Thursday, July 20, 2017

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Owes ALEC for Promoting Her Anti-Public Education Agenda | janresseger

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Owes ALEC for Promoting Her Anti-Public Education Agenda | janresseger:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Owes ALEC for Promoting Her Anti-Public Education Agenda



Today in Denver, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will deliver the lunchtime keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Last year, right after the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Mikc Pence, then-Governor of Indiana and then-nominee for Vice President, went home to Indianapolis to deliver a keynote address at last year’s annual meeting of ALEC. What this means is that key people serving in the Trump administration are political extremists. We know that, of course, but it isn’t bad to stop and really take in the meaning of who’s in charge.
Esteemed education policy writers David Berliner and Gene Glass trace the history of ALEC: “In 1971 one Lewis F. Powell, Jr., a lawyer and member of 11 corporate boards, sent to the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce what has come to be known as the Powell Manifesto. (Powell was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court within a year of his having transmitted his manifesto.) In brief, Powell urged conservatives to adopt an aggressive stance toward the federal government, to seek to influence legislation in the interest of corporations, and to enlist like-minded scholars in an attack on liberal social critics… (T)he Powell Manifesto influenced the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute… and other powerful organizations… The Powell Manifesto spawned the powerful American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Formed in 1973, just 2 years after the Powell declaration, ALEC has been without question the most powerful influence on education policy in the United States during the past 3 decades.” (50 Myths and Lies that Threaten America’s Public Schools, pp. 7-8)
It is primarily state policy and funding under the fifty state constitutions, not federal policy, that shapes public schools. ALEC is the far-right’s tool for influencing state government.  For forty years, ALEC has been the operation turning the agenda of corporations and far-right think tanks into the bills that are introduced in state legislatures across the country. It is a Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Owes ALEC for Promoting Her Anti-Public Education Agenda | janresseger:


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