The transition from modernism to postmodernism is not an easy one and the clash of the two work views can be seen particularly clearly in the arena of education. As Lyotard argues, the question asked by the state, by students, by schools and universities is no longer 'is it true' but 'is this knowledge useful?' In an environment where money is all, this question also becomes 'how much money can be made out of this knowledge?' and further 'will this knowledge make the process of making money more efficient? In short , knowledge is no longer assessed in terms of its truth or falsity or its promotion of justice, but in terms of its efficiency at making money.This philosophy can all be summed up in a tidy little phrase called "School To Work". That just so happens to be the original name given in 1994 for much of the current educational reforms in our nation, now known as No Child Left Behind. Yesterday, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings called the law, "close to perfect".
To be fair, this predates them as well. Take the American History Education Tour to get a better understanding of where we've been and where we're headed. And then make the time to read John Taylor Gatto's book The Underground History of American Education.