From Mitchell Robinson at eclectablog:
As Michiganders know, Betsy and Dick DeVos are religious and school privatization/choice/voucher zealots. They were humiliated by the twin failures of voucher legislation in 2000 and Dick’s loss in the Michigan governor’s race to Jennifer Granholm in 2006, and these dual humiliations resulted in the development of the DeVos’ “long-game” strategy to achieve their goals of privatizing public education:
- destroy the Democrats biggest single source of financial support by gutting teacher unions via Right to Work legislation
- capitalize on the elimination of the charter school “cap” to explode the number of non-regulated and for-profit charter schools in the state
- use charter schools as the mechanism to “blur the lines” between public and private/religious schools
- use this “blurring” of boundaries between church and state to build public support for the redistribution of public funds to religious and private schools
(emphasis mine) The ultimate results, perhaps intentional and if left unchecked, may look like this…
a two-tiered educational system:
One, a system of elite private and religious schools for well-to-do, mostly White parents with the means to afford expensive tuition payments, staffed by qualified, certified teachers, with a rich curriculum based on face-to-face instruction in clean, safe, well-maintained schools…
The other, a parallel system of “fly by night” virtual and online “schools” that open and close seemingly at random, and for-profit charters operated by scam artists like Northern Michigan’s Dr. Steve Ingersoll, with little to no state or federal regulation or oversight, and a bare bones, “back to the basics” curriculum delivered by unqualified and uncertified “teachers”.
And from this article comes this enlightening video of Betsy’s husband Dick DeVos at the Heritage Institute.
Those who try to follow the DeVos family and their covert activism call this the “stealth” video or strategy, and here is why…
We need to be cautious about talking too much about these activities. Many of the activities and the political work that needs to go on will go on at the grass roots. It will go on quietly and it will go on in the form that often politics is done – one person at a time, speaking to another person in privacy. And so these issues will not be, maybe, as visible or as noteworthy, but they will set a framework within states for the possibility of action on education reform issues.
– Dick DeVos.
It worked, and in Trump, they have a leader who like themselves, believes eviscerating our public infrastructure is the best way forward for America.