The next giant step of the federal Goals 2000 agenda is being unveiled to the legislators and to the public: Goal 1, All Children Will Start School Ready to Learn.
The nearly 1/2 billion dollar proposal, "The Action Plan for Early Care and Education in Minnesota," would establish a comprehensive Early Childhood Education (ECE) "system" in Minnesota complete with assessment measures. It is intended for "every child." It would "tie the two worlds of pre-K and K-12 together systemically and universally. It would establish an appointed "School Readiness Council" in every school district to oversee preschool needs in the district, under the supervision of the state Department of Children, Families and Learning.
School Districts, under this proposal, would assess all children for "School Readiness" in the areas of their "health and physical development," their "social and emotional development," their "approaches to learning," their "language and communication skills" and their "cognition and general knowledge," and "communicate" their "expectations" to parents.
In their own words, the School Readiness system "is universal and targets 0 to 5 year olds," "links the full K-12 system to the pre-K system" and "establishes a universal mechanism, such as the School Readiness Council."
Some refer to it as "Baby-Ed," defined clearly by Marc Tucker, one of the chief architects of the new education system:
"What is essential is that we create a seamless web of [education]...that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone..." -Marc Tucker's letter to Hillary Clinton, November 11, 1992. (See our article for a look at the Tucker letter that lays out the entire new School-to-Work education system.)
Just as Goal 6 assumes authority over "every adult American" through federally driven "lifelong learning," and Goal 8 assumes authority over parental work of "promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children," so Goal 1 (Baby-Ed) assumes state and federal authority over "a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for young children."
The newly released "Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress," (in pdf format) is clear that "all stakeholders are individually and collectively accountable" for measurable outcomes. "Stakeholders" are defined as families, childcare providers and the "community."
When Minnesota agreed to Goal 1, "All children will start school ready to learn," they placed government as the authority over parents and families, turning our system of self-government on its head.