DeVosian Threat Inventory
So now Betsy DeVos has her very first big girl job, and we live in a Trump-DeVos education era. Time to take an inventory of what education issues to watch for. Here's my set of best semi-educated guesses.
Pshaw. Common Core continues to be a zombie policy, existing in various mangled forms both under its old name and its new one. This administration will claim to have gotten rid of it while having not done much of anything. It's like building the Wall; people keep saying Trump can't do it, but they forget his most potent policy tool-- lying.
So we will claim that CCSS is dead and gone and applaud states for adopting strong college and career ready standards, which will continue to be the Core oinking through one more layer of lipstick. None of it will be the source of much fuss.
Charters and Choice
Technically, Secretary DeVos can't really do anything much to get states to go all in on charters, vouchers, and choice. But then, technically Secretary Duncan couldn't do anything much to get states to adopt the Common Core.
The tools available to USED just happen to be tools that DeVos is familiar with-- bribes and extortion. Jump through this hoop and get a big fat check! Displease me and I will cut off your Title I funding.
Expect to see every possible tool used to throw money at charters and push for some version of vouchers. Watch for skirmishes between former allies, as charter-loving accountability hawks face off against a USED that doesn't want to restrict "innovation" or hurt "flexibility" by making charter schools follow actual rules. Cyber-school operators can now breathe a sigh of relief; for a while it looked like someone might actually hold them accountable for their crappy results, but that ship has, well, not so much sailed as been blown up in the harbor.
And be prepared to fight on the state level to keep pubic schools from being sucked dry in order to fund choicey stuff. Remember-- throwing money at public schools is a huge pointless waste, but CURMUDGUCATION: DeVosian Threat Inventory: