Monday, July 24, 2006

Big Brother On Campus

According to the Katherine Haley Will, president of Gettysburg College, the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education is considering a federal registry for all college students. This registry effectively makes everything about your college student their business. All in the name of accountability. From Ms. Will's article in the Washington Post,
Whether you call it a "national unit records database" (the first name) or a consumer-friendly information database" (the second), it is in fact a mandatory federal registry of all American students throughout their collegiate careers -- every course, every step, every misstep. Once established, it could easily be linked to existing K-12 and workforce databases to create unprecedented cradle-to-grave tracking of American citizens. All under the watchful eye of the federal government.
This is part of a direct move toward nationalizing all education into one federal system. I wrote about this troubling commission here.
A national standard of education is a death blow to democracy in America. I hope parents take the time to get informed and decide what type of country they would like their children to inherit.

We already have testing and a demand for national standards at the elementary and secondary levels. Combining the two tracks into one seamless preschool - college (P-16) system is the ultimate objective. (See my post, The New 'C' in NCLB)

Recently, I had a friend call and ask me about her fifth grader. He was declared "unemployable" by his school. He's in fifth grade! His employability was determined by a test score. Parents need to understand, education for some is not primarily about teaching your children. It's about preparing them for work. A seamless P-16 tracking system will allow the government to do this as efficiently as possible. The work of this commission is another step in that process. The full report isn't due out for until September.

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