In late November, President Elect Trump picked Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education as Education Secretary.
From Democracy Now a 3 person panel on Betsy DeVos:
If confirmed by the Senate, DeVos could become the most anti-public school Education Secretary since the Office of Education was established in 1867.
Diane Ravitch: (Yes, if you haven’t been paying attention for about 10 years, yes, that Diane Ravitch)
- “She (Ms. DeVos) is a member of the Religious Right with billions of dollars behind her so her America Foundation for Children has used its strategic giving to promote vouchers all over the country. … The important thing to note about vouchers and charters is that neither of them has every been approved by popular vote.”
- “Her main focus is school privatization. School privatization has been tried in Chile and in Sweeden and the results have been very clear. The first and most important product is hyper-segregation because everybody goes off to be with people just like themselves.”
More here at Think Progress…
- “Throughout DeVos’ career as a school choice advocate, she has aggressively pushed for the expansion of charter schools. Although many charter schools across the country benefit low-income families seeking an alternative to public schools, educational equity advocates often raise concerns that a lack of accountability allows less effective charter schools to thrive. And DeVos has been at the forefront of efforts to push against this accountability.”
- “Now, for-profit companies operate 80 percent of charters in Michigan, according to The New York Times.”
- “DeVos has pushed for less regulation and oversight of charter schools and stated that public schools are failing children — all without advocating for better state funding of public schools.”
And in case you missed it here is a NSFW review from John Oliver and HBO on Charter Schools from August 21st.
One of many low-lights, from David Brennan of White Hat Management: “Education is first, last, and always, a business. If it is run like a business, it can be done profitably.”