"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Meet Betsy DeVos: Your New US Secretary of Education: 12/11/16-12/19/16

December 19, 2016

From Restore Reason
The DeVos plan to destroy public education: "any kind of choice that hasn’t yet been thought of"
Last week the New Yorker explored the plan to break public schools that is laid bare by Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education. I’ll go along and focus on public education and the threat of choice for the sake of choice. But take heed: as the author points out, putting an enemy of public ed at the head of the education department is an example of the Trumpian implementation of the X-antiX formula. Many of the rest of his cabinet picks, including the recent pick for OMB fit the formula for a given agency X, choose antiX to destroy it.

From The Indypendant
Meet Trump’s Public Ed Wrecking Ball
DeVos is the daughter of a wealthy auto-parts manufacturer who funded Christian-right causes, and her brother Erik Prince founded the mercenary company Blackwater. She married Dick DeVos, the billionaire heir to the Amway fortune. The two, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., have used their personal wealth to encourage the expansion of charter schools, to prevent any government oversight of their use of public funds or regulation of the quality of education they provide and to aggressively promote the use of vouchers to let taxpayer funds pay for private and parochial schools.

From Vice News
Out of options: School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next.
The gutting of Detroit’s public schools is the result of an experiment started 23 years ago, when education reformers including Betsy DeVos, now Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, got Michigan to bet big on charters and school choice. The Obama administration has promoted competition, but DeVos looks set to take free-market education policy to new heights. She has made clear her goal is to use charters to eventually get public dollars to private and religious schools, but the consequences of her school choice policy in Detroit leave gaping questions about how she will also care for America’s public schools.

From Americans United
Trump’s Putting Voucher Champion Betsy DeVos In Charge Of Public Education, But Americans United Is Ready To Fight
DeVos has no experience with public education. In fact, she’s hostile to the concept. DeVos has devoted much of her time over the years to prioritizing and promoting private school voucher plans.

December 17, 2016

From Marie Corfield
School 'Choice' in Trumplandia
When state governments deliberately underfund urban public schools to make them 'fail', how is that choice?

When charter schools cherry pick their students, how is that 'choice'?

When parents choose their public school, but it's forced to close because a charter has drained money away, how is that choice?

When the community has no say in how their school district is run, how is that choice?

From Eclecta Blog
Why we must NOT give Betsy DeVos and school choice “a chance”
Alert readers may wonder what the impact might be of corporations diverting up to 3/4ths of their corporate tax responsibilities to subsidize tuition at private and Christian schools in Florida. That’s 75% less going to public schools, police and fire departments, road and bridge maintenance, and countless other public “goods.”

One might further wonder about the wisdom of allowing persons, or corporations, to decide where their tax dollars should be directed.

Should an individual be able to decide that they don’t want their taxes to go towards libraries?...

Should a corporation decide that they don’t want their taxes to go towards supporting the government department or agency that regulates their industry?

December 16, 2016

From Eclecta Blog
Betsy DeVos, Steve Ingersoll, and Michigan as a “cautionary tale” for American education
The news yesterday that Bay City, MI charter school operator Dr. Steve Ingersoll had been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison after being convicted on three counts of tax evasion and conspiracy should be sending shivers up Betsy DeVos’ spine today. Because while Dr. Ingersoll and Ms. DeVos may not know one another, the connections between them are numerous, significant, and absolutely chilling.

From janresseger
Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 2
...this two-part blog will help fill in any gaps in your understanding. During DeVos’s confirmation hearing, and later, if she is confirmed and as her policy proposals roll out, you’ll have the facts at your fingertips as contributions to any and every conversation. News reporting on DeVos this week has been particularly interesting, as newspapers have been assigning reporters to investigate in depth DeVos’s advocacy to reduce regulation of marketplace school choice, the influence of her religious beliefs, her partners and allies in the sphere of school choice advocacy, and the way in which DeVos’s ideologically driven philanthropy fits right in to the work of the Waltons, the Broads, and the Gates, although DeVos is far more driven by far-right anti-government, pro-voucher ideology.

