A Common Core aligned Workforce's closet is full of these skeletons: Manpower,Jobs Corps, CETA, Workforce for Year 2000, School-to-Work, Goals 2000.
A Common Core aligned Workforce closet is full of these skeletons:
Manpower, Jobs Corps, CETA, Workforce for Year 2000, School-to-Work, Goals 2000 and WIOA 2014.

Each Thursday, since I began my blog, I’ve devoted Thursdays to the lesser talked about post secondary Common Core aligned schools, curricula, etc. Just recently, a question from CT along the lines of when did the Dept. of Ed. and the Dept. of Labor really join forces to do all this, was asked of me. Excellent question. I’ve been burning many hours trying to find the information.  From the incredibly researched Charlotte Iserbyt, the answer, start looking around “Goals 2000”. Her advice was to begin there. As usual, with the government, there’s more than one skeleton in the closet..Especially when that closet is connected to CCSS.

Let Me Tell You a Story:

In searching, I was ‘silly’ enough to think if I typed in the 2 U.S. level Departments, I’d get an instant result that would be worth cheering over. But alas, it wasn’t to be. If you do an internet search with only those 2 names, you’ll get results that are more than likely suitable for filling an encyclopedia, not open a good ‘mystery’ novel.  So, taking one Department at a time, we’ll be introduced to each skeleton in this story.

U.S. Department of Labor’s website revealed, this big skeleton:

Begun in 1913, it turned 100 back in 2013. It’s motto:  “To foster, promote, develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the US; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment and assure work-related benefits and rights.” From what I could glean from their historical timeline, the Dept. pretty much stayed out of the U.S. educational system until 1958, when a policy group began to address the concern of an adequate supply of trained workers for the future skills that would be needed (possibly) by 1978. From there, in 1962, the “Manpower Act” was established. It was to develop and train the unemployed. There was also research into training workers. Then 1969, “Jobs Corps” was moved from one government office to the Dept. of Labor. Both the 1962 and 1969 actions were part of the “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” that President Johnson was promoting. Some of Pres. Johnson’s other programs: “Neighborhood Youth Corps”, “Special Impact”, and “New Careers” programs.

In 1973, CETA (the “Comprehensive Employment and Training Act”) replaced the “Manpower Act”. President Carter revamps CETA in 1977 into “Jobs Corps” (not to be confused with the earlier program). In 1978, a “Private Sector Initiatives Program” began. It’s purpose? To have the most disadvantaged be trained for jobs by private companies. Then, fast forward to 1983, CETA gets replaced by JTPA (the “Job Training and Partnership Act”). This moved workforce training from a national level to state controlled one. During 1985-87, “Work Force for Year 2000 Project” began and co-operated with “Project Literacy US” to meet future skill needs.

In 1990 the “Secretary’s Commission of Achieving Necessary Skills” was appointed. This group, whose work was completed by 1992 found that competencies needed were a)effectively be able to use resources, b)  interpersonal skills, c) information, d) systems and technology. Enter 1993, the (then) Secretary of Labor begins to really hone in on building skills for the workers. By 1994, when the ” School-to-Work Opportunity Act” rolled out, it was to ease the transition for many in high school to go to work. Followed by “Goals 2000”, which established national skill standards to certify workers. States were given money to establish ‘one-stop job centers’. Since then, from 1997-2001, Sec. Perez oversaw the reorganization of the “Workforce Investment Act”. 1998, due to the WIA, means were created for businesses to participate in workforce training and career pathways. It also replaced the JTPA of 1982 as well as gave funding to communities via local, state, and federal resources.

From there, workforce/education mixing is involved in the 2010 release of the “Affordable Healthcare Act” with Title Four. Most recently, the revamped “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” ties Common Core to Workforce via the “Career Pathways” in, at least 21 ways (which I detailed on Prevent Common Core’s website in my article, “Common Core and the Workforce”).

Added note: For a fascinating objective review of some the above mentioned government workforce programs, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa077.html

Dept. of Education, the next big skeleton:

Directly from their website’s historical page: ‘Beginning in the 1950s, political and social changes resulted in expanded federal funding for education. The successful launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957 spurred nationwide concern that led to increased aid for science education programs. The 1960s saw even more expansion of federal education funding: President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” called for the creation of many programs to improve education for poor students at all levels—early childhood through postsecondary. This expansion continued in the 1970s with national efforts to help racial minorities, women, people with disabilities and non-English speaking students gain equal access to education. In October 1979, Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88). Created by combining offices from several federal agencies, the Department began operations in May 1980.’ (source: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg2.html) Page 3 of their history lays out their 4 main goals, 1) all things financial aid, 2) data mining, 3) identifies major problems and nationally addresses them, 4) ensures everyone behaves in schools. {if you want a more serious look at what the DOE does, be sure to access their website}.

What about the “Goals 2000” Mrs. Iserbyt talked about?

Ahh, my fellow anti CCSS readers, you’ll love this skelton. G2 established a national framework that identified world-class academic standards, upped the assessments factor, all while giving students all the tools they needed to meet the 8 goals (see the six above and add on these 2: a) teachers development and b) parent participation).

