Progressives everywhere are in agreement that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is no friend of public education. Her agenda is straightforward: 1) educational vouchers that can be ‘cashed in’ at any school, including religious ones; 2) for-profit charter schools, including on-line ones; and 3) minimal oversight by government. She is pushing this agenda despite overwhelming evidence that vouchers have failed, that the public does not want vouchers, and that the for-profit education world is full of crooks and charlatans.
However, it’s not enough for progressives to simply be against DeVos’s radical agenda. They must stand strongly and clearly FOR an agenda that makes sense…and not just to parents but also–most importantly–to the general public.
Because, while most parents, year after year, give their children’s schools a grade of either A or B, according to the Phi Delta Kappan poll, parents are a small fraction of the voting population. Progressives need to connect positively with those without a direct connection to public education, the group I call ‘the outsiders.’
You see, the problem with the truism “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” is that most villagers have no direct connection to children or to the schools they go to. Only about 25 percent of homes have school age children, and in some communities that number drops into the teens. Even if you include households with grandparents, the percentage probably won’t reach 40.
And it is the people in those households with no strong connection to public education who hold the future of public schools in their hands. They vote on school budgets, and so their opinions of schools, teachers and students matter. Not only do Defeating the DeVos Agenda | The Merrow Report: