Tag Archives: CFR

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.

Educational Achivement in the Context of The Five Heartlands of the United States

My friend Mark Safranski asked that I read the “Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force Report No. 68: U.S. Education Reform and National Security,” chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice, and directed by Julia Levy. Mark’s critical of the report, and I need to compose my thoughts on it. One graphic, however, struck me to comment on it:

Your very first thought reading this should be “We are doing terribly wherever blacks, hispanics, or Scotch-Irish are the dominant ethnic group.”

Here is the same map with the five heartlands of the United States (German, Hispanic, Black, British, and Scotch-Irish) highlighted:

Excepting the 2 non-contiguous states, there are 13 States “below average.” Of these 13, only Michigan, Oklahoma, and Nevada do not have a non-German plurality. Nevada and Oklahoma are contugous with the Hispanic heartland. Michigan goes without saying.

Interestingly, these five heartlands and the obvious ethnic implications of the map are not mentioned in the Council on Foreign Relations report!