Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Diane Ravitch: PBS Runs A Three-Hour Series Glorifying The DeVos Education Agenda | HuffPost

PBS Runs A Three-Hour Series Glorifying The DeVos Education Agenda | HuffPost:

PBS Runs A Three-Hour Series Glorifying The DeVos Education Agenda

Funded by conservative foundations devoted to privatization, this program is the definition of paid propaganda.



Public education today faces an existential crisis. Over the past two decades, the movement to transfer public money to private organizations has expanded rapidly. The George W. Bush administration first wrote into federal law the proposal that privately managed charter schools were a remedy for low-scoring public schools, even though no such evidence existed. The Obama administration provided hundreds of millions each year to charter schools, under the control of private boards. Now, the Trump administration, under the leadership of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, wants to expand privatization to include vouchers, virtual schools, cyberschools, homeschooling, and every other possible alternative to public education. DeVos has said that public education is a “dead end,” and that “government sucks.”
DeVos’s agenda finds a ready audience in the majority of states now controlled by Republican governors and legislatures. Most states already have some form of voucher program that allow students to use public money to enroll in private and religious schools, even when their own state constitution prohibits it. The Republicans have skirted their own constitutions by asserting that the public money goes to the family, not the private or religious school. The longstanding tradition of separating church and state in K-12 education is crumbling. And Betsy DeVos can testify with a straight face that she will enforce federal law to “schools that receive federal funding,” because voucher schools allegedly do not receive the money, just the family that chooses religious schools.
Advocates of the privatization movement like DeVos claim that nonpublic schools will “save poor children from failing public schools,” but independent researchers have recently concurred that vouchers actually have had a negative effect on students in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio. Charters, at best, have a mixed record, PBS Runs A Three-Hour Series Glorifying The DeVos Education Agenda | HuffPost:
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