"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, December 15, 2006

America's Choice Redux

Want to guess the origin of this document?:
The task force, composed of 34 individuals from all sectors of business and education and co- chaired by two former secretaries of the U. S. Department of Labor, argues that improving productivity is the only chance the country has to raise, or even maintain, its current standard of living. However, in the past two decades, real productivity growth has slowed to a crawl, relying almost entirely on women entering the workforce and creating two- wage- earner families in order to maintain current standards of living. The commission concludes that if productivity continues to falter that the country can expect only one of two futures: either the top 30 percent of the population will grow wealthier while the bottom 70 percent becomes progressively poorer, or all will slide into relative poverty together.
This is from the first circulation of Master Tucker's reform agenda 16 years ago in 1990. It would appear that the the major change from then and now is that an exclamation point has been added to the end of the title,
AMERICA'S CHOICE: HIGH SKILLS OR LOW WAGES. It is interesting to note that the 1990 dire warnings about falling productivity were followed by the most sustained decade of economic growth in the history of the world. Wonder if we can expect a similar boom following this year's do-it-or-we're-cooked rhetoric.

Next post: Is Marc Tucker America's Choice?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    If you think about the timing for this report (Thursday in the middle of December, after an election which demonstrates that the new Congressional majority has a very different set of priorities in education) and the method of its distribution (you have to pay for the full report, though the NCEE is well-funded), you have to wonder if Marc Tucker is unintentionally deep-sixing his own efforts.