Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin, who served under George H. Bush and was a
staunch Reagan supporter, initiated under her administration something called
the SCANS REPORT (the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills).
The report was the culmination of a concerted effort by the Commission to
“examine the demands of the workplace and whether today's young people are
capable of meeting those demands.” Specifically, the Commission was directed to
advise the Secretary on the level of skills required to enter employment.

In carrying out this charge, the Commission was asked to:
· Define the skills needed for employment;
· Propose acceptable levels of proficiency;
· Suggest effective ways to assess proficiency; and
· Develop a dissemination strategy for the nation's schools, businesses, and
homes.” (Taken verbatim from the Department of Labor web site

A Federal government brochure from the 1990’s titled “What Work Requires of
Schools: Workplace Know-How” has the following information:

The know-how identified by SCANS is made up of five competencies and a
three-part foundation of skills and personal qualities that are needed for solid
job performance.


Resources--allocating time, money, materials, space and staff;

Interpersonal Skills -- working on teams, teaching others, serving customers,
leading, negotiating, and working well with people from culturally diverse

Information -- acquiring and evaluating data, organizing and maintaining files,
interpreting and communicating, and using computers to process information;

Systems -- understanding social, organizational, and technological systems,
monitoring and correcting performance, and designing or improving systems;

Technology -- selecting equipment and tools, applying technology to specific
tasks, and maintaining and troubleshooting technologies.


Basic Skills -- reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking and

Thinking Skills -- thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems,
seeing things in the mind’s eye, knowing how to learn, and reasoning;

Personal Qualities -- individual responsibility, self-esteem, sociability,
self-management, and integrity.

On the back of the brochure there is a “personal” note from Secretary Martin:

“I hope you will begin a SCANS discussion in your community. Ask yourselves
these questions:

1) Are the schools in our community adequately preparing the workers of today
and tomorrow?

2) If not, what are we going to do about it?

As President Bush said in his America 2000 plan, we must begin to prepare better
our students and our present workers for life-long learning and for work.
Together, we can make this plan a reality.

Our joint efforts will ensure that America’s workers are prepared for the
demanding, high-skills workplaces of today and tomorrow.”

And it’s signed by Lynn Martin, Secretary of Labor.

At this point you may be saying to yourself, so what’s wrong with Mary McGarr
that she can’t see that this all sounds good? What can possibly be wrong with getting
people ready for the “world of work”?

I hope that’s NOT what you are saying, but if you are, I would ask that you step
back a moment and ask yourself these questions:

1. Why is it the job of our public schools to teach children workplace skills?

2. When did we as a Nation decide that? Where was the public discussion held?
Who got to participate? Did you have any input into that decision?

3. Does this educational design for our children sound vaguely familiar and
very much like the five year plans of Stalin and Hitler before him?

4. How far are you willing to allow the government to intrude into your life
and your child’s life by taking away from him his inherent right to have the
opportunity to receive a free public academic education?

All of these “workplace skills” are things people learn, on the job, AFTER they
receive an education and acquire their job. They are simple, easily learned
abilities that before 1970, anyone with half a brain could master in the first
few weeks of any job. If one cannot master them, then one would (prior to 1970)
not have gotten the education and the job in the first place!

When we assume that workplace training is the purpose of our public schools and
agree to STOP teaching academic matters and instead supplant those academic
efforts with training skills, then we have forgotten the purpose of public
schools. Please re-read my last sentence. It is the crux of this discussion!

The public schools have accepted this doctrine, and in the last fifteen years
have transformed completely the purpose of public education. The SCANS
implementation document (cited below) says specifically that these
“competencies” must be incorporated into the regular subject matter and not
taught separately, an indication of the less than subtle effort to create the
illusion that these workplace competencies are the same as the academics they

To implement such a devious scheme was a mindless, senseless decision by
governmental and educational leaders, but it was planned, with the conniving
help of many politicians who had/have the hands of big business so deep in their
pockets that they have no remorse or shame for what they have done. Big
government, big business and greedy citizens have all conspired to make children
the victims of their scheme. Sea change comes by controlling the minds of our
children. And yes, I am suggesting a conspiracy.

Ask yourself this question: What was wrong with the public school education
that you received prior to 1975? The answer is: there was nothing wrong with
your public school education if you received it prior to 1975. It was the very
best that had ever been offered to public school children anywhere, so why did
they have to change it? The answer is: they didn’t, and that is the issue that
should concern all parents and citizens. The reason for the change lies in
politics, not empirical educational research. All research that exists to
support the changes has come from those with a vested interest in the change.
Any research that opposes the movement is summarily discredited and/or

Blame the media, the federal and state governments, the big business CEO’s, the
greedy public school administrators who have made fortunes with implementation
products, and local school boards who sat around with no questions and let it
all happen. Blame yourself for not paying attention to the few who sounded the
alarm and whom you ignored.

Go to this website: and download the PDF
file that describes the implementation of the School To Work agenda. See if you
can find, anywhere an academic element. The plan centers on “learning to learn”
(a phrase heard quite regularly at Katy ISD school board meetings) and on
process (as opposed to cognitive academic content acquisition) and on social

Anyone who cannot see the problem with this program has himself already been
SCANNED, so to speak.

I will not belabor my point, and if it is lost on the reader, so be it.

For what it’s worth, former Secretary of Labor, Lynn Martin, now hires out as a
“corporate entertainer” giving “motivational speeches.” Her fee is not listed.
( (Link no longer works--see below)

Surely by now everyone knows how I feel about worthless motivational speeches and those who give them!

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Lynn Martin

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Lynn Martin: Contact Grabow, your booking agent for corporate entertainment. Call for production, entertainment and speaker needs for your next corporate event.

Lynn Martin

The unparalleled authority on modern workplace issues, Lynn Martin shaped our nation's labor policies as President George Bush's Secretary of Labor. Renowned for the advances she made in modernizing our views and policies of labor, Secretary Martin focused her tenure on achieving a highly skilled, highly-paid workforce. She championed the issues of all workers, particularly females and minorities, by providing comprehensive solutions which strengthened our labor market as a whole. For her strong leadership and sound economic guidance, and in recognition for her ten-year career as a Congresswoman, Secretary Martin was named one of the fifteen Women of the Century by the Chicago Sun-Times. The private sector anxiously sought Secretary Martin to apply her expertise to its internal corporate structures. She currently chairs Deloitte & Touche's Council on the Advancement of Women, a glass ceiling initiative which oversees corporate efforts to provide full opportunity to talented women and men. Secretary Martin is also chairwoman of "The Future of the Health Care Labor Force in a Graying Society," a University of Illinois task force. In her speeches, Secretary Martin sheds light on the modern American workplace and the needs of industry and employees. Credited while Secretary of Labor with expanding the scope of that office to include women's and retirement initiatives, as well as proposals to better prepare the workforce for the 21st century, Secretary Martin brings breadth and authority to any debate on issues affecting the modern American workforce. Secretary Martin travels from Chicago .

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