Reaction to the report of the Skills Commission is most interesting. Is it just because it’s the end of the year, and politicians think few people are watching? Reaction is completely on the positive side. One bellwether: U.S. News and World Report, usually the more conservative of the three big news magazines, calls it a “revolutionary call for education reform” in the headline of a mostly positive piece.
Potential for controversy remains, though. That article highlights what is probably the most vociferous complaint about the report so far.
The revolutionary calls from a decidedly establishment group. Funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce includes two former education secretaries, two former labor secretaries, and education officials from Massachusetts, New York City, and California. Nevertheless, opposition surfaced as soon as the report was issued.The American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the National School Boards Association rushed out statements lambasting key ideas–like, for instance, the way the report “basically blows up the governance structure,” explains Antonia Cortese, AFT’s executive vice president.