Betsy DeVos’ Response to Senator Patty Murray’s Question about Virtual Schools
I have been reading Michigan billionaire school choice champ and US ed sec nominee Betsy DeVos’ written responses to the 139 follow-up questions asked by Senate Health, Education, Labor and pensions (HELP) Committee member, Patty Murray.
On January 31, 2017, the Senate HELP Committee voted 12-11 to send the DeVos nomination to the full Senate for a vote.
Committee members asked DeVos to respond to more than 1,000 follow-up questions to her January 17, 2017, hearing.
At least a couple of the responses submitted in DeVos’ name have already been traced verbatim to other sources– without DeVos having credited such sources. Murray says she will examine DeVos’ responses beyond specifically for any additional, non-cited cut-and-paste prior to a full Senate vote.
Issues of plagiarism aside (for this post, at least), I would like to offer readers a telling DeVos response one of to Murray’s questions, this one about the poor performance of virtual schools (question 21).
Here is an excerpt from DeVos’ response:
I support great schools in all forms– public, private, magnet, home, religious and virtual. Unlike other public schools, charter schools can– and should– be closed when they fail to meet the obligations outlined in their charters. We need to bring traditional neighborhood schools up to the same high-level of accountability as public charter schools.High quality virtual charter schools provide valuable options for families, particularly those who live in rural areas where brick-and mortar schools might not have the capacity to provide the range of courses or other educational experiences for students. Because of this, we must be careful not to brand an entire category of schools as failing students. For example, the following virtual academies have four-year cohort graduation rates at or above 90 percent:
- Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA): 90 percent
- Nevada Virtual Academy (NVVA): 100 percent
- Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA): 92 percentBetsy DeVos’ Response to Senator Patty Murray’s Question about Virtual Schools | deutsch29: