In his weekly address, Delaware Governor Jack Markell talked about the Pathways to Prosperity initiative which seems to be his main focus these days. Remember the “Dear Hillary” letter? It is no coincidence the Pathways to Prosperity push in Delaware is happening the same time Hillary Clinton is about to secure the Democratic nomination for the next President of the USA. In the latest “Will he or won’t he?”, Politico talked about the prospect of Jack Markell being Hillary’s nomination for the US Secretary of Education.
But neither Clinton, nor anyone close to her, has approached him about the job, he said. Markell said he’s focused on the final months of his tenure. He’s not sure what he wants to do next, but if it’s education-related, Markell said he’d like an opportunity to work closer to students so he could have more of a direct impact. The position of education secretary seems a little far-removed, he said. “I’m not sure it’s the best leverage point,” Markell said.
I’m not sure how much I believe there has been no discussion about this. I’ve heard the rumor enough to know there has to be at least a kernel of truth behind it. Others feel Markell will lead one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of corporate education reform companies that continues to push out the very bad fallacies about public education while they increase their profit at the expense of children.
But what concerns me about the Pathways to Prosperity initiative in Delaware is the effect it can have on our labor market. While our unemployment is down, wages still aren’t back to what they were before the 2008 recession. Markell announced 1,000 Delaware students will have internships at Delaware companies this summer, double the amount it was in 2015. That is free labor for companies. Which means they don’t have to pay wages. Which keeps unemployment going. There are still far too many Delawareans suffering from low salaries, especially with the DuPont merger. On top of all the tax breaks our General Assembly gave companies in Delaware already this year, the companies are making out like bandits. As well, handing students certificates in high school to “make sure” they have a better chance of getting a job after high school is a bit misleading. I believe it is a push to get teenagers to not enroll in four year colleges and instead attend a community college or go straight to the workforce. Thus pushing the “cradle to grave” theories about education and the workforce.
Markell announced in the video 5,000 students will be enrolled in Pathways programs in Delaware schools in the upcoming school year. He talked about the “Delaware Promise” that 65% of Delaware graduates will have a college degree or professional certification in the next ten years. If I know Jack and how this will end up, most of those 65% (if they even reach that) will not have four-year college degrees. They will have government paid community college degrees or professional certifications. With this being said, this could give struggling students a chance they may not otherwise have. But this is also in the continuous era of high-stakes testing and personalized learning that Markell, the DOE, and Rodel push with amazing proficiency. This is just the endpoint of this atrocious era of public education. Common Core has, does, and will continue to numb kids from thinking for themselves which allows corporations to truly control kids. And the data privacy issues are an afterthought to the long-term evil inflicted on our children.
To see the latest kool-aid coming from Jack Markell, watch the video below: