Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arthur Camins Warns: Don’t Let the Government Take Away Your Public School! | janresseger

Arthur Camins Warns: Don’t Let the Government Take Away Your Public School! | janresseger:

Arthur Camins Warns: Don’t Let the Government Take Away Your Public School!


It seemed to me that Emma Brown’s huge article in yesterday’s Washington Post on Betsy DeVos and the kind of marketplace she says she’ll promote as Secretary of Education was a lavishly wrapped holiday gift for promoters of school choice.
Traditional public schools are never mentioned in this story that traces the disagreements among supporters of vouchers and charters. Brown begins by setting up the story as though teachers unions are the singular opponents of school choice. Of course, disagreement within the movement for school privatization is Brown’s topic, but she neglects even to remind us that charter schools today serve only 6.6 percent of America’s publicly funded schools.
Brown describes all the worrying by proponents of vouchers and charters. How will the Trump-DeVos approach affect the movement for marketplace school choice in general? Will Trump and DeVos ruin the movement by splitting apart the proponents of vouchers and charters? We hear from Robin Lake, who leads the Center on Reinventing Public Education which has created a network of districts practicing “portfolio school reform”: “Will the new administration love school choice to death?” We are informed by Greg Forster, a senior fellow at EdChoice that, “Two sides have now become this fragmented landscape.” And Howard Fuller, an early and long proponent of vouchers, worries that Betsy DeVos will wake up supporters of public schools: “(C)learly there’s going to be a lot of antagonism. People who oppose parent choice will seek everything they can find to say that that this is not a policy that can be pursued.”
Brown describes the reactions of promoters of publicly funded charter schools and vouchers to the idea that such schools ought to be regulated to protect the public investment and the academic needs of the children enrolled. Brown neglects the huge question of whether it is possible to impose oversight over a sector supported by powerful philanthropic political contributors like Betsy DeVos and those who are earning huge profits in the charter sector. Ironically Brown looks closely at Michigan, where Betsy DeVos, a Michigan philanthropist, has been personally involved in this question, and Brown interviews Gary Naeyaert, the executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), a pro-privatization lobbying Arthur Camins Warns: Don’t Let the Government Take Away Your Public School! | janresseger:


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