Thursday, December 22, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos's Inconvenient Truths

CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos's Inconvenient Truths:

DeVos's Inconvenient Truths

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post turned up a 2015 speech from billionaire heiress and Education Secretary Designee Betsy DeVos in which Devos lays out her six "inconvenient truths," the guiding principles by which her vision of American education is powered. Ed Patru, a self-identified spokesperson for Friends of Betsy DeVos (so I guess that's a thing-- damn), indicates that the speech is a fair measure of DeVos's animating philosophy, so we'd probably better take a look at these six pillars of super-duper governance that's headed our way like a over-loaded semi with a brick on the gas pedal.

Inconvenient Truth No. 1-- Our education system in America is antiquated and it is quite frankly embarrassing.

DeVos compares public education system to the Model T, and talks about how Detroit totally innovated to do a better job of producing automobiles, so I'm a little confused-- she wants to send American children to Mexico and Canada to be educated under less safe conditions by underpaid workers?

This truth is where we get to bring up the criticism of DeVos that she has never in her life spent any time in an actual public school. She didn't attend one; her children didn't attend one. This is not a mean, personal attack-- it's an explanation for why she doesn't appear to know what the hell she's talking about.

This is what I call Reformster Timewarp Syndrome, in which reformsters criticize public schools based on the assumption that these schools are exactly the way they were fifty years ago (when some reformsters attended them as students). This is like criticizing the military for still fighting on horseback.

Is there room for improvement, growth and new creativity in public schools? Absolutely. And there's no question that like many institutions, public education is at root conservative. But on this point of antiquation and embarrassment, DeVos is just spouting vague, baseless baloney.

Inconvenient Truth No. 2-- American education has been losing ground to other countries for at least half a century.

DeVos says the facts here are "unarguable," and follows up that piercing argument with "it's really a 
CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos's Inconvenient Truths:

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