13. America 2000 and Wisconsin 2000 (4/92)

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Whereas there now exist national and state education plans and goals known as America 2000 and Wisconsin 2000 which are virtually identical in content and purpose and which would create national and state goals in education; extend the federal and state governments’ role in education and family life by merging social services and educational services and extending them into the prenatal period; institute skills clinics; and require state-mandated tests and assessments and/or a national series of assessments and a national curriculum; and

Whereas these plans call for policies and legislation that would have professionals and institutions pass judgment on very young children and their parents and make determinations about people’s knowledge, skills, and minds; and

Whereas these plans would change the fundamental role of education from that of providing a service to those who choose to attend a public school, to that of determining the way in which children are raised and the kind of adults they should become; and

Whereas these plans will draw private schools into serving the federal and state governments because in order for private school students to meet the state’s skill and career certification requirements for jobs and colleges, private schools will have to administer the state’s tests, follow its curriculum, and adopt its values; and

Whereas under these plans the state and schools rather than parents will choose and enforce requirements for what children should know and believe and how they should behave; and

Whereas these plans would further weaken local control of schools and school-based manage-ment and further restrict the decision making authority of teachers and administrators; and

Whereas these plans and their goals are based on using education and schools as the primary if not the sole basis for solving much larger problems in our society such as unemployment, poverty, and inadequate health care and nutrition; and when these are labeled “education goals,” education and schools are identified as the problem, education and schools can become even more repressive in their role as agents of social control; and larger underlying problems that do not relate directly to education are neither articulated nor addressed; and

Whereas these plans provide very tempting opportunities for social service and school “experts” to identify (and sometimes even create) problems throughout families (including babies, children, and parents); the more alleged problems are found, the more jobs there will be for the “experts” while the taxpayers have to cover the increasing costs; and

Whereas Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) has taken strong positions through previous resolutions against: a. state control of education and the family; b. the claim that the state has authority over private schools including home-based private educational programs (as distinct from attendance); and c. state-mandated standardized tests; and is committed both to informing and reminding parents that parents have the primary role and responsibility in education and also to ensuring that parents retain their freedoms in education;

Be it resolved by members of the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA and its members are opposed to American 2000 and Wisconsin 2000 and will work to inform WPA members and the general public of the problems and risks associated with these plans and their goals. 4/92

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