John Scribante

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John Scribante is thought to be the Secretary/Treasurer of the secretive Council for National Policy. His limited writings show him to be a hard Right conservative who believes that much of what state and federal governments are doing is centralizing power in the way similar to what was done in the former Soviet Union. He is a proponent of School Choice, with a strong bent towards private sector solutions to education rather than public.

Business Career

John H. Scribante is a Minnesota businessman. He became president of Orion Engineered Systems in August 2009, after serving as a senior vice president of business development since 2007. Mr. Scribante served as a vice president of sales for the company from 2004 until 2007. Mr. Scribante co-founded and served as chief executive officer of Xe Energy, LLC, a distribution company that specialized in marketing energy reduction technologies, from 2003 to 2004. From 1996 to 2003, he co-founded and served as president of Innovize, LLC, a company that provided outsourcing services to mid-market manufacturing companies.

Writings

A speech by John H. Scribante, identified as an "Entrepreneur" and entitled "Educational Fascism in Minnesota" was entered into the record of the U.S House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 6, 2000. [1] Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado and Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan introduced it into the Congressional Record on Thursday, June 15, 2000.[2]

In it, Mr. Scribante begins reminiscing about American victory on D-Day, spends several opening paragraphs that are almost hard-Right boilerplate that extol the virtues of freedom, shunning centralized government, and criticizing the educational programs of Minnesota. He frames his diatribe with "Businesses have been duped," then settles down for a critique of Minnesota's School to Work program, which draws funding and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education's Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) program to help re-educate workers with job skills that are needed in a constantly changing workforce that was launched by the Clinton Administration.

At the heart of the Minnesota project, the government-business partnership started in the mid 1990s sought to depoliticize the educational process by utilizing appointed boards to allocate resources rather than leaving educational decisions as legislative matters. A group called EdWatch out of Chaska took issue with the program, as did Mr. Scribante.

"If you must have government-funded education, at least leave the private schools and home schools alone to compete for ideas and innovation," Scribante says, even though the programs in question do not threaten the existence of home schooling or private education.

Next begins the scare tactics, and the ever-necessary challenge to "freedom:"

"This experiment may be very attractive in the short run…", Scribante writes, "but business will pay in the long run in higher taxes to fund these programs, in less educated people and a loss of economic freedom. Productive labor is their goal, not an educated populace. This will be the end of a free America."

He goes on to call School-to-Work "a dangerous shift in education policy in America," laments Minnesota's repeal of 230 education statutes in 1993 to modernize their educational system, winds down with "Tyranny has always waited in the wings, ready to step to center stage at the first hint of apathy towards freedom," states that "[t]his new system has more to do with fascism than freedom," and quotes Winston Churchill in the fight to remove the STW and Goals 2000 systems that would make businesses partners in lifelong education: ""If you will not fight for the right—when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure—and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight—with all the odds against you—and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worst case. You may have to fight—when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

The vehement and extremist rhetoric in regard to a program that seeks to improve occupational education for the percentage of the student population that is not college bound, and their need for retraining as careers and occupations change, is aimed squarely at the education of lower and middle-class blue collar Americans.

References

  1. U.S House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Education and the Workforce, June 6, 2000
  2. United States Congressional Record June 15, 200, p. 11153