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#1494192 --- 01/16/17 03:33 PM Public education on the ropes
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

Damn those unmistakable red flags, in all likelihood DeVos will breeze through her confirmation full steam ahead.


Worried This Billionaire Will Destroy Public Education, Teachers Have Some #Questions4Betsy

Responding to the Politico reporting, Diane Ravitch wrote on her blog Monday, "if Betsy DeVos is confirmed, which is likely, we will have a major battle on our hands to protect public education and to maintain a separation of church and state."

"She is not a normal candidate for secretary of education," warned the public education advocate and former assistant Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush. "She is a religious zealot and a radical extremist. She will speak of her admiration for all successful schools, including public schools, but don't believe it. She is a determined foe of public education."

Read on: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01...questions4betsy
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#1494264 --- 01/18/17 06:49 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

"She's exactly the kind of duplicitous slippery character a dolt like Trump would admire." -shutter

100%.


Betsy DeVos Flunks Her First Test
Senators learn Trump's nominee for Education Secretary is clueless, rich, and deceptive.


Read on: http://www.alternet.org/education/betsy-devos-flunks-first-test
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
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#1494837 --- 01/28/17 07:27 AM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

Exhuming a living, breathing Repub with enough backbone to do the right thing? Good luck Sen. Franken. I trust you're right.


As Opposition to DeVos Swells, Hope for Her Rejection Builds

Nadia Prupis, staff writer
Common Dreams
Friday, January 27, 2017


Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said no Democrat will vote in favor of DeVos, and the party is actively seeking Republicans to oppose her as well
by

Opponents note DeVos' track record of opposing public schools, disregarding civil rights, and having no experience as a teacher or an agency leader.

There may be enough opposition to Education Secretary pick Betsy DeVos to overturn her nomination, as activists, teachers, and members of Congress step up their resistance.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said he would vote against DeVos, stating that the billionaire heiress and proponent of privatization would "single-handedly decimate our public education system."

President Donald Trump's "decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefited from the public education system in this country," Schumer said. "I will vote no, and I will do it proudly."

In fact, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Thursday, no Democrat will vote in favor of DeVos, and party officials are actively seeking Republicans to oppose her as well.

"She is someone that there's not going to be one Democratic vote for her and we're trying to find Republicans who will vote against her because she's an ideologue who knows next to nothing about education policy as we demonstrated, or she demonstrated really, in her confirmation hearing," Franken said.

"There's going to be a lot of these nominees who we're going to do everything we can to defeat. As you know these nominees need 51 votes and we have 48, so we need some Republicans…You will see a number of these nominees who virtually all of us [Democrats] will oppose…I'm sure that's true of DeVos," he added.

The Washington Post notes that no Republican has come out publicly against her—and, in fact, some have already pledged their support—but that hasn't slowed down a resolute campaign by education advocates and progressive organizations.

Opponents note her track record of opposing public schools, disregarding civil rights, and having no experience as a teacher or an agency leader—among other misplaced priorities.

The campaign has reportedly led to senators' phone lines being jammed and offices flooded with letters urging them to reject DeVos, with some Democratic lawmakers reporting that the call against her is stronger than any other nominee.

A CREDO Action petition opposing her has picked up at least 1.4 million signatures. Meanwhile, education historian and blogger Diane Ravitch urged her readers to call on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to reject DeVos, using a template provided by the anti-rightwing advocacy group People for the American Way.

And a group of Indiana teachers on Thursday held a sit-in at the office of Sen. Ted Young, a Republican who received donations from the DeVos family, who are heirs to the Amway fortune.

"Why would she pay so much, with so much desire to have this job if she were unqualified for it?" they asked.

DeVos' confirmation vote is set for Tuesday, January 31.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/27/opposition-devos-swells-hope-her-rejection-builds
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1495164 --- 02/08/17 06:22 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

The Confirmation of Betsy Devos: An Outrageous Insult to Students, Teachers, Communities
Despite massive protests, an anti-public school billionaire will now be in charge of Department of Education


Diane Ravitch's Blog
February 07, 2017

'It is a sad day for American public education when a person who has repeatedly expressed contempt for public schools is confirmed as Secretary of Education," writes Ravitch. (Credit: CBS)

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is an outrageous insult to the millions of people who send their children to public schools, to the millions of students who attend public schools, to the millions of educators who work in public schools, and to the millions of people—like me—who graduated from public school.

As expected, the vote was 50-50, and Vice President Pence was called in to cast the tie-breaking vote.

"It is a sad day for American public education when a person who has repeatedly expressed contempt for public schools is confirmed as Secretary of Education."

She was never a student, a parent, an educator or school board member of public schools. It is her life’s work to tear down public education. She does not respect the line of separation between church and state. She supports for-profit charter schools.

