Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Profits and Prophets – Have You Heard

Profits and Prophets – Have You Heard:

Profits and Prophets

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The wealthy have been looking for a way to opt out of paying for public schools as long as we’ve had them. Now with the help of religious activists – and an assist from Silicon Valley – they’re getting close to realizing that dream…
During a recent talk to tech investors and *edupreneurs,* Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the least regarded of all of the rogues and billionaires who compose the Trump cabinet, returned to a favorite theme of hers.Apple, Uber, and Airbnb have worked their disruptive magic on one industry after another. Why aren’t our public schools being similarly disrupted? *Who here can pull out their Blockbuster card?* she asked the crowd.
But if the nation’s schools are the equivalent of a kitchen-wall rotary phone or the cab that never comes, DeVos was eager to let the audience know that a quick fix is at hand: school choice. The way to disrupt our educational malaise once and for all is to shift the way we think about education to focus *on students, not buildings. If a child is learning, it shouldn’t matter where they learn.* Even the best schools won’t be the right *fit* for all kids, DeVos noted. *The simple fact is that if a school is not meeting a child’s unique needs, then that school is failing that child.*
Beneath the folksy tech talk, though, lurks a radical vision, one that is taking root in state after state. The ultimate aim of the project of which DeVos is now the most visible face is to remove education from the public system. Those *buildings* of which she speaks so disdainfully, the disparaging *status quo* never far behind, represent the entire architecture of public education, and more importantly, its democratic Profits and Prophets – Have You Heard: