Mark Tucker’s Solution to Education: More Government

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MarcTuckerMarc Tucker may be one of the top 5 most influential U.S. education reformers of all time, in line with John Dewey.

From his 18-page “Dear Hillary” letter outlining the total restructuring of education, to his “international benchmarks” all transforming the purpose of education to central control of the workforce, he has been involved in almost every aspect of education.

What would he do to change education? Well, of course, it just takes more government. Here’s a recent blog post found at EdWeek online entitled “Governing Education: Is It Possible?” posted July 11, 2013.

“I feel, some days, as though I am trying to swim upstream when all about me are going in the other direction,” he writes.

“When I look at the growing number of countries with education systems more successful than ours, I see countries–and states within those countries—with effective governance systems—strong ministries of education.”

Marc, perhaps you are the one going in the wrong direction.

Tucker doesn’t mention those countries are socialist, centrally-controlled and managed workforces. So naturally, he believes they’re the best – by his own social justice standards. In fact, he calls education a compilation of “social systems” and credits the best mass systems with having “central designers.”

And who are these designers? He tells us:

“And, inevitably, that designer is the government agency to which responsibility for that function has been assigned.”

His complaint is that “the United States does not believe in government.” He wonders why they give him “stony silence” when his friends ask him what the solution to education is, and he says, “…more government.”

He simply believes in collectivism, socialism, the communal ideal of everyone forcibly conceding private property to the public good. He says: “Government is nothing more than the means that people everywhere have for acting collectively.”

He lauds FDR and LBJ and then complains:

“Jimmy Carter was the first president in modern times who ran for office against the federal government. Ronald Reagan based much of his campaign on that theme. Since then, candidates of both parties have routinely run against the government at every level.

“And we have paid a terrible price for that.”

One could reasonably guess he held a disdain for any president who would warn the people that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

In addition, he blames our lack of trust in government for giving us incompetent government managers who encourage budget cuts that he claims are the cause of failure.

He concludes with his final solution to everything: “…it is not possible to build a world class education system on a state or national scale unless government designs it and runs it.”

And to those of us who do not think it’s possible to have “world-class education” in the U.S. (if you know what that means, you wouldn’t want it either) he says, “…you have given up.”

Then he vows not to give up.

In the early 1990s, I decided it would be apropos to name my research group in memory of his brand of education: World Class Education Research.  Not to promote it.  To expose it.

I’m still here and Marc, I’m not giving up either.