Traditional public schools educate 90 percent of America’s kids — let’s not make our educational system more unequal than it is already An argument against competition via private school choice and vouchers
Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump say that the solution to persistent inequality in educational opportunity is to provide parents with more choices.
They support vouchers that would allow public funds to be spent on private schools – even those with religious orientations – and charter schools, which are frequently run by private corporations.
Charter schools are public schools because they are funded through tax revenues. But these schools are often not answerable to local taxpayers and lack public accountability.
Vouchers use tax revenues to provide students and their families with funds that can be used at private and in some cases parochial schools. They have even less accountability.
Experience with voucher programs suggests that students with middle and upper class backgrounds are more likely to benefit from these programs than those who live in poverty.
Given the controversy over DeVos’ appointment as Secretary of Education, and the relatively small amount (typically around 8 percent) of educational funding coming from the federal government, some have wondered whether we might be better off without a federal Department of Education.
While doing away with such a controversial department might seem prudent, the truth is, educational opportunity for poor children would be even more limited without it.
The department oversees programs that provide much-needed funding for schools serving our poorest kids, such as Title I, which was first established in 1965 as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and was a key component in President Johnson’s War on Poverty, as well as special education programs through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and English language instructional support.
Students at Lovett Elementary in Clinton, Miss. work on laptops during class. Photo: Jackie Mader The school choice option favored by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump isn’t enough to turn around chronically struggling schools. In addition, America’s educators need to redesign state and district systems so that every child has better choices. The Obama administration favo
Andre Perry and his son Robeson enjoying the parades on Jan. 31, 2016. One of the riders on a Krewe of Carrollton float threw Confederate flag beads that Robeson caught. Photo: Amanda Aiken You can’t take my black boy joy , but I can show you how to get some of your own. Everywhere else in the country, February 28 is just another Tuesday, but in New Orleans it’s Fat Tuesday — Mardi Gras Day. Scho
To those on the left, Betsy DeVos’ endorsement of school choice is a hazard that looms large, a point proven in the contentious debates before her confirmation. But to those on the other side of the political spectrum, this platform might be