Monday, February 27, 2017

So far, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is just what her critics feared By Valerie Strauss

Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos has been U.S. education secretary for only a few weeks, but already she has shown herself to be exactly what her critics feared. In her brief time running the Education Department she has (among other things):
*insulted teachers at a middle school
*bashed protesters, saying they are “hostile” to change and new ideas
*said she would be fine if the department she runs is shut down
*complained that critics want “to make my life a living hell
*did not participate in the first Twitter chat her department had for teachers on Feb. 21
*suggested schools should be able to compensate for troubles children have at home, such as absent fathers
*had U.S. marshals protect her after protesters blocked her entrance to a D.C. school door
*made a confusing statement about the Common Core State Standards
*made crystal clear that a top priority will be pushing for alternatives to traditional public schools, otherwise known as “school choice.”
And, according to this Washington Post story, while she personally opposed the Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama administration’s federal guidance protecting the right of transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, she did not say so publicly and was unable to persuade them to leave the guidance in place. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), issued a statement saying that she hoped DeVos “stands strong” and doesn’t “cave to pressure,” but the New York Times reported that she was given the choice by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to go along with the move or resign — and she “relented.” After the rollback, she said the issue was best left to states and local school districts.
DeVos’s boss, President Trump, has come to her defense, saying that she has been unfairly attacked and that she will do a great job as education secretary.

And for those who support her prioritizing of school choice, statements such as this, which she gave to Axios, are reassuring: “I expect there will be more public charter schools. I expect there will be more private schools. I expect there will be more virtual schools. I expect there will be more schools of any kind that haven’t even been invented yet.”
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