Friday, December 23, 2016

Jeff Bryant: Expect the Most Extremist Federal Education Policies Ever | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant: Expect the Most Extremist Federal Education Policies Ever | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jeff Bryant: Expect the Most Extremist Federal Education Policies Ever


Jeff Bryant of the Education Opportunity Network investigates Betsy DeVos’s connections to Hillsdale College, a rare outlier that refuses to accept any federal funding, even student aid. Behind this nexus he finds a deep ideological commitment to evangelical schools, of which DeVos is part. Trump was never known as an evangelical before the election, but Mike Pence is an evangelical. He very likely picked DeVos.
“After his election, experienced education journalists at Education Week predicted Trump would embrace conservative Beltway think tanks and state education policy leaders who had bristled under the rule of Obama’s education department, and he would reject the influence of teachers unions, civil rights groups, and politically centrist education “reform” groups.
“Many who pointed out “personnel is policy,” speculated Trump would pick an Education Secretary from the ranks of his transition advisers who came mostly from the above mentioned DC-based circles and state government centers. Other knowledgeable sources predicted Trump might draw education policy knowhow from “outsider” sources, such as the military, big business, or the charter school industry.
“No one – not a single source I can find – anticipated Trump would look for education expertise in the deep, dark well he repeatedly seems to draw from – the extremist, rightwing evangelical community.
“The first clue that Trump would embed the extremist views of radical Christian orthodoxy in the White House’s education policy apparatus was his nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the nation’s next Secretary of Education.
As Politico reports, DeVos is a “billionaire philanthropist” who “once compared her work in education reform to a biblical battleground where she wants to ‘advance God’s Kingdom.’”
“Politico reporters point to numerous recordings and interviews in which Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick, a billionaire heir to the Amway fortune, promote education policies as avenues to “greater Kingdom Jeff Bryant: Expect the Most Extremist Federal Education Policies Ever | Diane Ravitch's blog:


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