Author: Mitchell Robinson

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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https://markarmstrongillustration.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/forkroadschools.jpg

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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Enough with the bonuses, Mr. President*!

Enough with the bonuses, Mr. President*!

In the aftermath of yet another horrific school shooting, this one leaving 17 students and teachers dead in Parkland, FL, President Trump has ignored the cause of the problem, and has instead offered an almost incomprehensibly bad solution to the wrong problem–suggesting that teachers who agree to carry loaded weapons into schools, and received some sort of firearms training, would […]

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Arm Teachers? Yes! (But not with guns…)

Arm Teachers? Yes! (But not with guns…)

Teachers can’t get their schools to pay for the professional development they need for the jobs they have now. Most teachers I know are paying out of pocket for travel to and from conferences, registration fees, professional membership dues, and graduate courses. Where’s the money going to come from to purchase each teacher a weapon and provide the training needed […]

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Naming the Toxic Male Elephant in the Room

Naming the Toxic Male Elephant in the Room

“I have been training with rifles and pistols since the first time my Dad took me to shoot. Age 8. I know the laws to carry. I have spoken with LEO’s about it. I have a lawyer who works with concealed carry cases only. Truth is I’m more responsible than just point and shoot. I know to identify my target and […]

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Engler Wrong Choice for MSU

Engler Wrong Choice for MSU

Michigan State University is the faculty, staff, and students, not “Communications and Brand Strategy,” teams of overpaid lawyers, and “University Advancement,” whatever that is. The purpose of these groups is to support the work of the faculty and students, not to make decisions that direct the mission of the institution. A university is an academic institution, not a corporation. The […]

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The Educational Malpractice of Ms. Moskowitz

Elizabeth Green, the founder of “Chalkbeat,” an online education site, is out with a fawning, sycophantic puff piece on Eva Moskowitz, the leader of the Success Academy network of charter schools in New York City. Some of my favorite edubloggers have already responded with their thoughts (Peter Greene, aka Curmudgication; Mercedes Schneider here), so I’ll make my comments on this […]

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