Thursday, December 15, 2016

Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 1 | janresseger

Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 1 | janresseger:

Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 1


Here begins a two-part post—today and tomorrow—to summarize recent news coverage about Betsy DeVos.
You may feel you already know enough about Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. You may be disgusted that a one-cause activist and philanthropist has been appointed for an important federal position that oversees, for example, civil rights protection for children across America’s public schools, especially as her one cause has been the expansion of school vouchers—public dollars children can carry to private and parochial schools. Maybe you’ve already learned enough to be furious that yet another billionaire from the One Percent will be shaping federal policy for the schools that serve the 99 Percent. Maybe you are angry about DeVos’s lack of experience in education—and especially the schools operated by and for the public. Betsy DeVos graduated from Holland Christian High School and, as columnist Wendy Lecker has explained: “(S)he is wholly unqualified to be Secretary of Education. She has no education degree or background, and has never worked in, attended or sent her children to public school.”
But this two-part blog will help fill in any gaps in your understanding.  During DeVos’s confirmation hearing, and later, if she is confirmed and as her policy proposals roll out, you’ll have the facts at your fingertips as contributions to any and every conversation.  News reporting on DeVos this week has been particularly interesting, as newspapers have been assigning reporters to investigate in depth DeVos’s advocacy to reduce regulation of marketplace school choice, the influence of her religious beliefs, her partners and allies in the sphere of school choice advocacy, and the way in which DeVos’s ideologically driven philanthropy fits right in to the work of the Waltons, the Broads, and the Gates, although DeVos is far more driven by far-right anti-government, pro-voucher ideology.
Kate Zernike’s investigative piece for the NY TimesHow Trump’s Education Nominee Bent Detroit to Her Will on Charter Schools, is a must read. Zernike has interviewed the people in Michigan who were involved in the intense legislative fight last spring and summer about the inclusion of a “Detroit Education Commission” to provide some regulation of what has become an out-of-control charter school sector in that city: “Few disagreed that schools in Detroit were a mess: a chaotic mix of charters and traditional public schools, the worst-performing in the nation. So city leaders across the political spectrum agreed on a fix, with legislation to provide oversight and set standards on how to open schools and close bad ones. But the bill died without even getting a final vote. And the person most influential in killing it is now President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee to oversee the nation’s public schools Betsy DeVos…”
Zernike continues: “The bill’s proposals are common in many states and accepted by many Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 1 | janresseger:



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