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Minnesota Is Plugged Into The Fed's School-To-Work Blueprint

By Laura Adelmann
MN Christian Chronicle

Government documents show a clear link between Minnesota's infamous Profile of Learning (POL) and a national system that seeks to shift the purpose of K-12 education from gaining knowledge to building job skills and instilling non-judgmental attitudes into children.

On Sept. 14, the Maple River Education Coalition (MREDCO), a Minnesota organization that promotes local and parental control of education, will hold a conference entitled "The New Profile of Learning: Just Say No!" The all-day conference will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. The speakers will include national education expert Phyllis Schlafly, as well as local education authorities Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater), author and former candidate for governor Allen Quist, and Dr. Karen Effrem.

According to education researcher Mike Chapman of Eden Prairie, classroom learning in state public schools is being gradually transformed to accommodate this new paradigm of job training as the primary goal of public education.

K-12 education, which used to emphasize gaining broad-based knowledge, now consists of school-based, work-based, and service-based learning; along with "connecting activities," as explained in Minnesota's School-to-Work Resource Guide.

Under the system, all classroom activities must be presented as a real-world application. The system's work-based portion of school requires kids to get school credits for working in a local business doing what is called "job shadowing." Connecting activities include having elementary students take field trips to discover potential jobs they could do, and creating a work-based learning plan for junior high students.

Chapman explained that a combination of federal laws, implemented throughout the nation, give the federal government unprecedented control over the classroom.

"The philosophical shift in the classroom ties into the entire new system of education, workforce, and the economy," explained Chapman.

A primary goal of the system, according to the "Workforce Committee Report" of 1998, is to create a system that ties business to education, allowing schools to become training grounds for entry-level jobs.

The report establishes methods of workforce development, including "developing and maintaining a lifework plan for all learners, particularly in middle school."

To develop these plans, counselors are directed to "follow and keep track of students throughout their K-12 education," the document explains.

Chapman warns that by eighth grade children are being channeled into career tracks in various Minnesota school districts through "small learning communities."

Chapman explained, "The school day is divided up by very specific focus interest areas. Those interest areas will correspond with what the state has determined are future workforce development needs. In other words, the state will be forecasting the future economy and workforce needs and schools will be retro-fitted to provide the human resources for what government foresees."

Although other states or districts may use different names, the same system is being implemented throughout the nation.

Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) said Minnesota's POL was mandated to all local school districts in 1998, marking the end of traditional local control of schools.

"Prior to that time, localities could truly decide whatever type of educational philosophy and system they wanted to teach, with some restrictions," Bachmann said. "But after 1998, the state, through the federal government, was virtually put in charge of every local classroom."

Allen Quist, author of Fed Ed: The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced, said a 1994 federal law (HR6) mandates that an organization called the Center for Civics Education (or CCE) write the federal civics and government curriculum (often called "standards") for all the nation's schools.

Quist stated, "These standards for civics and government...form the core for the entire curriculum system; they designate that they'll be taught in all other subjects."

The federal CCE curriculum, he explained, forms the philosophical basis, or worldview, taught to children.

Seven themes or underlying messages, Quist said, are clearly identified in the curriculum. Those themes are:

  • Undermining national sovereignty.
  • Re-defining natural rights (life, liberty, property).
  • Minimizing natural law.
  • Promoting radical environmentalism.
  • Requiring "diversity " ("All ideas and values are equal - with the exception of Judeo-Christian principles, which are denigrated).
  • Restructuring government at all levels.
  • Re-defining education as job skills.
  • "What we have here is an out with the old, in with the new," said Quist. "And the first three themes are out with the old...that is replaced with environmentalism, multi-culturalism, central government and job skills being all that education is about."

    Changing childrens' world view, says Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum, and national education policy expert, has been a primary purpose of public education for several decades.

    She has researched the evolution, for instance, of the tolerance movement. Schlafly notes that the word actually means to put up with beliefs you think are wrong.

