Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This is the new Betsy DeVos speech everyone should read - The Washington Post

This is the new Betsy DeVos speech everyone should read - The Washington Post:

This is the new Betsy DeVos speech everyone should read

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made news (again) recently when she was booed by students at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida, while she delivered a commencement speech. Students were upset that she had earlier this year called historically black colleges and universities “pioneers” in school choice rather than necessities because blacks weren’t allowed at white schools.
But in terms of education policy substance, the substance of a speech she gave a day earlier deserves at least as much attention. (See full text below.)
The Michigan billionaire appeared at the 2017 annual technology and innovation conference in Salt Lake City sponsored by Arizona State University and the Global Silicon Valley, delivering a speech and answering questions from Jeanne Allen of the nonprofit Center for Education Reform, who, as Liz Willen, editor of the Hechinger Report, said in this column, “threw one softball after another, such as: “What would you say to people about technology?”
As Willen noted, the audience, a friendly one of entrepreneurs, probably expected her to talk exclusively about educational technology.
What she talked mostly about, though, is what she always talks about — school choice — and she renewed previous attacks she has made on the value of government and public schools. If anybody thought that having the responsibility of running the entire Education Department would broaden her scope, this speech should disabuse them of that.
DeVos has been as controversial as any Cabinet member in the Trump administration, confirmed by the Senate only after Mike Pence became the first vice president in history to break a tie for a Cabinet nominee. In 2015, she gave a speech declaring the U.S. public education system “a dead end” and saying that “government sucks.”
Here are some of the highlights of the speech, and some of the questions they raise about her views.
DeVos said:
Since I do have this opportunity to speak with you, I want to begin by saying it’s time for us to break out of the confines of the federal government’s arcane approach to education. Why now? Because Washington has been in the driver’s seat for over 50 years with very little to show for its efforts.
What exactly does this mean? The Education Department did not respond to a query about the meaning of “over 50 years.”


Is that a reference to the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Act, the most important federal education legislation ever passed by Congress that was aimed at funding primary and secondary education to help close This is the new Betsy DeVos speech everyone should read - The Washington Post:
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