From Ed in the Apple
Trump, ESSA and Education Policy: Musing Over the Future of Public Education
DeVoss [sic] will attempt to both reward charter and religious schools and encourage vouchers. Let us not forget that Arne Duncan offered competitive grants under Race to the Top to encourage Obama-Duncan policies, example, charter schools, Common Core, teacher evaluations plans, etc.

Will the Secretary decide how ESSA is applied to opt out schools?

The answer is yes, if she wants to play a major role.

December 15, 2016

From janresseger
Recent Important Coverage of Betsy DeVos, Part 1
...this two-part blog will help fill in any gaps in your understanding. During DeVos’s confirmation hearing, and later, if she is confirmed and as her policy proposals roll out, you’ll have the facts at your fingertips as contributions to any and every conversation. News reporting on DeVos this week has been particularly interesting, as newspapers have been assigning reporters to investigate in depth DeVos’s advocacy to reduce regulation of marketplace school choice, the influence of her religious beliefs, her partners and allies in the sphere of school choice advocacy, and the way in which DeVos’s ideologically driven philanthropy fits right in to the work of the Waltons, the Broads, and the Gates, although DeVos is far more driven by far-right anti-government, pro-voucher ideology.

From Live Long and Prosper
What DeVos Could Learn from 'The Book Lady'
Billionaire Betsy DeVos, the President-elect's nominee for US Secretary of Education, has a lot to learn about education, and she could learn some of it from another rich woman who has donated some of her millions to actually helping children.

From Education Opportunity Network
What The Hillsdale College Connection Reveals About Donald Trump’s Extremist Education Agenda12/15
The first clue that Trump would embed the extremist views of radical Christian orthodoxy in the White House’s education policy apparatus was his nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the nation’s next Secretary of Education.

December 14, 2016

From The New Yorker
Missing in the ideological embrace of choice for choice’s sake is any suggestion of the public school as a public good—as a centering locus for a community and as a shared pillar of the commonweal, in which all citizens have an investment. If, in recent years, a principal focus of federal educational policy has been upon academic standards in public education—how to measure success, and what to do with the results—DeVos’s nomination suggests that in a Trump Administration the more fundamental premises that underlie our institutions of public education will be brought into question. In one interview, recently highlighted by Diane Ravitch on her blog, DeVos spoke in favor of “charter schools, online schools, virtual schools, blended learning, any combination thereof—and, frankly, any combination, or any kind of choice that hasn’t yet been thought of.” A preëmptive embrace of choices that haven’t yet been thought of might serve as an apt characterization of Trump’s entire, chaotic cabinet-selection process. But whether it is the approach that will best serve current and prospective American school students is another question entirely.

From The Washington Post
Democratic senators press Trump’s education pick Betsy DeVos to pay years-old $5.3 million fine
A group of Senate Democrats is urging President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to pay $5.3 million in fines imposed on her political action committee for campaign finance violations in Ohio eight years ago.

“As secretary of education, Betsy DeVos would be responsible for overseeing the nation’s student loan program, including ensuring that students repay their loans, so it’s troubling that she has blatantly ignored her own PAC’s debt to the people of Ohio,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.). “When a student borrower defaults, it has serious ramifications that haunt that student for years — yet when DeVos’s PAC defaulted on its fine for violating the law, they just walked away.”

From Gadflyonthewallblog
Don’t Be Fooled: Betsy DeVos Still Loves Common Core
President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary has spent her entire adult life advocating for Common Core, but now she has to pretend like she doesn’t like it.

In fact, if you point out any of the multiple projects that she supports boosting Common Core, the multi-billionaire Republican mega-donor will probably say you’re promoting “fake news.”

But facts are facts.

From Bust•ED Pencils
Ease on Down the Road with Betsy
I hear people are upset with Betsy DeVos, The Donald’s choice for Secretary of Education, but compared to the above, she’s just…hmmmm… what we’d expect. No, she never attended a public school, nor sent her children to public schools. (The public can be sooo pedestrian.) No, she doesn’t have any teaching experience nor has she ever enrolled in an education course that I know of. But Betsy DeVos is our girl.

