New information is coming to light about the troubling relationship between Sara Martinez Tucker, a proponent of common core who has been nominated by Governor Abbott to be a regent for the University of Texas System, and a liberal education reform advocate named Marc Tucker (no relation).
Marc Tucker serves as chair of the National Center on Education and the Economy, a group which, as of lately, has primarily championed the implementation of the common core curriculum in public schools. He is no stranger to politics, though. Marc Tucker has promoted a top-down vision for American education since the Clinton administration.
In 1992, he wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton in which he outlined the kind of reforms he wanted to see during her tenure. In his words, he sought to “remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone.” Tucker’s radical ideas were later implemented by the Clinton Administration in the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, all of which strengthened the Federal Government’s stranglehold on education.
Sara Martinez Tucker has served together with Marc Tucker on the “New American Workforce Skills Commission,” a project of the National Center on Education and the Economy. The NAWS Commission released a report entitled “Tough Choices or Tough Times” in 2010 advocating nationalizing American public education.
In the report, the commission recommends moving our education system to one that more closely mirrors the German system of education. It begins with universal Pre-K and Kindergarten, and then continues in one stream until tenth grade. Throughout this time, students would be prepared to pass a “state board qualifying examination.”
Under the plan, the state would then administer the qualifying exam, which would solely determine the next two years of each student’s education. If the student scored well enough, he or she would be guaranteed free community college for the next two years. If the score were within an acceptable range, the child would continue on to 11th and 12th grade, before he or she would be examined again. Other students would be channeled into “regional vocational schools” and “technical colleges.” Students could also participate in “optional additional academics,” depending on their performance on the state qualifying exam.
In order to finally graduate, a student would either be required to pass a state board administered exam, AP exam, IB exam, or technical exam.
It’s easy to see how complicated and convoluted the system proposed by the two Tuckers would be. The NAWS Commission’s recommendations, if implemented, would result in a radically restructured American education system organized directly from Washington, DC. In fact, in promoting his radical vision, Marc Tucker said in 2013 that, “the United States will have to largely abandon the beloved emblem of American education: local control.”
If this is the kind of vision Sara Martinez Tucker has for American primary education, Senators need to be asking hard questions about her ideas for “reform” in higher education.