The CFR Report on Education Reform

I want to share some words on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR’s) report on education reform. Like any report not supported by teachers, the CFR report notes, in so many words, that:

  • American schools do not educate young people effectively
  • American teachers do not understand how to do their jobs
  • Reforms which break the power of teachers are a necessary part of reforms

The first thing that should strike you about the report are the names on the cover.

Condoleeza Rice is the Republican Secretary of State during the Second Bush Administration. Joel Klein was the Department of Justice official who prosecuted “United States v. Microsoft” for President Clinton of the Democratic Party. He also served as Chancellor of New York City Schools for Mayor Bloomberg, an independent.

This is not a scientific or a technical report. It is not supposed to be. This report exists for three reasons:

  • That the CFR’s views on education are above partisan politics
  • To express empathy to other stakeholders that are suffering from the collapsed US public education system
  • To extend support to other stakeholders that are working with the federal-academic complex to rebuild the US public education system, which had been run into the ground by the teachers front organizations.

If teachers were successfully educating young people — if they had the empathy to know what is required of them and the ability to actually do it — it is unlikely this report would have been written. The CFR is reacting to a changing political environment where stakeholders (employers, states, and others) are bandwagoning along with the federal-academic complex to improve education in this country.