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ERIC Number: EJ837417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
The Neoliberal Rhetoric of Workforce Readiness
Lakes, Richard D.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v6 n1 May 2008
In this essay I review an important report on school reform, published in 2007 by the National Center on Education and the Economy, and written by a group of twenty-five panelists in the USA from industry, government, academia, education, and non-profit organizations, led by specialists in labor market economics, named the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. These neoliberal commissioners desire a broad overhaul of public schooling, ending what is now a twelve-year high school curriculum after the tenth-grade with a series of state board qualifying exit examinations. In this plan vocational education (also known as career and technical education) has been eliminated altogether in the secondary-level schools as curricular tracks are consolidated into one, signifying a national trend of ratcheting-up prescribed academic competencies for students. I argue that college-for-all neoliberals valorize the middle-class values of individualism and self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and employment in the professions. Working-class students are expected to reinvent themselves in order to succeed in the new capitalist order.
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A