Tag: Betsy DeVos

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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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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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Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made headlines this week at Harvard University. I’m still confused as to why Harvard invited her to speak at an event allegedly focused on public education–she never attended a public school, never sent her own children to a public school, never studied education, and has never taught anyone anything–and the reaction to her talk suggests […]

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

Betsy DeVos flip-flops on school choice

What happens when the evidence showing that vouchers do not improve student learning, or “fix failing schools”, becomes too obvious to ignore? Well, if you’re Betsy DeVos, you just flip the rhetoric (i.e., lie). Just as Ms. DeVos and President Donald Trump are poised to dump $20 billion into a federal voucher program, a new study shows that students receiving […]

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Trump puts anti-LGBT activist in charge of civil rights office at Health and Human Services

Trump puts anti-LGBT activist in charge of civil rights office at Health and Human Services

Roger Severino has actively fought LGBT equality, including provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protect LGBT people and others. While we were busy trying to thwart the terrible American Health Care Act (AHCA) last week, President Trump was quietly appointing a terrible Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/OCR): Roger […]

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East Coast elites, intellectuals, and “smug liberals”: Oh My!

East Coast elites, intellectuals, and “smug liberals”: Oh My!

I’m tired. Specifically, I’m sick and tired of being made to feel that my fellow “East Coast elites” and I are somehow to blame for the continually unfolding and horrifying mess our country finds itself in these days. My phone tweets CNN “Breaking News” updates on the hour, alerting me to the new atrocities being introduced to our nation by […]

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