From Diane Ravitch
How the Billionaire Boys Club Paved the Way for Betsy DeVos
Let us remember that public schools were established to prepare young people to become responsible citizens. In addition to teaching knowledge and skills, they are expected to teach character and ethical behavior. Gates, Broad, and other big foundations have forgotten that public education is a public responsibility, not a consumer good. Their grant-making strategies have endangered public education.

This is a time to hope that they will recognize their errors, take a stand against privatization of our public services, and commit themselves to rebuilding public education and civil society.

From Common Dreams
Sanders and Dems Demand Betsy DeVos Pay $5.3 Million Fine for Campaign Finance Violations
In 2006, the federal All Children Matter PAC sought an advisory opinion from the Ohio Elections Commission to determine whether it was allowed to contribute more than the $10,000 statutory limit to its Ohio based affiliate. The Commission provided an advisory opinion stating that aggregate contributions of greater than $10,000 in a year to the Ohio affiliate would violate the law. Inexplicably, your PAC ignored this advisory opinion proceeded to contribute $870,000 to the Ohio affiliate.

The bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission unanimously found both the federal and Ohio All Children Matter PACs to have violated the state's campaign finance laws and imposed fines of $5.2 million. An Ohio court subsequently upheld the fines and imposed additional late fees for failing to pay. Rather than pay the fines for violating the law, the All Children Matter PACs simply ceased operation and never paid the significant sum it owed to the state of Ohio.

From Education Week
Who Is Part of Ed. Sec. Nominee Betsy DeVos' Policy Circle?
DeVos could decide to draw from a deep pool of folks she has worked with in education advocacy and political offices, including at the American Federation for Children, a political and advocacy organization she chaired until recently. Many of them have ties to her home state of Michigan, including Josh Venable, a one-time aide to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is said to be helping with the transition. Like DeVos, they've been active in Republican politics, especially, and school choice. Also like DeVos, most haven't served in state education agencies or school districts, at least not in recent years.

December 13, 2016

From Post Bulletin
Barry W. Lynn : Fierce hostility to public schools should be a disqualifier for secretary of state
In the United States, 90 percent of children attend public schools.

These young people and their families rely on this system, which is funded by tax dollars and is answerable to democratically elected school boards. In many communities, the public school system is the glue that holds a diverse population together.

We therefore expect the men and women who set federal education policy to support public education.

Yet President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education in his administration. That's a problem. DeVos isn't just indifferent to public education; she's hostile to it.

From The New York Times
Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools
What is distinctive about the Christian right’s response to this perceived crisis is its apocalyptic conviction that extreme measures are needed. There is nothing conservative about this agenda; it is radical. Gutting public education will be just the beginning.

From The New Yorker
Educators have various concerns about Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education—they object to her efforts to shield charter schools from government regulation, for example—but one issue stands above the rest: DeVos is a fundamentalist Christian with a long history of opposition to science. If her faith shapes her policies—and there is evidence that it will—she could shape science education decisively for the worse, by systematically depriving young people, in an era where biotechnology will play a key economic and health role worldwide, of a proper understanding of the very basis of modern biology: evolution.

From Schools Matter
The Monica Garcia - Betsy DeVos connection
Los Angeles has had its own Betsy DeVos for many years in the form of anti-public school politician Monica Garcia. Garcia is running for a third term, and her long record of expanding revenue streams and market share for the lucrative charter school industry is legendary. Here are some of DeVos and Garcia's connections and shared values...

December 12, 2016

From AFT
3 Ways Betsy DeVos Worked to Destroy Public Education

From Education Law Prof Blog
Betsy DeVos Won't Be Doing Too Much As Secretary of Education, But It Is Not Clear She Knows That
It is not clear whether Betsy DeVos really knows what her job will be as Secretary of Education or if she is just blowing smoke like the person who nominated her. She is telling news sources that she will put the brakes on the Common Core. “It’s time to make education great again in this country. . . . This means letting states set their own high standards and finally putting an end to the federalized Common Core. . . . The answer isn’t bigger government — it’s local control, it’s listening to parents, and it’s giving more choices.”

