Saturday, April 29, 2017

Common Enemy – Have You Heard

Common Enemy – Have You Heard:

Common Enemy

In rural Ohio, resistance to the DeVos brand of school reform—unregulated, profitable, hyper-partisan—isn’t hard to find…
Image result for devos weingarten van wertSince Betsy DeVos was tapped to be Secretary of Education, I’ve managed to pen close to 20,000 words about her. And now here she was, standing so close to me that I could make out the flat a’s of western Michigan in her voice. I’d made my way to tiny Van Wert, OH (pop. 10,718) so that I could be part of the long-awaited joint appearance by DeVos and American Federation of teachers President Randi Weingarten. I was expecting little in the way of drama; school visits are highly orchestrated affairs. It was dissonance I was after. DeVos’ brand of school reform—unregulated, profitable, hyper-partisan—has resistance here that extends well beyond the small group of protesters who’d gathered in the parking lot.
I’d caught up with the tour in time for what was intended to be the high point: a robotics showcase featuring students from 5th grade on up doing cool STEM-ish stuff. Members of the high school robotics team showed off their prize-winning creation, something that looked to this untrained eye, like an exercise ball with a bomb attached. Students who’d competed in the Believe in Ohio innovation competition were eager to demonstrate their inventions. A sophomore who’d come up with a screwdriver that never strips screws walked me through his design process, mentioning in passing that Believe in Ohio is Common Enemy – Have You Heard:

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