Friday, May 12, 2017

Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason. Or two. Or three | Douglas Williams | Opinion | The Guardian

Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason. Or two. Or three | Douglas Williams | Opinion | The Guardian:

Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason. Or two. Or three

The US secretary of education faced jeers when she spoke at Bethune-Cookman University. And rightly so

Image result for big education ape Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason


There are many reasons why one might jeer Betsy DeVos, the US education secretary. Perhaps you find her advocacy for guns in schools due to the ever present grizzly threat to be credulous. Maybe you think that her advocacy for charter schools – and the deleterious effects that these have had in her home state of Michigan – is worthy of complaint. Or maybe what gets your goat is DeVos’s support for vouchers, which takes public money and allows it to be used for tuition at private institutions.
If you are a student at a historically black college or university (HBCU), however, what is likely the most galling to you was a comment made by DeVos a couple of months ago. After meeting with leaders of HBCUs at the White House, DeVos released a statement:


HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.
The sitting education secretary of the United States of America seriously put out a statement equating the creation of colleges and universities that were designed to maintain state-sanctioned segregation to the present-day debate over “school choice” in the form of vouchers and charter schools. It is a sentiment that is breathtaking in its ignorance, but given the context of the White House administration that DeVos serves, perhaps not so much.
It is in this context that we should place what happened at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday. There, DeVos was booed heavily as she, shockingly, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the institution. The booing was so loud that Bethune-Cookman president Edison Jackson admonished the crowd, threatening them with the cancellation of the event. He explained the motives of awarding DeVos and inviting her to be the commencement speaker:


We have always been in the business of making friends, and if you don’t have friends, it’s very difficult to raise money. Her department controls roughly 80% of Title IV monies, as well as grants. So why wouldn’t we want to make friends?
There are many ways that a college or university could “make friends” in order to “raise money” that do not involve inviting someone so ignorant of recent history in the US to address students at an event that they have worked hard toward for years.
After all, it is why institutions of higher education have departments of government relations, including Bethune-Cookman. And one certainly does not Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason. Or two. Or three | Douglas Williams | Opinion | The Guardian:

Image result for big education ape Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason
Image result for big education ape Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason
Image result for big education ape Betsy DeVos is booed for a reason

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