Monday, December 12, 2016

School choice advocates divided over Trump and his education pick, Betsy DeVos - The Washington Post

School choice advocates divided over Trump and his education pick, Betsy DeVos - The Washington Post:

School choice advocates divided over Trump and his education pick, Betsy DeVos


Teachers unions have — predictably — attacked President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, a conservative Michigan power broker who has pushed to expand taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools, moves that some teachers see as a threat to public education.
Perhaps less predictably, the Trump-DeVos team also has divided those who consider themselves part of the education reform movement: Some are cheering what they see as an extraordinary opportunity to bolster alternatives to traditional public schools, while others fear that the duo could split the bipartisan alliance that has helped vouchers and charters expand quickly during the past two decades.
Some worry that Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants, inner cities and women — and the support he has won from those who promote racism and anti-Semitism — could drive Democrats and people of color away from any education policies he embraces. Others are concerned that, based on her record in Michigan, DeVos will push for a rapid expansion of school choice — via vouchers and charters — without concern for school quality, leaving families with more, but not necessarily better, options and undermining the ­argument for choice.
“Will the new administration love school choice to death?” Robin Lake, a charter school supporter at the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, asked last month in the journal Education Next.
School-choice advocates believe that giving parents options beyond their traditional school systems allows them to have control over their children’s education and can force public schools to improve. There always have been disagreements among those advocates about how to design and promote choice, but those differences were often played down in the interest of School choice advocates divided over Trump and his education pick, Betsy DeVos - The Washington Post:


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