Education - Background

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush established the ‘New American Schools Development Corporation’.1 The purpose of this organization was to lead a corporate redesign of America’s public schools supposedly to prepare children for the 21st century economy.   On September 17th 1998, Representative Bob Schaeffer (R-CO) placed into the Congressional Record,2 a letter from Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and Economy (NCEE) to Hillary Clinton in which he gives the conceptual design of the system.  He described the system as a national, ‘cradle-to-grave’, seamless web, Human Resources Development system.  In plain language, it is a corporate personnel system with a supply chain management component for a planned economy.


The federal takeover of the public school system actually began in 1965 with LBJ’s Great Society program for education.3  Initially, this legislation targeted disadvantaged children and school districts but as federal intervention grew, the number of disadvantaged children grew correspondingly.  In 1966, the Carnegie Foundation and Ford Foundation funded a proposal to form an organization, Education Commission for the States (ECS) to coordinate education policy supposedly on ‘best practices’4.  They drafted an Interstate Compact  which all 50 states have ratified.   Nationalization of the public schools combined with the ECS driving education policy from the background gave rise to the Education Industry that thrives on failure, starves on success.   


In 1988, the National Cooperative Education Statistics System was established for the purpose of standardizing data collection (pdf)  and computer systems.  While the use of most data elements are theoretically voluntary at the option of the states, federal legislation mandating programs de facto sets the requirements for the use of the data elements so there really is no choice.  There only real variability is in the pace at which ECS member school officials succeed at getting legislators to pass enabling legislation in the states - that was until NCLB.   “Spurred by the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001, virtually every educational reform program now includes an accountability component that requires sound data collection and reporting. Improving data quality has thus emerged as a high priority for educators and policymakers across the country.”5 


Having established the nationalization of the public schools and the standardization of data collection and computer systems, we now have to look at the transformation of the State Employment offices to “Workforce Development” Departments.


1New American Schools and the New World Order’, Douglas D. Noble,  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Assn., San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992.

2 House Representative Bob Schaeffer (R-CO) Extraneous Materials added to the Congressional Record, September 17, 1998, pages E1819-E1825, Letter from Marc Tucker to Hillary Clinton dated November 11, 1992.  

3 History of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,

4 “A brief history of the Education Commission of the States”, ECS website

5 Education Resources Information Center, Abstract for ‘Improving Data Quality for Title I Standards, Assessments, and Accountability Reporting: Guidelines for States, LEAs, and Schools (Non-Regulatory Guidance”, ERIC #