The goal of Ed Reform 2.0 is to efficiently slot children into the economy using predictive analytics that maximizes returns on educational investments, wasting no resources on children destined for the permanent underclass. Emphasis on post graduation outcomes means student data will continue to be compiled, encompassing college enrollment, degree completion, workforce placements, and income levels for the lucky children we deem worthy.

Using the language of human capital management, we aim to reduce public education to a mechanism that sets up children on pathways into regionally designated sectors of the workforce, a process set up by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). This is being done despite growing concerns about the future of work as increased automation and advances in artificial intelligence portend serious disruptions in labor systems.

College and Career Readiness must be continuously monitored, from pre-school onward, so it can be used to justify private investments made in academic and social-emotional learning programs in K-12. Participation in the public education system or using an Education Savings Account or voucher program means your child WILL be tracked and their data fed into the national system being planned by the C. It is entirely unclear how long that tracking will last since the plan is to equate educational outcomes to a person’s future income. Outcomes will be used to rate schools and districts, providing ammunition for continued takeover and turnaround campaigns.

The language of “college and career readiness” allows corporate interests like the College Board, ACT and Naviance to claim increasing amounts of instructional time for college admission test prep and remediation, administration of career-oriented assessments and expansion of AP coursework, including online AP classes. Career-oriented language supports the push for out-of-school time and  work-based learning placements, which reduce education costs while they raise child labor concerns for the low-performing cohort. The language around “college for all” will expand markets for the student loan industry, one of the primary interest groups driving the shift to competency-based education.