Monday, January 16, 2017

Is government a ‘force for good,’ or does it ‘really suck’? Ed. Dept. at a pivot point between Obama, Trump - The Washington Post

Is government a ‘force for good,’ or does it ‘really suck’? Ed. Dept. at a pivot point between Obama, Trump - The Washington Post:

Is government a ‘force for good,’ or does it ‘really suck’? Ed. Dept. at a pivot point between Obama, Trump


The fiercest critics and most ardent supporters of President Obama’s Education Department — which has arguably wielded more influence and sparked more controversy than any of its predecessors — generally agree that the agency’s efforts were rooted in the faith that government has a critical role to play in improving people’s lives.
Now the agency is poised for a radical shift with Donald Trump’s arrival in Washington, as the businessman-turned-president-elect has often spoken about government as a bumbling failure and an impediment to success.
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. — who says public schools saved his life after he was orphaned young — is preparing to move out of his seventh-floor office suite at the department’s D.C. headquarters. His designated successor, Betsy DeVos — a billionaire political power broker who has said public schools are a dysfunctional monopoly, and who believes in private-school vouchers and the power of the free market — is preparing to move in, her confirmation hearing set for Tuesday.
“Government can be a tremendous force for good,” King said in an interview at his office recently.
“Government really sucks,” DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary, said last year at the South by Southwest educational technology conference in Austin. “And it doesn’t matter which party is in power.”
It is this ideological divide as much as any other that is at the root of what Trump has promised will be a very different approach to the nation’s public schools. He has said he will shrink federal oversight and interference and wants to spend billions of dollars to encourage vouchers — which the Obama administration has vigorously opposed — and charter schools.
Obama administration allies worry that Trump’s approach will overturn much of the work from the past eight years, from its reinvigoration of the civil rights division responsible for investigating complaints of Is government a ‘force for good,’ or does it ‘really suck’? Ed. Dept. at a pivot point between Obama, Trump - The Washington Post:

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