Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Dialectics of school 'choice'

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Dialectics of school 'choice':

Dialectics of school 'choice'



School "choice" groups have never been able to present a unified front. As with any reform movement, divisions are bound to occur and this confederation of corporate reformers and privatization advocates has long been divided around issues of class and race, charters vs. vouchers, unionization, and much more.

But since Trump's election and his appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, those contradictions have burst into the open, throwing organization leaders into a state of panic as they try and keep their heavily-funded ship afloat. Many educators within the charter school networks are repulsed by Trump and don't want to be openly associated with vouchers or DeVos' attempt to privatize and Christianize the schools. And yet they still want a piece of Trump's $20B "choice" pie and a seat at DeVos' table.

Trump's recent budget request exposed that growing fracture by proposing more than $1 billion in new spending for a variety of school "choice" initiatives while also slashing public education funding by more than $9 billion, trashing dozens of education programs and making steep cuts to important social service programs, like food stamps and Medicaid.

According to an AP Wire story in the Detroit News:

...when a member of this elite group was elevated to education secretary, the appointment opened a philosophical schism that now threatens to shatter the Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Dialectics of school 'choice':


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