A More Qualified Secretary of Education
DeVos is just the latest, most extreme example at the end of a long line of woefully ignorant Secretaries of Education.
From me at Live Long and Prosper
...knowing anything about K-12 public education has rarely, if ever, been a requirement for the job of U.S. Secretary of Education.
Why then, is it a surprise that President-elect Trump's nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, knows nothing about K-12 public education?
Don’t Confirm Betsy DeVos
From John Merrow at The Merrow Report
I have concluded that Ms. DeVos is stunningly unqualified to serve as United States Secretary of Education. In her testimony and her subsequent letter, she demonstrated her unfamiliarity with IDEA and the federal commitment to special needs children. Moreover, both her testimony and her track record demonstrate an ideologue’s zeal for a single-minded approach to education. Neither her words nor her deeds show a commitment to the concept of public education for all children or any understanding of the importance of well-educated citizenry to our economic security and our democratic society.
Two former Secretaries of Education. They didn't know anything either.
THE STATUS QUO
Don’t Fall For The “Status Quo” Fallacy Concerning Public Education
"Reformers" have been denouncing the "status quo" for years, but at least since NCLB, and probably earlier, the "status quo" has been the reformist strategy of test and punish.
From Stu Egan at Caffeinated Rage
What I would consider the “status quo” is the commitment to flux and change to the variables that measure student achievement and school success by people outside of the actual education process. And in that regard, I do agree that the status quo should change.
U.S. Public Schools Are NOT Failing. They’re Among the Best in the World
American public schools are not failing.
From Steven Singer at GadflyonthewallBlog
As ever, far right politicians on both sides of the aisle, whether they be Democratic Neoliberals or Republican Tea Partiers, are using falsehoods about our public schools to sell an alternative. They say our public schools are beyond saving and that we need to privatize. They call it school choice but it’s really just an attempt to destroy the system that has so much going for it.
We should strengthen public education not undermine it. We should roll up our sleeves and fix the real problems we have, not invent fake ones.
IGNORANCE IS DANGEROUS
Are the Ignorant too Ignorant to know they’re Ignorant?
“True wisdom is knowing what you don't know” – Confucius
From Rob Miller at View from the Edge
...Because it’s so easy to judge the idiocy of others, it may be sorely tempting to think this doesn’t apply to us. But the problem of unrecognized ignorance is one that visits us all.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can all be confidently ignorant about a wide range of topics. Yet, it is often difficult to fathom just how close and how pervasive these unknowns are, precisely because they are invisible to us.
As Dunning writes:”People are destined not to know where the solid land of their knowledge ends and the slippery shores of their ignorance begins.”
School Choice Week's Alternative Facts
Millions of public dollars are diverted from public schools to corporate and religious schools using vouchers creating a two-tiered education system. Taxes are meant to be used for the public good...parks, libraries, roads, first-responder services, and public schools.
From Jersey Jazzman
...I'm willing to have a conversation about school vouchers. There might be some positive effects from private school enrollment that aren't found in test scores. But we have to weigh those against the harm vouchers programs might do to public schools, particularly since there's at least some evidence that voucher students would have attended private schools even without taxpayer funds -- which means vouchers create an extra financial burden on the system. And that money's got to come from somewhere...
Nevada's Voucher Fail
The same is true for Indiana. The legislature and governor need to quit draining money from public education for corporate profit and religious advantage and return it to the system of "Common Schools" – public schools.
"ARTICLE 8. Education Section 1. Common school system: Knowledge and learning, general diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it should be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement; and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all." – Indiana Constitution
From Peter Greene at Curmudgucation
In the meantime, if Nevada really wants to get out of 51st place, their leaders might consider focusing on how to actually help schools be better instead of trying to figure out ways that education tax dollars can be used to enrich businesses and absolve the state of any responsibility for its school system.
THE GOOD THING ABOUT SCIENCE IS...
The Week in Quotes (Jan. 29 – Feb. 4)
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." – Neil deGrasse Tyson
From Kathy Miller, President of Texas Freedom Network
Teachers are practically begging the board to stop forcing them to waste classroom time on junk science standards that are based mostly on the personal agendas of board members themselves, not sound science. But these politicians just can’t seem to stop themselves from making teachers’ jobs harder.