Friday, January 6, 2017

DeVos would set precedent as secretary of education without strong commitment to public schools | EdSource

DeVos would set precedent as secretary of education without strong commitment to public schools | EdSource:

DeVos would set precedent as secretary of education without strong commitment to public schools


Betsy DeVos may well be the first U.S. secretary of education to come to office without expressing a strong belief in the importance of traditional public schools as a core democratic institution, and without any detailed ideas on the record for improving them other than prodding them to compete with charter schools and private schools.
If approved by the U.S. Senate after hearings scheduled for next week, the multibillionaire DeVos would be the 11th secretary of education. Her single-minded focus on finding alternatives to public education – largely in the form of taxpayer-supported vouchers and other ways to underwrite tuition for private schools – is unmatched by any other previous occupant of the post.
A review of DeVos’ public statements has not surfaced one where she indicates that public schools can be reformed to better serve children, or any set of strategies covering central challenges such as classroom instruction, teaching methods, or testing and accountability to accomplish that. Most of her statements are about “failing schools” and giving children a way to escape them.
The one statement she has made recently regarding classroom instruction was to post on her website within hours of being selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be his secretary of education that she was opposed to the Common Core state standards — which she described as a “federalized boondoggle.”
DeVos did not attend public schools. Nor did her children. She founded the American Federation for Children, whose board she chaired until a month ago. The organization’s main goal is to promote greater “school choice,” especially for DeVos would set precedent as secretary of education without strong commitment to public schools | EdSource:


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