It was here, with G2, we got the every child will begin school at a certain performance level; that nationwide graduation rates would be 90% or as close to it as possible; that mandatory assessments at certain grade levels must occur. Focused on was the competency of math, English, science, and foreign languages. Civics, government, economics, art, history, and geography must also ‘measure up’. All to ensure that all students, every school be a responsible member of society, be productive and most of all, contribute to the economy.

It was with G2, we were told we’d be #1 globally by doing all this, especially in math and science; that our illiterate adults would be able to overcome that, possess knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century. It was here, we were told our teachers would become a force and that every school would participate with others, especially the parents. It was, in fact, the creation of the National Education Standards and Improvement Council that the standards began their journey to become national, in more ways than had ever been seen before.

It was G2 that also created the National Skill Standards Board to develop rigorous occupational education grouped into clusters, thus creating a system of unified instruction, assessing, and certifying. In short, ‘Goals 2000’  was ‘all encompassing’ in paving the way for where we are now in our current fight.

There is more about the U.S. Dept. of Education’s role in Career Pathways, Common Technical Education Core, and the like, by accessing my previous Tech Thursday posts. (if you are new to my blog, please feel free to start there or to read this and then go back) However,  let’s move on, I’ve got a surprise ending you just have to read!

Money and Data, the ‘biggest, baddest’ skeletons in the closet:

The reason I’m lumping these two together is, thanks to our federal government, they have so masterfully intertwined these two you’d need a board certified ghost buster to separate them. Thanks to my querying reader, I was able to uncover a bevy of documents detailing when each of the (to date) 29 states involved in this aligned Workforce Career Pathways Training was granted money…and lots of it. For a two fold purpose; this is the ‘surprise’ ending, but before I tell you, do you think you can guess?

Workforce Quality Data Initiative, one of the newest skeletons:

This is being conducted through the U. S. Dept. of Labor, HOWEVER, it’s what the initiative does, who it involves that you’ll want to know about.  The program takes educational data and workforce data and combines them to better align to each other!

All that student longitudinal data? Here’s just one of the places it lands! Look at the 2nd goal the Initiative has:

“Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system.”

While there is even more to this skeleton, this by itself is huge! Yes, just like Race to the Top, this Initiative involves lots of money that has been handed out in rounds to certain states. As with any government funding, there are strings for those states accepting. By taking the money, they MUST, within the 3 years the grants are good for, begin the database or expand their existing ones.

Where I live, Where You Live:

As you may know by now, I live in North Carolina. NC was in the group of states awarded grant money via Round 3 of the WQDI, in 2013. We got $1, 156,348 to ‘align and mine’. Round 1 states, got their money in 2010, Round 2 states, 2012. Round 4 states were awarded their money this past June (2014). There are states yet to be awarded, but, don’t be surprised if and when they do.

Here’s the press release that accompanied NC’s award (as see on the DOL’s website):

“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $6 million in grants for the third round of the Workforce Data Quality Initiative. These funds will enable up to six additional states to build or expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data, enabling them to improve the performance of workforce programs. “These grants will provide access to high quality data, which will help improve how the workforce system serves those who need assistance most,” said Jane Oates, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. “Better data means better guidance for consumers, practitioners and policymakers. Better guidance means stronger workforce programs and a stronger U.S. workforce.” Grantees will be expected to use these longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs, and to develop tools to inform customers of the publicly funded workforce system. This grant opportunity stems from the Obama administration’s focus on access to high-quality data and is related to the U.S. Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants to build longitudinal education databases. Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple goals during the three-year grant period. These include developing or improving state workforce longitudinal data systems with individual-level information, enabling workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems, improving the quality and breadth of data in the workforce data systems, using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations, analyzing the performance of education and employment training programs, and providing user-friendly information to help consumers select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.”

One lone sentence to add to the above from the 2014’s Round 4 press release tells of a larger looming agenda item, “expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data and help these states to better understand how education and workforce development programs complement each other.” As I have shared with you before it is illegal for national database of this magnitude to exist..however, if the states build them one, by one and then join them..that’s a whole different scenario, right? The government would like for us to believe that.

*NOTE: In the event you are not aware of the 3 federal laws that prohibit this: The HEOA (Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, The NCLB(No Child Left Behind) legislation amending the ESEA’s (Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s)  ERSC (Education Reform Sciences Act) 2002, and the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act).

Click to enlarge to see which round your state receive 'align and mine' money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you've not been awarded money yet.
Click to enlarge to see which round your state received ‘align and mine’ money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you’ve not been awarded money yet.

The end?

No, it appears this saga is far from over, but for now, we’ll open the closet and let the skeletons rot in peace.

10 Comments

  1. You are doing an incredible job. I teach in West Palm Beach,Fl

    1. Author

      Karen,
      Thanks so much! It is wonderful to know you have found the information helpful. Is there a particular thread of Common Core, STEM, STEaM, Next Gen, etc. that you are most vexed by? Is there a certain topic that you would like to see more in depth information about? Please let me know.
      Thank you for teaching in these troubled times.









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