced into the Congress by Ted Kennedy—based on an education restructuring plan created by Hillary Clinton and Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy.
The CAREERS Act is the final piece to the evil three (with Goals 2000 and School-to-Work) designed to change America's schools from places of education to little more than job training centers.
S.1186 will give each state's Governor the power to appoint Workforce Development Boards. The Act empowers these boards to control curriculum dictated at the federal level.
The Act creates a linked national, state, and local workforce data bank by combining the computer data banks of the Department of Education, Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.
It calls for Skills Certificates (job licenses) instead of diplomas. Children are reduced to "human resources" status. Home-schooled children may be locked out of society.
THIS IS AN ANTI-EDUCATION BILL THAT WILL EXPAND THE HATED AND UNWORKABLE "SCHOOL-TO-WORK" PROGRAM.
But now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is supporting this rape of American education. Republican Senators will listen to the Chamber. The Senators are being told this is a Republican plan to stop bureaucracy and save money. But in the House this bill was opposed by 57 Republicans and only 4 Democrats. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A REPUBLICAN BILL?
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