Thursday, October 1, 2009

Economic competitiveness

As the antireformists ramp up their rhetoric about American lack of economic competitiveness, I refer to a quote by Lawrence Arthur Cremin in Popular Education and its Discontents pp. 102-103.

"American economic competitiveness with Japan and other nations is to a considerable degree a function of monetary, trade, and industrial policy, and of decisions made by the President and Congress, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, and Labor. Therefore, to conclude that problems of international competitiveness can be solved by educational reform, especially educational reform defined solely as school reform, is not merely utopian and millennialist, it is at best a foolish and at worst a crass effort to direct attention away from those truly responsible for doing something about competitiveness and to lay the burden instead on the schools. It is a device that has been used repeatedly in the history of American education."

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