Thursday, December 8, 2016

A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education - The Washington Post

A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education - The Washington Post:

A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education


The people who best know the education advocacy work of Betsy DeVos, the billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be his education secretary, are in Michigan, where she has been involved in reform for decades.
DeVos is a former Republican Party chairwoman in Michigan and chair of the pro-school choice advocacy group American Federation of Children, and she has been a shining light to members of the movement to privatize public education by working to create programs and pass laws that require the use of public funds to pay for private school tuition in the form of vouchers and similar programs. She has also been a force behind the spread of charter schools in Michigan, most of which have recorded student test scores in reading and math below the state average.
Many pro-reform groups have praised the choice, saying DeVos will work hard to grow new programs that give parents more school choice. But public education advocates say they fear she will help propel America’s public education system toward destruction.
The Detroit Free Press has written a number of articles about DeVos’s education record in Michigan. Here is an important piece looking at what a DeVos Education Department could be expected to do, written by someone who has watched her work for some time. He is Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Free Press, where this first appeared.  He gave me permission to republish it.

By Stephen Henderson
In Detroit, parents of school-age children have plenty of choices, thanks to the nation’s largest urban network of charter schools.
What remains in short supply is quality.
In Brightmoor, the only high school left is Detroit Community Schools, a charter boasting more than a decade of abysmal test scores and, until recently, a superintendent who earned $130,000 a year despite a dearth of educational experience or credentials.
On the west side, another charter school, Hope Academy, has been serving the community around Grand River and Livernois for 20 years. Its test scores have been among the lowest in the state throughout those two decades; in 2013 the school ranked in the first percentile, the A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education - The Washington Post:


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