Bite-size Pieces of GOALS 2000
By Kathy Finnegan
Since publication of my 350-page book analyzing GOALS 2000, title-by-title, I've been asked to summarize what's in the law and to comment on its current and anticipated fallout. Because all Americans - whether as taxpayers, parents, relatives of school-age children, employees, or employers - are affected by this legislation, it's important that we have a general grasp of what the law actually contains. As I'm sure most are aware, GOALS 2000 is our national centerpiece educational reform/ restructuring plan, backed up by the force of federal law (P.L.103-227), signed by Bill Clinton on March 31, 1994, to be carried out "voluntarily" by the states.
Introduction: We are told (twice) in the very first paragraph that this is "framework" legislation. A framework, as anyone who has ever seen a house under construction knows, is only the skeletal outline of what the finished product will look like; it's a "work in progress-" And that's what GOALS 2000 is, a law subject to change and expansion with every reauthorization. Those of you familiar with the Johnson administration's Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed in 1965, but reauthorized every five years since, will recognize how the "framework game" is played. Public education has become a multi-billion dollar taxpayer-supported industry. Education alone received $29.9 billion for FY-98, and this amount does not include labor, health, and social services which are now part of "restructured" education. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations (P.L. 105-78) signed on November 7, 1997, totaled $277 billion for one year! Despite repeated usage of the word "voluntary" throughout the law, we're also told in the first paragraph that GOALS 2000 provides a "framework for reauthorization of all Federal programs." How voluntary can this be when other federal education programs (like the ESEA cited above) are now expected to line up with the aims and objectives spelled out in GOALS 2000? Is any state going to risk losing other federal education funding for non-compliance? All 50 states are currently receiving some form of GOALS 2000 money. There were a few initial holdouts, but in 1996, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) offered individual school districts the option of applying directly for GOALS 2000 funds. The massive changes this law is meant to bring about cannot be accomplished unless all schools participate, so the DOE educrats bent over backwards to bring everyone on board.
Title 1: The eight National Education Goals are spelled out in Title l. Summarized they are: l. School readiness 2. School completion 3. Student achievement and citizenship 4. Teacher education and professional development * 5. First internationally in math and science 6. Adult literacy and lifelong learning 7. Safe, disciplined & alcohol & drug-free schools 8. Parental participation
* These 2 goals were added to the original 6 in AMERICA 2000.
Most who have heard of GOALS 2000 have some familiarity with these goals. They are the only part of the law that received any real media attention. The goals (to be attained by the year 2000), which all sound commendable at first glance, were the "sell" for passage of the law. However, without even digging into the specifics of each one, it should be noted that of the eight, only two (goals 3 and 5) deal directly with academics. The eight present goals grew directly out of six earlier national education goals contained in AMERICA 2000, the Bush administration predecessor to our current law. Those six goals, in turn, parallel six international education goals adopted at a U.N. sponsored conference in Jomtien, Thailand within months of the launching of AMERICA 2000. I have taken considerable space in my book to document the role of the United Nations and other internationalists (often financed by wealthy foundations) in shaping the steady socialist drift of U.S. education. Most parents are puzzled by their loss of local control and wary of increasing state and federal mandates, but are completely unaware of the even more alarming international manipulations that go into shaping U.S. educational policies.
Title 2: This title formally sets up a new entity, the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP). In addition to issuing an annual "report card" on progress toward the national education goals, this body was set up to review and be the final judge of national standards and assessments. Is this a powerful group? Well, it is if you believe that curriculum and testing are at the heart of any educational program. A national standards council was also called for in Title 2, but proved so controversial it never got congressional funding. Critics referred to it as a "national school board." However, what the DOE doesn't get one way, it usually gets another and at the Governors Summit in 1996, a new national standards information clearinghouse called "Achieve" was formed. This group, funded by governors and business leaders, is apparently carrying on the work of the defunct national standards council. A national test, which Clinton has called for, has likewise proved very controversial. The DOE was fast-tracking national testing, but has been temporarily slowed down when Congress forced them to turn the development contract over to the National Assessment Governing Board. The Goals Panel will be studying "Early Childhood Assessment." (More about this in Title 4.) They're also charged with coordinating a national strategy to infuse technology into all educational programs. If you listened to Clinton's 1997 State of the Union address, all these themes will have a familiar ring. And I see nothing in the law to prevent the NEGF from adding additional national goals over time.
