Smaller Learning Communities

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"In the learning a living system all students, at least through the second year of high school, learn the SCANS know-how in English, match science, history and geography, in other classes (e.g. art), and in extracurricular activities. That is, all students follow a common track until they are about 16, some students are more likely to be learning the SCANS know-how in the context of work, perhaps by specializing in the application" (i.e.job) p. xx.  

It is not specifically stated here, but the game plan in the redesign of high schools is to move to 'smaller learning communities'.  Sounds nice doesn't it?  But 'smaller learning communities' are simply breakout groups for vocational training.   As Senator Michele Bachmann of Minnesota put it:

Smaller Learning Communities
Preparing Workers for a State Planned Economy

"School-To-Work/Smaller Learning Communities (STW/SLC) is actually the star and the purpose of education reform, and it is mandated for ALL children and adults in the public system.  "It is a philosophy, and it is the focal point of the new restructuring of American society".   


The age at which a 'Career Pathway' must be selected varies with each state.  According to Bachmann, South Carolina begins in 6th grade, Texas is 10th grade, Minnesota children submit their application for vocational track selections in the 8th grade. 

In August, it was announced in the Idaho Statesman that the Meridian and Mountain View School Districts received a $1.8 million federal grant to implement the STW/SLC.  The children will make their 'Career Pathway' selections at the end of 8th grade and will begin their vocational training in the 9th grade.   

In January of 1999, Johns-Hopkins published a report titled, "Smaller Learning Communities Meet School-To-Work.  This report uses large urban schools and disadvantaged students as the target population for this program.  This report highlights the fraud and the strategy of the federal Department of Education.  They choose a target population for which a program might make sense and they hire the consultants to design the program.  The real agenda however, is to implement the program across the board - for all students (and families).   In Marc Tucker's letter to Hillary, he specifically states: 

"Everything that follows is cast in the frame of strategies for bringing the new system into being, not as a pilot program, not as a few demonstrations to be swept aside in another administration, but everywhere, as a new way of doing business....

"The proposal reframes the Clinton apprenticeship proposal as a college program and establishes a mechanism for setting the standards for the program.... Focus groups conducted by JFF and others show that parents everywhere want their kids to go to college, not to be shunted aside into a non-college apprenticeship "vocational" program.  By requiring these programs to be a combination of classroom instruction and structured "OUT"; and creating a standard-setting board that includes employers and labor, all the objectives of the apprenticeship idea are achieved, while at the same time assuring much broader support for the idea. [P. 1822]

"The object is to create a single comprehensive system for professional and technical education that meets the requirements of everyone from high school students to skilled dislocated workers, from the hard core unemployed to employed adults who want to improve their prospects..... Trying to ram it down everyone's throat would engender overwhelming opposition....Our idea is to draft legislation that would offer an opportunity for those state--and selected large cities--that are excited about this set of ideas...The legislation would require a competitive grant.... as soon as the first set of states is engaged, another set would be invited to participate, until most or all of the states are involved. 

Now... go back and read the article on the Meridian and Mountain View school districts grant again.  They were 'just thrilled to have won the competitive grant'.