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Former NYC DOE Chief Executive Officer Joel Klein and Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice Assess Needs of Public Education From The "National Security" Perspective
From the desk of Betsy Combier: It is fascinating how our government pays people to write about successes that the global community knows are actually failures. I wrote an article about "Education Policy Becomes A Matter of National Security" in 2004, before I found out that Joel Klein took Vincent Foster's office after Foster's death, and became the front man for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's destruction of the New York City public school system. Now we know what Klein and Rice are going to say - that their actions were all taken in good faith as part of the US Government's public policy mandate, but they could not do all that they wanted to do because citizen activists, like me and thousands of others, hindered their progress. The solution? Keep protesters out of the way, take the "public" out of government and education. I dont support this, ahead of the release of the report. Who put these two there in the first place?
   Former New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, and Secretary of State under George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice    
Here is my 2004 article:

Education Policy Becomes a Matter of National Security

Also read my article on Joel Klein violating Education Law 2590-h because the law mandates that the NYC Chancellor have a contract, and he never had one. He also was never given any performance review, and he was, I say, hired to fire teachers and remove the "public" from "public" policy and "public education". He also was mentioned in Linda Tripp's deposition testimony as the man who terrorized the people who worked for Bill Clinton after Vincent Foster died.

Didn't President Abraham Lincoln say: "You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time."

We - here I speak for "the public" - are not fooled.

Betsy Combier

Betsy Combier and Colin Powell, Washington D.C. 2004

Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security
U.S. Education Reform and National Security
Chairs: Joel I. Klein, News Corporation and Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University
Director: Julia Levy, Culture Craver
Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice
The United States' failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role, finds a new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)–sponsored Independent Task Force report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security.

"Educational failure puts the United States' future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk," warns the Task Force, chaired by Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state. The country "will not be able to keep pace—much less lead—globally unless it moves to fix the problems it has allowed to fester for too long," argues the Task Force.

The report notes that while the United States invests more in K-12 public education than many other developed countries, its students are ill prepared to compete with their global peers. According to the results of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international assessment that measures the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, and science every three years, U.S. students rank fourteenth in reading, twenty-fifth in math, and seventeenth in science compared to students in other industrialized countries.

Though there are many successful individual schools and promising reform efforts, the national statistics on educational outcomes are disheartening:

More than 25 percent of students fail to graduate from high school in four years; for African-American and Hispanic students, this number is approaching 40 percent.
In civics, only a quarter of U.S. students are proficient or better on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Although the United States is a nation of immigrants, roughly eight in ten Americans speak only English and a decreasing number of schools are teaching foreign languages.
A recent report by ACT, the not-for-profit testing organization, found that only 22 percent of U.S. high school students met "college ready" standards in all of their core subjects; these figures are even lower for African-American and Hispanic students.

The College Board reported that even among college-bound seniors, only 43 percent met college-ready standards, meaning that more college students need to take remedial courses.
The lack of preparedness poses threats on five national security fronts: economic growth and competitiveness, physical safety, intellectual property, U.S. global awareness, and U.S. unity and cohesion, says the report. Too many young people are not employable in an increasingly high-skilled and global economy, and too many are not qualified to join the military because they are physically unfit, have criminal records, or have an inadequate level of education.

"Human capital will determine power in the current century, and the failure to produce that capital will undermine America's security," the report states. "Large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy, and grow its economy."

The Task Force proposes three overarching policy recommendations:

Implement educational expectations and assessments in subjects vital to protecting national security. "With the support of the federal government and industry partners, states should expand the Common Core State Standards, ensuring that students are mastering the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard the country's national security."

Make structural changes to provide students with good choices. "Enhanced choice and competition, in an environment of equitable resource allocation, will fuel the innovation necessary to transform results."
Launch a "national security readiness audit" to hold schools and policymakers accountable for results and to raise public awareness. "There should be a coordinated, national effort to assess whether students are learning the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard America's future security and prosperity. The results should be publicized to engage the American people in addressing problems and building on successes."

The Task Force includes thirty-one prominent education experts, national security authorities, and corporate leaders who reached consensus on a set of contentious issues. The report also includes a number of additional and dissenting views by Task Force members. The Task Force is directed by Julia Levy, an entrepreneur and former director of communications for the New York City Department of Education.

The Task Force believes that its message and recommendations "can reshape education in the United States and put this country on track to be an educational, economic, military, and diplomatic global leader."

