Thursday, June 8, 2017

Betsy DeVos: When an Opponent of Government Joins the Government | janresseger

Betsy DeVos: When an Opponent of Government Joins the Government | janresseger:

Betsy DeVos: When an Opponent of Government Joins the Government

Image result for big education ape devos wrecking ball


Are you tired of hearing Betsy DeVos repeat her one idea about education—that parents should have the right to choose their children’s school? Why does she not branch out a little bit at least and consider the issues that are supposed to be within the purview of the U.S. Department of Education, the agency of which she is now in charge? Why does she never seem really to appreciate the work of public school teachers in the schools she visits? (To read about Betsy DeVos’s Senate testimony on Tuesday about her department’s federal budget proposal, read Valerie Strauss’s report.)
Sitting on my desk are copies of two recent reflections on Betsy DeVos’s beliefs and how her ideas shape her leadership.
First Peter Greene, the Pennsylvania school teacher and blogger, critiques a statement from the American Federation for Children (AFC), the advocacy organization that Betsy DeVos founded and whose board she chaired until she became our U.S. Secretary of Education.  Greene is bothered by this statement from AFC, a declaration that sounds exactly like Betsy DeVos: “It is school choice—directly empowering parents to choose the best educational environment for their child—that is the most democratic of ideas.”
Green responds:  “Nope, nope, nope, nopity nope. There are arguments to be made for parent choice, but ‘it’s the essence of democracy’ is not one of them…  Democracy is not, ‘My fellow taxpayers have to pay for whatever I decide on my own that I want.’…  It is the taxpayers’ money, and the taxpayers have given it to support a system that will educate all students in the community through an institution managed by elected representatives of those taxpayers…. Democracy is about coming together as a group to discuss, debate, (hopefully) compromise, and elect folks who will decide how best to manage our resources.”
Second, Harold Meyerson in The American Prospect reflects on charter schools, economic inequality and a belief in free markets: “The billionaires, apparently, we shall always have Betsy DeVos: When an Opponent of Government Joins the Government | janresseger:

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