She is ignorant of federal law, federal programs, and federal policy. When asked at her Senate hearing about the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, she did not know it was a federal law. She had given no thought to lessening the burden of debt that college students bear, which now exceeds $1 trillion. At a time when the federal role in aiding students with the high cost of college needs to be redesigned, she knows nothing about it.

As the ethics counselors for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama pointed out, DeVos has financial conflicts of interest which she refuses to divest. She told the Senate committee that she had no role in her mother’s foundation, which has funneled millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations, but her name appears on 17 years of the foundation’s audited tax returns for 17 years. She told the committee that online charter corporations produce stellar results, but researchers demonstrated with facts that she was wrong.

Choice policies in Michigan have caused the test scores in that state to decline. Detroit, overrun with charters and choice, is a chaotic mess.

It is a sad day for American public education when a person who has repeatedly expressed contempt for public schools is confirmed as Secretary of Education.

But there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Her obvious lack of qualification for the job has created a maelstrom of protest against her. Senators report that they have never received so much feedback about a cabinet nominee, overwhelmingly negative. Telephone lines were jammed, in some offices, shut down.

The DeVos nomination awakened parents and educators to the dangers of privatization. She personifies the privatization movement. She is the leader of the Billionaire Girls Club, spreading her millions across the land to reward and enrich allies in Congress, on state and local school boards, and in any setting where she could tout school choice as a magical remedy for poor performance. Charters and vouchers, whether for profit or nonprofit, is her sole idea. She has singlehandedly stripped bare the “reform” movement, showing it to be not a civil rights movement but a privatization movement funded by billionaires and religious zealots.

About half the Senators have received substantial campaign contributions from the DeVos family. How else to explain their determination to confirm her regardless of mass protests and against her. Hers is the first Senate confirmation vote in history that required the intervention of the Vice President to supply a tie-breaking vote. She enters office with no reservoir of public trust.

Strange as it may seem, the confirmation of DeVos is a victory for those who spoke out against her. We joined with many organizations—People for the American Way, the ACLU, and many more—to say NO. The response was overwhelming. The Network for Public Education generated well over half a million emails.

For those of us fighting back against privatization, Betsy DeVos was a great tool for organizing and mobilizing and informing the public. Had there been one courageous Republican, had DeVos been defeated, Trump would have found another privatizer. And the fight would have started over.

She created the informed public we need to build a strong movement against privatization.

Consider this article that appeared in the Washington Post. The author describes herself as someone who was never interested in politics. Having learned about DeVos, the writer became a political activist.

This is the spirit we need to continue the fight for the future of public schools in America.

Join the Network for Public Education. We shall #Resist!


Washinton Post article cited above:
I never cared much about politics. Then Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to his Cabinet.
Read on: https://www.washingtonpost.com/postevery...er-1&wpmm=1
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1495824 --- 02/26/17 07:15 AM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

One thing De Vos could never wrap her head around is the fact that in countries where there is far less income inequality, the students perform much better than in the US.

Let's be direct in calling out De Vos for what she is Ms. Ravitch, the head of a corporate coup that will redistribute public funds into corporate profits. She has no interest other than to destroy public education.


DeVos to Conservative Conference: I Will Replace the Bush-Obama Failed Ideas with My Own Failed Ideas

Diane Ravitch's Blog

February 25, 2017


Betsy DeVos gave a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), explaining that the programs created by George W. Bush and Barack Obama had failed, and she would replace them with her own ideas. She did not point out that her own ideas have failed too. Just look at the mess she has made of Michigan, where the state’s rankings on the federal test (NAEP) have plummeted, and where Detroit is a mess thanks to the miasma of school choice.

DeVos argued Thursday that education is failing too many students, pointing to “flatlined” test scores (presumably on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called the Nation’s Report Card) and more than 1.3 million youth who drop out of school each year. The Obama administration’s $7 billion investment in overhauling the worst schools, called the School Improvement Grant program, didn’t work, DeVos said, making reference to a study by the administration that found no increase in test scores or graduation rates at schools that got the money.

“They tested their model, and it failed miserably,” she said. She emphasized that she was not indicting teachers.

She has said that she wants to return as much authority over education as possible to states and districts, and intends to identify programs and initiatives to cut at the Education Department. She has also made clear that she intends to use her platform to expand alternatives to public schools, including charter schools, online schools and private schools that students attend with the help of public funds.

“We have a unique window of opportunity to make school choice a reality for millions of families,” she said. “Both the president and I believe that providing an equal opportunity for a quality education is an imperative that all students deserve.”

Her own model of vouchers has not a single success to its name: evaluations of voucher programs in Milwaukee, Cleveland, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, and Indiana have found no gains for the students enrolled in voucher schools. Parents are happier, but that’s not a good reason to destroy public schools.