Published on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by The Washington Post
Joel Klein, Condi Rice, and the Military-Business-Education Reform Complex
by Valerie Strauss

Sometime soon we can expect a report from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice. The panel started its work in April 2011 and was charged, according to the council’s Web site, with “evaluating the U.S. public education system within the context of national security.”

Can you guess what the report — which may be released next week — will say? In fact, knowing who headed the commission means that we can do better than just guess.

We can expect it to conclude that public education is in a crisis that threatens U.S. national security; schools need more and “better” assessments; all students should be able to pick the school they attend and therefore we need a new educational structure, and America trains teachers poorly. And what do you want to bet that it says Teach for America is great?

Don’t however, expect to see much, if anything on the fact that 22 percent of American children live in poverty and the consequences of that affect student achievement enormously.

The folks at the Council of Foreign Relations who assembled the commission knew exactly what they were going to get when they put in charge both Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor who now works for Rupert Murdoch, and Rice, secretary of state under former president George W. Bush.

Klein, believing that public education should be run like a business, launched a flurry of initiatives in his eight-year tenure as tenure as chancellor before he resigned in 2010 after it was revealed that the standardized test scores that he kept pointing to as proof of the success of his reforms were based on increasingly easy exams.

Rice has expressed her admiration for Bush’s key education initiative No Child Left Behind, which ushered in the current era of high-stakes testing that is helping to make an already troubled public education system into a real mess. “I liked the way that he thought about education,” she said late last year on NPR. (At this point, there aren’t many people who like the way Bush thought about education.)

The commission project director is Julia C. Levy, who worked as director of communications for the New York City Department of Education under Klein. What a coincidence.

If you are wondering who is on the commission, well, the Council of Foreign Relations wouldn’t say when asked. It is the council’s policy not to reveal who is on its commissions until the final report is released, according to Anya Schmemann, director of communications at the council and director of the organization’s task force program.

Why? Because each report is supposed to be approved by consensus. If someone on the commission decides he/she can’t agree enough with the report to approve it, the person essentially withdraws from the commission. If the person doesn’t want to be identified publicly as having been involved, his/her name stays secret. There is also another option for dissenters: They can sign on to the report but issue a dissent that gets published along with the report, Schmemann said.

So here’s more of what the report is likely to say:

* Expect that it will declare the state of public education to be in such a state of crisis that U.S. national security is at stake because military might isn’t enough anymore to secure America. (But don’t expect it to note that this was always the case).

*Expect it to mention the terrible scores American students got on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress in civics (but don’t expect it to note that Americans have always scored poorly on civics and history).

*Expect a call for some system to assess whether schools are teaching the skills deemed necessary to shore up national security, such as languages and critical thinking (but don’t expect it to note that this thought is hardly original with the commission).

*Expect it to mention a 2009 report that says some 75 percent of American military-age youth are unfit to serve (and also expect it to stress the poor academic record of so many students rather than obesity and medical issues, which was the main culprit cited in the report released by U.S. military officials.)

* Expect it to say that America needs more competition in education and more choice — so much choice, in fact, that every student should be able to choose his or her own school. (But don’t expect it to say that the public education system is a civic institution, not a business opportunity, and that the “choice movement” has not been the success its backers have touted.)

* Expect that it will say that America doesn’t train teachers well enough, but that Teach for America, somehow, does. (But don’t expect it to explain the contradiction in this position. Teach for America only gives its recruits — college graduates who aren’t interested in careers in education — five weeks of summer training before sending them into some of the country’s most troubled schools. Talk about poor teacher training!)

*Expect it to lament the performance of American students on international assessments and talk about how places like Finland and Shanghai are doing better than we are. (But don’t expect it to say that Finland does pretty much the opposite of what U.S. school reformers are doing today, or that the Chinese education system is known for producing excellent test-takers to the exclusion of many other things, or that American students have never been at the top of the international ratings.)

There is sure to be more — praise for the Common Core State Standards initiative, for example, (which the Brookings Institution just predicted would have little effect on student achievement) and a call for an expansion of the standards into subjects beyond the current math and English Language Arts, for another example, and even new standardized assessments aligned with the standards, for yet a third example.

I could, of course, be entirely wrong.

But I bet I’m not.

Press Pass:Condoleeza Rice
Condoleezza Rice: Education Could Be 'Greatest National Security Challenge'

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation