The latest model for educational reform emerging in the US vocational-technical delivery system is the employer linked charter school (ELCS). This emerging concept is viewed as a partnership between constituents in the regular school organization and employers who are directly involved in the school’s design, governance, and delivery of learning to students. The incursion of neo-liberalism into educational politics, policy, and discourse has permitted educational experiments such as the ELCS to link skills training to corporate imperatives of building enterprise culture and entrepreneurial attitudes in direct opposition to liberal humanist values and culture.

Charter schools in general and an ELCS in particular can elect to challenge the socioeconomic relations of post-Fordist production or legitimate them. Our analysis suggests that increasing pressure from neo-liberalism and globalization are likely to exhort vocational education to subordinate schooling to its narrower economic functions.