Friday, January 12, 2007


NCLB doesn't really mean No Child Left Behind. It actually means something much more sinister. No Consumer Left Behind!

Our economists argue that human capital is the critical driver of our country's economic development. And our experts agree that some of our citizens are far better positioned than others when it comes to adapting to the business world. Some of us are more capable of recognizing the importance that our educational system plays in the country's economical future it seems. According to our experts there are only eighteen states whose department of education has adopted a distinct definition of workforce readiness.

The Conference Board, a business-education research group, took a survey of 431 human resource officials last year. The group found that seven out of ten employers deemed the professionalism and work ethics of high school graduates deficient. And according to these human resource professionals, eight out of ten high school graduates lack critical thinking, problem solving skills, and written communication skills which the corporate workforce will require in the near future. The Conference Board states how our educational system is critical to workforce preparedness around the world and to advancing the international marketplace.
“Greater communication and collaboration between the business sector and educators is critical to ensure that young people are prepared to enter the workplace of the 21st century,” says Richard E. Cavanagh, the president and chief executive officer of the Conference Board.

I'm not making all this up! It comes straight from the Education Week website. Even the National Education Association concentrates on adapting our country's youth to workplace issues and responsibilities. And the NEA works hand in hand with the EEOC in order to teach our children how to be responsible employees! America's business executives are telling the people what they want from our children. They set the standards that our children need for their workplace! There is no room for thinkers in a consumer society...only producers!

There is an article in Education Week by the president, Charles Kolb, of the Committee for Economic Development. The CED is a business-led public-policy organization founded in 1942 and based in Washington. In his article Kolb begins with reference to an issue of "Financial Times" and quotes a particular paragraph from the Times' article.
“Young U.S. Business Recruits Lack ‘Basic Skills’ in English.” The article reported results from a survey of more than 430 business leaders, conducted by the Conference Board and the Society for Human Resource Management, that reflected a concern that our country might be “losing its competitive edge to economies such as India and China.”

Last year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development produced a report on children's education throughout the world.
It is not only parents who obsess about their children’s education. Politicians, policymakers and business leaders are just as good at working themselves into a sweat over whether young people are being taught properly and are obtaining the skills national economies require.

You see, it's all about managing business' human resources...their human capital. By completely commodifying our youth and the parents as well, they have transformed our education system into a farming operation. An operation where growing and cultivating our youth for the benefit of the corporate sector of our society is the primary concern of our educational system. Our children don't need to learn to think, they need to learn to produce in the business world of consumerism. Thinkers create problems! Thinkers rebel against injustices! Kolb goes on to talk about human capital.
If our goal is to enhance the country’s human-capital development, we need to think about the expenditure of every education dollar as a dollar invested, not a dollar wasted...Without improvements in education, demographic changes will make it difficult to cultivate the skilled workforce needed.

So, it's all about investment! Education is merely an integral part of the business world! Perhaps it's just me, but all of this seems to contaminate our educational system. Our current system doesn't need reforming; it needs to be torn completely down and rebuilt! We should be concentrating all our efforts on developing independent thinkers, not cultivating our children into human capital for the corporate world. Is it so hard to see what we have allowed them to do to our country? As citizens, is this corporate commodification what we should be supporting? Should we be offering our children as sacrifices to the corporate economical volcano?

The No Child Left Behind Act is a farce. Or rather, it's a corporate agenda cloaked in corporate platitudes. The frosting of the NCLB seems sweet, but once we get past the frosting, the cake is hard to swallow and it's easy to find ourselves choking on it's dryness. And the LEAs, Local Educational Agencies, are forced through the passing of the NCLB to allow military recruiters access to our secondary school students. Now isn't that interesting?


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