Wednesday, January 18, 2017

In Penetrating Analysis, Joanne Barkan Predicts Likely Direction of a DeVos Education Department | janresseger

In Penetrating Analysis, Joanne Barkan Predicts Likely Direction of a DeVos Education Department | janresseger:

In Penetrating Analysis, Joanne Barkan Predicts Likely Direction of a DeVos Education Department


Joanne Barkan has published another of her remarkably lucid and well-written articles at Dissent, this time a profile of Betsy DeVos.  Barkan explicitly predicts how DeVos, if she is confirmed as Secretary of Education, will set out to accomplish her stated goal of using the power of the U.S. Department of Education to expand education privatization.
Barkan spreads the blame for what has already been greatly expanded privatization far beyond the work of right-wing ideologues: “When did Americans stop talking about public K-12 education as the keystone of a strong democracy, as the incubator for citizenship, shared values, and social cohesion in a diverse nation, as the only educational institution obligated to serve every child who appears on the doorstep?  Conservatives don’t bear sole responsibility for changing the conversation. The Clinton and Obama administrations reduced K-12 education to little more than the required stepping stone to a college degree that leads to successful competition in the global economy. That’s a meager sales pitch, making it all too easy for K-12 schooling to be chopped up into products sold on the market.”
Barkan does distinguish Betsy DeVos, however, from recent administrations, both Democratic and Republican, that have made privatization-lite more palatable through their rhetoric that redefined the schools in our nation’s poorest neighborhoods as “failing.” All recent administrations have also embraced charter schools as escapes for a few children from so-called ‘failing’ public schools instead of demanding the investments sufficient to make the public system work in the poorest neighborhoods of our big cities.
Compared to any recent education leader Betsy DeVos is an extremist: “Milton Friedman, patron saint of the free market, died in 2006, but his ideas about public education live on in the thought and deeds of Betsy DeVos, likely the next U.S. Secretary of Education… In 1996, Milton Friedman and his wife Rose (also an economist) launched the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice as ‘the nation’s only organization solely dedicated to promoting their concept of educational choice.’  ‘Choice’ is the ed-reform movement’s euphemism for privatization. All the tools used to create choice—vouchers, charter schools, tax credits for private school tuition, tax credits for individuals and businesses that create private school scholarships, ‘education savings accounts’ (usually government-funded debit cards used for various private-school expenses, not just tuition—siphon tax dollars out of the public school In Penetrating Analysis, Joanne Barkan Predicts Likely Direction of a DeVos Education Department | janresseger:


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