105 Peavey Road, Suite 116
Chaska, MN 55318
If Minnesota is any indication, Marc Tucker's new for-profit National
Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), will be coming to your state. In
Minnesota, Tucker will be conducting a private briefing for legislators-only
on what is being billed as "transformational issues and trends affecting
public education today." "Transformational education" is understood to mean
what the McGraw
Hill textbook website defines as existing for the purpose of "the
transformation of society."
Less than twenty-one months after the Minnesota legislature overwhelmingly repealed the Profile of Learning, Marc Tucker a close Clinton ally and recognized architect of the federal education take-over (Minnesota's Profile of Learning), is privately selling his curriculum to state legislators, beginning Feb. 9th. No media, no staff, and no public are allowed into three nights of private wining and dining by Tucker and his associates from the National Center for Education and the Economy.
Marc Tucker is known for his infamous letter [this is a pdf link] to First Lady-elect Hillary Clinton after the 1992 presidential election in which Tucker wrote:
"We [will] have a national system of education in which curriculum, pedagogy, examinations and teacher education and licensure systems are all linked to the national standards [federal curriculum]..." [p. 3]
Tucker and his NCEE organization have been key players in the development
and implementation of transformational education in our country, largely
through his influence in the crafting of the Goals 2000 and School-to-Work
legislation of 1994, his America's Choice curriculum, and his New Standards
Project. Tucker's letter to Hillary Clinton proposed a plan which, Tucker
explained, came from a meeting of key players he brought together. One of
those participating in his planning meeting was Lauren Resnick, a partner in
his New Standards Project, and another speaker at the private briefings to
In his letter to Hillary, Tucker described his plan for transforming education this way:
"to propose concrete actions that the Clinton administration could take between now and the inauguration, in the first 100 days and beyond... We took a very large leap forward in terms of how to advance the agenda on which you and we have all been workinga practical plan for putting all the major components of the system in place within four years, by the time Bill has to run again." [p. 1]
All this laid the foundation for Goals 2000, School-to-Work, and the
radical national standards (federal curriculum) in civics, history, social
studies, geography, and math. (See the book
Tucker's NCEE changes to "for-profit".
According to an article in Education Week, November 17, 2004, Tucker's star is fading under the Bush administration. Federal grants that were "once lavished on it" are harder to come by. As a result, last year, Tucker's NCEE reinvented itself as a for-profit company, with Tucker himself as the majority shareholder. The EdWeek article states:
"Like other nonprofit initiatives involved in comprehensive school reform, America’s Choice no longer can attract the large sums of money that foundations and the federal government once lavished on it for research and development. Instead, it sees its future tied to the delivery of services to help schools improve... That growing market niche for services has been richly supported by federal grants and by funding distributed by states. Some states have endorsed and steered districts toward specific improvement programs or lists of programs...Mississippi, for example, has a contract with America’s Choice..."
Tucker went on to explain to EdWeek that America's Choice needs new money
to expand to serve thousands of schools, rather than hundreds. Tucker's group
has used more than $100 million of foundation and federal grant money over
the past 15 years to develop its curriculum and training materials. Now those
resources "have largely dried up," Tucker stated.
How did Tucker get a private presentation to MN legislators?
St. Paul Superintendent Pat Harvey is a protégé and former employee of Marc Tucker. She has aggressively promoted America's Choice in St. Paul schools, and next week she keynotes Tucker's national conference on America's Choice in Orlando, Florida. Harvey's office also played a key role in getting Tucker's group three private briefings with the legislators.
In a slick insider job, an employee from Pat Harvey's St. Paul School District headquarters approached the Democrat Senate Majority Leader and the Republican Speaker of the House with a proposed letter to be sent out to all legislators signed by the legislative leaders, directing legislators to attend three evening forums and receptions in February. Called "the Capital Forum Series 2005," the forums are sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation, which also receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grant money ($390,000 in 2003).
The forums are about "transformational" education. As the letter to legislators stated, the forums are about "transformational issues and trends affecting public education today that may have significant impact on into the future." Transformational education is all about changing society, not about educating the student. (See McGraw Hill textbook website.)
The forums are also about changing Minnesota's laws and schools. The letter to legislators stated that the forums will "reflect on educational policies we can enact now that will affect long-term outcomes for Minnesota's children." The first forum features Marc Tucker himself on Feb. 9th. On Feb. 16th and on Feb. 23rd, two other close Tucker associates are featured, one of them being Lauren Resnick (see above). In other words, Tucker is pushing his radical transformational agenda.
Senate Republicans refuse to sign on.
Tucker maneuvered himself and his new NCEE into being personally promoted by Minnesota legislative leaders. Three of the legislative leaders were quick to sign the letter. The Republican Senate minority, however, refused.
If Tucker and the NCEE make their appearance in your state, make sure your legislators know who they are, and insist that knowledge-based education be given least equal time.
Julie M. Quist