    However, she said, public school children are learning a new definition, that calls for the mindless acceptance of all beliefs, customs, and cultures, while condemning any moral judgement of right and wrong.

    Schlafly said the National Education Association (NEA) is taking the tolerance movement a step further, replacing the word "tolerance" for "acceptance" in numerous resolutions.

    Through the new definition, activists are promoting such things as homosexual relationships to children as normal, according to Schlafly.

    Said Schlafly, "People who believe that it is immoral and wrong do not expect or want their children taught to the contrary."

    KKMS Christian talk radio personality Joyce Harley has devoted her Wednesday afternoon radio program (1-2 p.m. on 980 AM) to the federal education system and the worldview it promotes.

    "It is evil," she said. "It deals with attitudes, values and beliefs, over core curriculum."

    Referring to a second-grade teacher who recently confessed his homosexual lifestyle to his students, Harley stated, "You may say this is innocent and he's being open and honest, but this second grade child is going to go home to mom and dad and say 'What is a homosexual?'"

    In addition to infusing a belief system, the reformation has dumbed down academics, and turned objective testing into subjective assessments.

    Traditional A-F grading is being replaced by a one through four rubric system, and individual work is being pushed aside for group learning.

    Dr. Lawrence Gray, professor and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics, said the job-skills/ social-activist philosophy is dumbing down math classes.

    He explained that algebraic formulas are no longer being emphasized to students and are being replaced with "a more hands-on kind of algebra."

    Gray said the teaching time formerly filled with knowledge-building is being replaced with fuzzy concepts like probability and statistics.

    Proponents of the math system say the traditional emphasis on rote memorization of mathematical formulas are better performed by computers. They claim students can then focus on analyzing data.

    Gray explained that bright students are held back from achieving their true potential because they are forced to help struggling students grasp the concepts.

    "The reduced emphasis on algebra is going to cause big problems for students who want to go on to college," he said.

    James Rugg of St. Cloud became aware of the changing system in 1994 when he tried to fight the decline of morals in society by getting involved with the local schools. "I wanted to try to bring some sort of a values program to the school system," said Rugg.

    He began attending local school board meetings, and joined various committees that focused on implementing parts of the School-to-Work and Profile of Learning system.

    Frustrated that officials were not answering his questions or providing details regarding the policies they were expected to approve, Rugg began his own research.

    "That's how I became aware of the nature of the School-to-Work program, that it was really a federal program, not a state program, and it worked in conjunction with the Profile and this whole new system was identical to the German and Soviet Polytechnical system," said Rugg.

    He resigned from the committees, and began trying to warn others of all he's discovered. "It's gotten to the point where I've dedicated my life to this," Rugg said. "I think it's that important."

    He spends almost all day, every day, investigating and writing about the system and has joined education groups, including the Maple River Education Coalition (MREDCO), to fight it.

    Sen. Bachmann explained that the federal Workforce Investment Act requires workforce boards, made of governor-appointed members, to implement the federal plan locally.

    The local boards must identify job skills, coordinate all job training, distribute money, and oversee and manage the system of workforce centers.

    Bachmann said that the system creates "public/private partnerships...between government, education, and business that squeeze the liberty out of our society and replace that with a state-managed economy."

    A vision of the new economic system was delivered in 1989 at the Governors' Conference on Education by Dr. Shirley McCune, senior director with the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, which supplies teacher trainers and curriculum strategies.

    McCune said schools are "the center of all human resource development," adding, "What's happening in America...amounts to a total transformation of our society."

    She said the new system includes public schools, businesses, and government working together and would require an "incredible amount of organizational restructuring and human resource development restructuring."

    Quist calls the workforce system a violation of the Tenth Amendment, prohibiting the federal government from being involved in anything other than what is constitutionally allowed.

    "The founders of our country knew that if too much government power was concentrated in anyone place, the consequence would be a substantial loss of our freedom," he said.

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