Betsy DeVos: “One-size-fits-all model of learning [does not] fit the needs of every child”
No different than Jim Crow
January 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a reader:
The opening remarks by Betsy DeVos—Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee—at her confirmation hearing January 18 included this: “Parents no longer believe a one-size-fits-all model of learning fits the need of every child, and they know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, faith-based or any other combination. Yet, too many parents are denied access to the options, choices many of us have exercised for our own children.”
She claims to advocate for all children and that, if confirmed, she will be “a strong advocate for great public schools.” This is not even half true. Her life’s work has been to destroy public education, especially through promoting vouchers, which provide government money to pay for private (especially Christian) schools, and pushing charter schools, which are privately run but publicly funded.
Vouchers take money away from public schools in inner cities, which are already segregated, militarized, run down, and under-funded, and divert it to private—mainly white and religious—schools. DeVos, part of a family of billionaires, has spent considerable time and money toward changing the law in Michigan, her home turf, to allow vouchers. In Detroit, she’s been a driving force behind charter schools. Bad as Detroit public schools are—the district ranked last among 22 cities in eighth grade math proficiency among African-American students in 2013—two-thirds of Michigan charter schools ranked below Detroit public schools in eighth-grade math proficiency among Black students.
How is this any different from “separate but equal,” the Jim Crow (you know, back when America was “great” according to Trump) legal doctrine that maintained that segregation was constitutional while ensuring that education was in fact vastly unequal? Actually, what DeVos is pushing is not just a giant step back—it’s worse. DeVos-style education policy doesn’t just turn back to rigid segregation and doesn’t just maintain the current school-to-prison pipeline—it aims to destroy public education and make all education private and religious. In a word, it’s fascist.
For more analysis, see: “New ‘Education’ Secretary DeVos: Cut Public Education, Impose Christian Fascism.”
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