Thursday, May 25, 2017

5/25/2017 – Jeff Bryant Welcome to the Opportunity Network Update!

5/25/2017 – What Betsy DeVos Calls Education Transformation Is Actually Public Theft:

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Jeff Bryant Welcome to the Opportunity Network Update!
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 What Betsy DeVos Calls Education Transformation Is Actually Public Theft

THIS WEEK: DeVos Upholds Discrimination … Democrats Delivered DeVos … Voucher Evils … School Choice Scam … Taking To The Streets

TOP STORY

What Betsy DeVos Calls Education Transformation Is Actually Public Theft

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos wants to give your tax dollars to private schools and businesses and tell you it’s an education ‘transformation.’ That’s the main theme of an address she gave this week to a conference held by the organization she helped found and lead, the American Federation for Children. Declaring ‘the time has expired for reform,’ she called instead for a ‘transformation … that will open up America’s closed and antiquated education system.’ Her plan also opens your wallet to new moochers of taxpayer dollars.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

DeVos Won’t Say Whether She’d Withhold Federal Funds From Private Schools That Discriminate

The Washington Post

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to say Wednesday whether she would block private schools that discriminate against LGBT students from receiving federal dollars … Asked by Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) whether she could think of any circumstance in which the federal government should step in to stop federal dollars from going to private schools that discriminate against certain groups of students, DeVos did not directly answer. ‘We have to do something different than continuing a top-down, one-size-fits all approach,’ DeVos said.”
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Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame The Democrats.

New Republic

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes, “Thirty years ago, there was a sharp difference between Republicans and Democrats on education. Republicans wanted choice, testing, and accountability. Democrats wanted equitable funding for needy districts and highly trained teachers. But in 1989, with Democrats reeling from three straight presidential losses, the lines began to blur … After George W. Bush made the ‘Texas miracle’ of improved schools a launching pad for the presidency, many Democrats swallowed his bogus claim that testing students every year had produced amazing results … Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan doubled down on testing, accountability, and choice … Trump and DeVos rely on the same language to tout their vision of reform. They’re essentially taking Obama’s formula one step further: expanding ‘choice’ to include vouchers.”
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Opening Pandora’s Box

Political Research Associates
“Polly Williams, the Wisconsin African American lawmaker behind the nation’s first school voucher program, believed vouchers could help students of color in urban Milwaukee. Conservative donors and right-wing think tanks saw her program as opening the door to the privatization of public education … But by the late 1990s, Williams had been pushed aside, just as she feared that students of color from low-income families would be pushed aside by the diverging agenda of her White conservative partners.”
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School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods

The Chicago Reporter

Chicago community organizer Jitu Brown writes, “What [Betsy] DeVos fails to understand is the intentional structural racism that has been accepted by Democrats and Republicans, where children from black and brown communities are intentionally underserved by the system all citizens pay taxes into … DeVos has not yet learned that we, meaning black and brown families, don’t have the choice of great neighborhood schools within safe walking distance of our homes … The solution implemented by the same system that produces this inequity is to further diminish democracy and accountability to the public by privatizing what is a public good.”
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Fed Up With A Budget Crisis, Illinois Citizens Take To The Streets

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “A small group marching 200 miles from Chicago to the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield demand the passage of a new Illinois state budget … The marchers are demanding a People and Planet First Budget for Illinois that proposes $23.5 billion in new state spending … To pay for their demands, the marchers want corporate tax loopholes closed, taxes on higher income earners raised, and a LaSalle Tax that taxes financial transactions … State funding for education is a major sticking point in the legislative stalemate … The marchers’ call for increased financial support for public education in their state is relevant to the rest of the nation. State after state continues to withhold funding for public education to keep taxation on wealthy people and corporations at historic lows.”
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