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.
“…(t)he students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools. The study finds negative effects that are greater in math than in English language arts. Such impacts also appear to persist over time, suggesting that the results are not driven simply by the setbacks that typically accompany any change of school.”
“Let us acknowledge that we did not expect—or, frankly, wish—to see these negative effects for voucher participants; but it’s important to report honestly on what the analysis showed and at least speculate on what may be causing these results.”
So, let’s just be clear: competition, whether its in the form of vouchers, charter schools, or school privatization efforts, does not improve public education. And cutting education funding by $9.2 billion, as Sec. DeVos has recommended and encouraged, does not improve education.
Sec. DeVos’ policies encouraging competition and choice do not improve the quality of public schools.
Sec. DeVos’ policies on education are uninformed, ignorant, and designed to defund and destabilize public schools, and demoralize teachers.
Sec. DeVos’ policies on public education were bad for Michigan, and will be disastrous for the United States.