Title 3: Title 3 called for each state to submit to the DOE a Statewide Systemic Improvement Plan (SIP) showing that they are in compliance (or working hard at getting in compliance) with the many "suggestions and guidelines" spelled out in GOALS 2000. Wasn't this supposed to be "voluntary"? Most states dutifully submitted their SIPs, but since some were balking, the absolute requirement was eliminated in 1996. Whatever it takes to get all states on board! One of the prominent features of Title 3 is the partnershipping of schools with a myriad of outside agencies, services, and businesses, in order to provide non-educational services such as child care, nutrition, health care (including school-based health clinics), social services (including welfare, counseling, and social Security services), and to establish mechanisms to get students into the work force (emphasizing vocational training and apprenticeships). GOALS 2000 refers to all this coupling of the schools with non-educational activities as "coordinated access." What we did not know at the time of passage of GOALS 2000, but can now see, is that Hillary Clinton's failed national health care plan is being brought in through the back door using our school children and the public schools as the point of entry. Medicaid funds are being used for a broad range of these services. Using the schools to deliver health care and social services, a 180 degree turn from delivering academics - is, in fact, one of the radical changes now taking place in U.S. schools. These non-academic programs and services increase the state's primacy in the lives of our children and push Americans ever deeper into a cradle-to-grave managed society. We will, at the present rate, soon be no different than the socialist countries we've seen in this decade imploding under the weight of their failed systems - systems we now seem eager to emulate! Lifelong learning (part of the 6th National Education Goal), a concept developed by UNESCO, is to be included in every state's Systemic Improvement Plan.
Title 4: This enables the first National Education Goal: By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn. It does this by funding in every state "Parental Information and Resource Centers." In many states the available money will be used to expand and operate already existing programs such as PAT (Parents as Teachers), Home Instruction for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), or Success by Six. By whatever name, these are parental training programs aimed at children from birth to (usually) three years. GOALS 2000 affects us all because it addresses the entire lifespan of every citizen from programs like PAT through lifelong learning. A media campaign has been launched to push the early childhood agenda. And if we want a preview of what's meant by "lifelong learning" (innocuous sounding edu-speak), China is the model. A second annual conference between high ranking U.S. educrats and their counterparts in China will take place in July 1998. China leads the way in societal control and tracking with the infamous "dangan" that follows each citizen womb-to-tomb.
The PAT program combines group interaction with home visits, and while anxious first-time parents might glean some tips on child development and rearing, few are aware that the "nice" social worker who has just visited their home goes back to her office, pulls up the child's cumulative electronic portfolio and enters data on all she has observed in the home. These "certified parent educators" are especially concerned about "risk factors" that might necessitate the services of the health clinics and social service agencies with whom the program is coordinated. Though these parental "assistance" programs are still voluntary, we see in them the state pushing to assert its primacy over the family. They're sold as parental assistance, but in reality they advance an agenda of parental obsolescence and replacement by state agencies.
Title 5: This creates a National Skill Standards Board charged with establishing a set of national job-related standards, complete with the mechanism for testing and certification. To really understand this title, it is necessary to know that at almost the same time GOALS 2000 was signed into law, a related law, The School-to-Work Opportunities Act, P.L.103-239, was also passed. S-T-W established a formal partnership between the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor. One of the collaborations between the two agencies has been to work on an outcomes-based apprenticeship program, complete with "portable credentials" (already popping up across the country as Certificates of Mastery). S-T-W is one of the federal laws where grant money is tied to compliance with GOALS 2000 - one of the points of juncture between the "framework" legislation of GOALS 2000 and ''reauthorization of all Federal programs." We have certainly not heard the final word on S-T-W and other education-labor linked legislation. Last year we narrowly avoided a managed economy scheme called the CAREERS bill which would have consolidated and greatly expanded S-T-W, the National Skill Standards Board, and many other federal programs that deal in some way with education/labor training. The move away from broadly educating students and leaving it up to them how and where they will apply that education to a much narrower vocational training that fits into a government-designated slot is well under way! Despite assurances that these "career" programs are necessary to move us competitively into the 21st century, all but the academically gifted are being prepared for the low-wage, global workforce.
