Friday, June 13, 2014

"Designing a System of Skill Standards" for Children

In working on posts for my blog I ran across this fascinating paper which I sent out to my research list! Note the Editor's Note comments at the very end, which I bolded. And below that read additional commentary:

A PAPER ENTITLED “ISSUE FOR DESIGNING A SYSTEM OF SKILL STANDARDS AND CERTIFICAtion for the American Workforce: On What Basis Should Occupation/Skill/Industry Clusters Be Organized?” by Robert W. Glover of the Center for the Study of Human Resources, University of Texas at Austin, was prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor in May of 1994. Mr. Glover has contributed to several national and international studies, including America’s Choice: High Skills or Low Wages! and was the author of the Texas Department of Commerce’s publication entitled Developing a System of Skill Standards for the State of Texas (January 1993). Excerpts from Glover’s paper follow:

 The Appeal of Setting National Standards as a Device To Reform and
Upgrade American Learning Systems

In its report published in June 1990, the Commission on Skills of the American Workforce placed the development of skill standards and certification on the table as a major policy instrument for improving the education and training preparation of the American Workforce.… Specifically, the Commission’s first recommendation called for “A new educational performance standard... for all students, to be met by age 16... established nationally” (p. 69)… [and] described the new assessment system as focusing on thinking-based achievement rather than routine skills. This new certification, which has come to be called the Certificate of Initial Mastery was envisioned as a cumulative assessment and certification process involving a variety of assessments, including a portfolio of performances and projects. It was to be administered by an independent examining organization and focus on “thinking-based achievement, not routine skills.”

Recommendation number 3… called for the development of “a comprehensive system of Technical and Professional Certificates and associate’s degrees for the majority of our students and workers who do not pursue a baccalaureate degree” (Commission on Skills of the American Workforce, 1990, p. 77).

The Certificate of Initial Mastery aims to cover general workplace skills whereas the envisioned system of Technical and Professional Certificates and associate’s degrees was aimed at assessment and certification of specific occupational skills. The two types of certification are parallel and complementary…. The two sets of skills are related but separable. Obtaining a Certificate of Initial Mastery was considered by the Commission as a gateway or threshold conveying eligibility to compete for Technical and Professional Certificates.

The Commission on Skills of the American Workforce recommended that the Certificate of Initial Mastery be “benchmarked to the highest standards in the world” [undefined] (p. 69). Likewise the standards of Professional and Technical Certificates should be “at least equal to those set by other advanced industrialized nations” (p. 77).

Since the publication of America’s Choice: High Skills or Low Wages! in June 1990, considerable progress has been made toward moving the concept of a cumulative portfolio of tests, projects, and achievements into reality. Within a short year, public opinion about national testing made a remarkable transformation from high negative to positive (Marshall and Tucker, 1992). The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), chaired by William Brock (who also served as co-chair of the Commission on Skills of the American Workforce [U.S. Secretary of Labor]), developed an innovative taxonomy of transferable generic skills applicable to all workforce entrants in a high performance economy. The New Standards Project, under the direction of Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy and Lauren Resnick of the Learning and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, working with a consortium of 19 states and 6 local school districts, is developing new approaches to assessment toward the creation of a certificate of initial mastery (National Center on Education and the Economy, 1994a, 1994b, and 1994c). Now the recommendations of the Commission are embodied in the Goals 2000 legislation recently passed by Congress and signed into law.

As an amplification of the above report, the writer would like to quote from the presentation
by Paul F. Cole, secretary-treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO Chapter, at the Second Annual Model Schools Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994. Mr. Cole’s statements included:

I worked on the critical thinking skills portion of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report. The fundamental revolution in the workplace called for restructuring of education to meet the challenge….
Value-added students produce a high performance environment….

We must go from norm-referenced to criterion-referenced testing. Educational equality is the goal. We must benchmark nationally. Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) study on standards reflected these changes to be made:
  1. Setting standards
  2. New assessments—portfolios, authentic assessment
  3. System of credentialing
  4. Curriculum frameworks
Some industries are devising standards for school achievement. Queens Aviation High School, [Queens] New York, meets FAA standards. National Skill Standards Board is  working on integrating comprehensive skill standards….
Manipulation of symbols is a skill used with computers rather than direct observation
of information. This will affect how we teach reading.
[Ed. Note: This last statement regarding reading should be considered very seriously. What changes in the teaching of reading have been promoted of late? Primarily, the “scientific, research-based, direct, systematic” Skinnerian behavioral approach characterized by direct instruction—and funded under The Reading Excellence Act in 1998. Is this emphasis an outgrowth of SCANS-related policies adopted by “partnerships” between government and business interests at the expense of real educational opportunities for children? In 1981 Professor Anthony Oettinger said in a speech that “in the modern context of functionalism, they [comic books], may not be all that bad” for instruction. Comic books and Paul Cole’s “manipulation of symbols” have much in common....](Excerpted from pages 329-330 of my book the deliberate dumbing down of america.)

This plan described above requires school choice/charters. How else could the Soviet workforce training system be implemented?  The present hierarchical public school system with its K-12 competitive academic focus will not work for the corporations. They need individual education plans, money following the child, no competition, Skinnerian performance-based teachers and computer curriculum, Total Quality Management brainwashed workers. The present system does not allow for such a restructuring from academics to workforce training. Concerning this terrible information above, Steve Schran wrote the following comment, which he gave me permission to share on the blog:

There isn't much that scares me most of the time.  This isn't one of them though.  What Charlotte just sent to everyone to me is the most profound information about the birthing of a World that is so filled with horror and deception for the generations to come that it boggles my mind.  It not only scares me but makes my blood boil!  What or who gives these sick individuals the RIGHT to plan my daughter and granddaughter's future?  To plan how humans on earth would think and live has got to be one of the most diabolical agendas man can do to another man.  Those that plan for our future masquerade as good but they are not good.  They are Satan's children working to destroy all that comes into their path!  They are possessed in the true sense of the word.  God help us as we continue to expose their evil ways.