DeVos does not have a single innovative idea. It is the same old retreads of the privatization movement.The overwhelming majority of charter studies have found that charters perform no better than public schools unless they exclude children with disabilities, English language learners, and behavior problems. When the charters kick them out, they go back to the public school, which must take them.

Cybercharters have been proven to be disastrous failures in every state. In Tennessee, the Tennessee Virtual Academy is the lowest performing school in the state. Ohio boasts the cybercharter with the lowest graduation rate in the nation, called Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

DeVos does not have a single innovative idea. It is the same old retreads of the privatization movement.

I recommend that she read “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools,” where I patiently demonstrated, using data from the U.S. Department of Education that American students as of 2013 had the highest test scores in our history–for all groups, white, black, Hispanic, and Asian; the highest graduation rates in history; the lowest dropout rates in history.

The scores flatlined from 2013 to 2015, and that may have been because of the application of the Common Core standards and the disruptions foisted upon the schools by Obama and Duncan for the past eight years.

DeVos has proven that she is unqualified to be Secretary of Education. She is not dumb, she is just ignorant. She should do some reading and break free of her ideological contempt for public schools.

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/02/23/devo...n-failed-ideas/
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1495843 --- 02/26/17 01:20 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
ThomasDecker Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/16
Posts: 623
Loc: Bakersfield, CA


Stop the liberal brainwashing.
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#1495847 --- 02/26/17 02:29 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: ThomasDecker]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

Egad. Keep walking straw man. crazy
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1495849 --- 02/26/17 02:45 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

Just a reminder to conscious and concerned folks. School privatization chumps aside.

_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1495862 --- 02/26/17 05:15 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Formermac Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 7815
She more than likely thinks that Brown Vs. Board of Education is a sporting event. whistle
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#1496126 --- 03/03/17 11:36 AM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

The late, great Howard Zinn.



Arkansas Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Howard Zinn From Classrooms
Legislation from Rep. Kim Hendren would keep legendary historian's works from all public and charter schools


by Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Common Dreams

March 03, 2017

A Republican Arkansas lawmaker has introduced legislation to ban the works of the late historian, activist, and writer Howard Zinn from publicly funded schools.

The bill from Rep. Kim Hendren, just noted by the Arkansas Times, was introduced on Thursday and referred to the House Committee on Education.

It states (pdf) that any "public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school shall not include in its curriculum or course materials for a class or program of study any book or other material" authored by Zinn from 1959 until 2010, the year in which he died.

The Zinn Education Project, which aims to "to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula," noted Thursday that educators in the state may have a very different take from Hendren:
"To date, there are more than 250 teachers in Arkansas who have signed up to access people's history lessons from the Zinn Education Project website."

It continued:
"Fight censorship with people's history and critical thinking in the classroom. With your donation, we'll send copies of [Zinn's] A People's History of the United States and people's history lessons to Arkansas teachers."

Publisher Haymarket Books tweeted in response to the news that people should read more of Zinn's works.

It's not first time in recent history the works of the legendary Zinn have been the target of suppression.
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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#1496138 --- 03/03/17 04:40 PM Re: Public education on the ropes [Re: Teonan]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4212
Loc: West End

"The 'niche' effect of charter schools guarantees a swift and vicious deepening of class and racial separation."
-Jonathan Kozol, American writer, educator, and activist, best known for his books on public education in the United States.



Despite Increasing Evidence They Hurt Children, Trump Touts School Vouchers
Children who use vouchers to attend private schools perform worse on average than their public-school peers


Nadia Prupis, staff writer
Common Dreams

Friday, March 03, 2017


President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Besty DeVos, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Friday will tout school vouchers under the guise of providing "choice" to students—even as more research emerges that vouchers are no way to help children.

Trump is visiting the St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando to promote his $20 billion proposal, which would use public education dollars to fund private schools, including religious ones—a tenet of the program that many say is unconstitutional. DeVos in particular is a strong proponent of voucher systems.

Protesters gathered early along his motorcade route Friday, including many members of Florida teachers' unions. One woman held signs that read "Build schools, not the wall."

"I know many people want their children to receive a religious education, but wasn't the Constitution set on the separation of church and state? Why is the federal government giving money to private schools to educate our children? That shouldn't be their job," a protester told local media.

Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association (NEA) said in a statement, "For too long, these schemes have experimented with our children's education without any evidence of real, lasting positive results. The Trump-DeVos agenda does nothing to provide opportunity to all of our students, and that is evident here in Florida."

Trump's visit comes amid a growing body of evidence that vouchers harm the students who receive them. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a report this week which found that the risks to school systems outweigh the "insignificant gains in test scores and limited gains in graduation rates," and that cases where individual schools or districts improved were more likely driven by increased public accountability rather than private school competition.

The risks include increased segregation; the loss of a "common, secular" educational experience; and unfair treatment of teachers...

Read on: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03...school-vouchers
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


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