Title 6: This sets up international education exchanges through our U.S. Department of State. These are to be primarily with former Soviet-bloc countries in the areas of civics, government, and economics. Does it surprise you to find this in our centerpiece educational restructuring legislation? To see where such an idea comes from, I begin my book with a 70-year chronology of important events in American education to make very visible the normally unseen hand of the United Nations and other globalists in shaping our educational system. I contend we are being steered into a one-world economic, political, and religious system, so it makes sense to have the schools of the world as much in sync as possible. If this is not the case, what is the explanation for the educational course we are following?
Title 7: This title began its life as a stand-alone bill, the Safe Schools Act of 1994. As often happens with federal legislation, this one got folded into and became a part of the much larger, fast-track GOALS 2000 bill. Title 7 enables the seventh National Education Goal, which states:
By the year 2000, every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
Not surprisingly, we get more partnershipping in Title 7 - this time between the schools and various law enforcement and community agencies. Emphasis is on programs involving the whole community - the now familiar "It takes a whole village (read that "government bureaucracy") to raise a child" concept popularized by Hillary Clinton and parroted by the media. Half of the Title 7 money is for a model project to be carried out in Wash. D.C. A related law, The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994 (P.L.103-382), will receive $556 million in FY-98.
Title 8: This provides funds for Minority-Focused Civics Education which apparently is yet another term for diversity/multicultural training. The grant money is to develop and operate accredited summer seminars for teachers and other staff. How likely is it that special presentations to minorities, who are not defined in the law, (leaving that door wide-open), and Native Americans will do anything other than further divide and polarize an increasingly heterogeneous and contentious nation? What has become of the old "melting pot" where we accepted ourselves and each other as simply Americans, one and all? Clearly that notion, which was once one of the stated missions of American public education, has been tossed out the window.
Title 9: Title 9 is the bloated behemoth of GOALS 2000 nearly 1/3 of the total 155-page law! Like Title 7, this one started out as a stand-alone bill, supposedly a "routine" reauthorization of the DOE's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). The OERI is the large office (with field offices and "labs" scattered around the country) from which emanate many of the experimental programs that end up in our classrooms. A close look at this reauthorization quickly revealed that it was far from "routine." In addition to funding for already existing programs, Title 9 of GOALS 2000 adds to the OERI empire a new Policies and Priorities Board, an Office of Reform Assistance and Dissemination, a national library, and - the biggest expansion of all five Institutes (patterned after the National Institutes of Health). Each of the five Institutes is assigned a special mission (one or more of the top priority reform/restructuring agendas).
Title 10: This is the landfill of GOALS 2000. All sorts of odds and ends that didn't fit anywhere else were dumped here. There are no less than 14 separate and unrelated items (sections). Here you will find everything from "Sense of the Congress" sentiments to grants for midnight basketball leagues. Although one of these sections is entitled "Protection Of Pupil Rights," and spells out some legal rights in much the same manner as the Hatch Amendment, few parents will be aware that this is included in the final pages of a 155-page law that many still have not heard of and fewer still will ever read.
Anyone studying the GOALS 2000 legislation will be struck with how little it has to do with academics. Yet this is our centerpiece educational reform/ restructuring plan - and it's the law! If it's academics-light, it's because "school reform" does not mean the same thing to those pushing a global agenda as it does to parents and most classroom teachers. The change agents who brought us this law were very smart to choose one of America's most familiar, trusted, and used institutions - our public schools. And with the well publicized problems of recent decades, the climate was definitely right for federal "crisis intervention" in the name of reform.
Wherever I talk to parents, I find most are still trusting of their local schools and tend to think the serious problems are occurring in someone else's district or city. However to ignore what's happening everywhere through mandated federal and state programs is to put our children, their future, and the future of our republic at great risk. When GOALS 2000 has been fully played out - paired with other federal legislation and programs to which it is linked, the real reform/restructuring agenda will be seen for what it is - not a framework for academic excellence, but the long-range plan for the total restructuring of American society in order to "harmonize" us with the socialist/communist countries, using schools as the medium of change. The 13 years your children ("human capital") spend in government schools are more than ample to mold the desired attitudes, values, and behaviors sought by those minding the store. Is a micro-managed socialist state the future you want for your children?
If you wish to learn more about GOALS 2000, my book is:
GOALS 2000: Restructuring our Schools. Restructuring Society
It's published by and available from:
Hearthstone Publishing, Ltd.
500 Beacon Drive
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73127
1- 800- 652-1144
This article was copied and reproduced in its entirety without changes.
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