December 15, 2006

"New" Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, Old Hat

All the buzz this weekend about the report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce will probably damp down fairly quickly, for a few reasons:

  • It's so mind-bogglingly "new" and "fresh" that it has the same title as what produced America's Choice with "New" in front of it.
  • It's so mind-bogglingly "new" and "fresh" that the thing that interests Eduwonk Andy Rotherham is that it doesn't call for new funding.
  • There's a huge inertia in the system that tends to bury redesign efforts (see Tyack and Cuban's Tinkering toward Utopia).
  • The Democrats' political motivations will still drive things in very different directions.
  • It's being released close to the weekend in the middle of December.
  • To read the whole thing, you have to pay for it.

That's right: the well-funded National Center on Education and the Economy only has the executive summary online, and you have to pay $20 for the whole thing. In an age when everyone and her or his brother release PDF reports for the whole world to download and read, Marc Tucker is using a very old technique to push a radical redesign. My prediction: no one outside the Beltway and a few dozen people will read the report in full unless it's available for free.

In other words, Tucker is Scrooging his own commission's work.

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Posted in Education policy on December 15, 2006 5:57 AM |