Category: Betsy DeVos

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

              Recently, our oldest son got his first job–or, more accurately, he got his first 2 jobs: one at a fast-food franchise popular in the Midwest (let’s call it “McBurgerQueen”, or McBQ—note: it’s not McDonalds, Burger King, or Dairy Queen), the other at a family-owned Korean-Chinese restaurant in our town (we’ll call this place […]

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Why are *you* angry? Are you Red or Blue?

Why are *you* angry? Are you Red or Blue?

Everyone is angry. I get it. Our country is as divided as I can remember it being in my lifetime. Friends are divided. Institutions are divided. Families are divided. People that never seemed to be “political” are suddenly, and surprisingly, strident defenders of a particular belief or position–or equally vocal about being against that position. Everywhere you go these days […]

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Diane Ravitch, fennel, and Cory Booker

Let’s start with a confession: I have a crush on Diane Ravitch. (Note: my wife knows!) Sure, it’s a (mostly) academic crush, but a crush nonetheless. One of the real thrills of my professional life was attending a dinner in New York City a couple of years ago in honor of Dr. Ravitch’s contributions to public education. I had a […]

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Trump Appoints “Dance Mom” to Head National Endowment for the Arts

In yet another head scratcher of a move, President* Donald Trump has appointed self-proclaimed “Dance Mom” and Florida political consultant, Mary Anne Carter, to succeed musician and artist Jane Chu as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. In keeping with his penchant for valuing policy chops and qualifications more highly than PR potential and visibility, President Obama appointed […]

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A Simple Solution to Fix the Problem of our Failing Public Education System

Let me begin with an apology: I have intentionally lured you here under false pretenses. What do I mean? I’ve used that favorite strategy of internet hoaxes and supermarket tabloids, the “click bait headline”, to catch your eye, whet your appetite, and influence you to “click” the link, which brought you here. According to Wikipedia, “click bait headlines” rely on […]

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Why underestimating Betsy DeVos is not just wrong–it’s dangerous

Why underestimating Betsy DeVos is not just wrong–it’s dangerous

I’ve been seeing a number of thoughtful, well-intentioned posts lately from very intelligent friends, wondering how and why Betsy DeVos could be so uninformed about schools and education, and whether she could be convinced to move in better directions by talking with and listening to experienced teachers and ed policy experts. The answer is “no,” and here’s why… I understand […]

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Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Secretary of Education and Saturday Night Live fixture Betsy DeVos is fond of saying that picking a school should be as easy as choosing an Uber or a Lyft. She bases this belief on the economic theories that buttress much of the neo-liberal and conservative approach to education reform: As economist Milton Friedman had theorized decades earlier, Ohio legislators believed […]

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Secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC 2017 Feburary 23rd 2017 by Michael Vadon

Betsy DeVos attacks teachers as “defenders of the status quo”–here’s why that makes no sense

Speaking at a conservative political conference recently, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called teachers and public education advocates “defenders of the status quo.” Indeed, it has become one of her favorite insults, and one she seems to use increasingly when she feels defensive or under attack–something that happens pretty frequently. The term “status quo” means “the existing state of affairs, […]

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Tahoe Elementary School, Sacramento, CA

The sinister motive behind Trump & DeVos’ plan to “harden schools”

The news has been full of reports over the last few weeks on the need to “harden” our schools in response to the seemingly daily onslaught of school shootings in our nation. Many of our elected officials, such as President* Donald Trump and Secretary of Education* Betsy DeVos, have called for teachers and other school personnel to be given firearms […]

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Betsy DeVos is wrong about competition improving public schools

Betsy DeVos claimed last night, in her disastrous “60 Minutes” interview with Lesley Stahl, that “choice” (in the form of vouchers and charter schools) is the solution to improving public education–specifically, that when competition is inserted into the “education marketplace” it forces traditional public schools to improve.   But that’s just flat-out wrong. For a deeper dive into why this […]

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Secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC 2017 Feburary 23rd 2017 by Michael Vadon

The stunning hypocrisy of Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos tweeted the other day about the lack of innovation in today’s public schools, saying: “Most students are starting a new school year that is all too familiar. Desks lined up in rows. Their teacher standing in front of the room, framed by a blackboard. They dive into a curriculum written for the ‘average’ student. They follow the same […]

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