The truth is that Congress has already gutted the Common Core and shifted enormous control back to states and districts. The Every Student Succeeds Act bars the Department of Education from requiring or even suggesting that a state use the Common Core. The Act is so anti-Common Core and anti-federal standards that I could imagine DeVos and her staffers getting in trouble if they even brought the subject up. The Act prohibits the Department from engaging states on their academic standards altogether, allowing states to submit a self-attested letter to the Department that their standards are challenging. The point is to prevent the Secretary from monkeying with academic standards in any respect.

From deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's EduBlog
DeVos at Trump’s “Tour” Stop in Grand Rapids: She Forgot She Ever Doubted Him. No, Really.
DeVos spoke for approximately five minutes, during which time she directly contradicted her former position on Trump as a Republican candidate.

From The New York Times
How Trump’s Education Nominee Bent Detroit to Her Will on Charter Schools
Few disagreed that schools in Detroit were a mess: a chaotic mix of charters and traditional public schools, the worst-performing in the nation.

So city leaders across the political spectrum agreed on a fix, with legislation to provide oversight and set standards on how to open schools and close bad ones.

But the bill died without even getting a final vote. And the person most influential in killing it is now President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee to oversee the nation’s public schools, Betsy DeVos.

From Teacher in a Strange Land
Terminal Charterism: The View from Michigan
...if you want to know what end-stage, terminal charterism looks like--how it impacts the educational ecology, when it is fertilized by policy tweaks, and allowed to flourish--take a look at the reality of Betsy DeVos's accomplishments in Michigan:

Test scores? Down. Urban schools? Cheated, closed and neglected. Teachers? Demoralized. Unions? Toothless and subject to public punishment.

And the "good" charters that are replacing what was once a top-flight public system? Corrupt--but still flourishing. Making Michigan the poster child for What Not to Do in school reform...

From EdSource
Trump choice for secretary of education calls for 'local control' of schools
Using terminology entrenched in California’s school reform vernacular, Betsy DeVos called for “local control” of schools in her most extensive public comments since President-elect Donald Trump selected her to be his secretary of education three weeks ago.

She also called for “finally ending” what she described as “the federalized Common Core” – the academic standards in math and English language arts adopted by California and 41 other states, along with the District of Columbia.

December 11, 2016

From Curmudgucation
DeVos Speaks (Sort of)
For one thing, we will be bringing the benefits of school choice. I think all Americans agree that it's important that all businesses, no matter what their zip codes, have an opportunity to get their hands on a piece of the giant mountain of money that funds education in this country. Choice will let us do that. Cheer!!

From Diane Ravitch
John Thompson: We Can’t Let Betsy DeVos Destroy Our Public Schools
Chalkbeat Indiana’s Nicholas Garcia, in “Six Things to Know about Indiana’s School Voucher Program, A Possible Model for Ed Sec Nominee Betsy DeVos,” explains that “the number of students using vouchers rose from 3,911 in 2011, when the program launched, to 32,686 in 2016.” Originally, vouchers were pushed as a way to help poor students in failing schools, but “a growing portion of Indiana voucher users are from middle-class families, and growth has been greatest among suburban families.” Now, “60 percent of Indiana voucher users are white, and about 31 percent are from middle-income families — not exactly the student population that struggles most in the state’s schools.”

Even more disturbing is the way that vouchers have grown into a greater threat to the financial stability of schools, “In 2011, just 9 percent of voucher users had never before gone to public school, Chalkbeat reports, “That was true for more than half of students using vouchers in 2016. So, Indiana isn’t offering an escape from failing schools but a subsidy for many who would never attend a public school.

For posts and articles from December 20 through December 24, 2016 Click HERE.
For posts and articles from December 11 through December 19, 2016 Click HERE
For posts and articles from December 4 through December 10, 2016 Click HERE
For posts and articles from November 30 through December 3, 2016 Click HERE
For posts and articles from November 27 through November 29, 2016 Click HERE
For posts and articles from November 24 through November 26, 2016 Click HERE
For posts and articles older than November 24, 2016 Click HERE
For an updated list by source (without quotes from articles, and continuing beyond December 24, 2016) Click HERE


No comments: