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Betsy DeVos is a demon – School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools

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Erected by the Board of Education 1892
Erected by the Board of Education 1892.

From Vice before the demon DeVos was (barely) confirmed to be Trump’s Education minister:

The gutting of Detroit’s public schools is the result of an experiment started 23 years ago, when education reformers including Betsy DeVos, now Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, got Michigan to bet big on charters and school choice. The Obama administration has promoted competition, but DeVos looks set to take free-market education policy to new heights. She has made clear her goal is to use charters to eventually get public dollars to private and religious schools, but the consequences of her school choice policy in Detroit leave gaping questions about how she will also care for America’s public schools.

In Detroit, choice has come largely at the expense of the traditional public school district and schools like Oakman. As students joined new charters, public school enrollment and funding fell. Unregulated competition pushed these schools into near-unrecoverable insolvency and allowed dubious for-profit charter operators to prosper without establishing a track record of better outcomes for students. A 2014 analysis showed 17 percent of Detroit charter school students were rated proficient in math, versus 13 percent of traditional public school students. Last year less than 1 percent of the city’s schools got an A or B+ rating from Excellent Schools Detroit, a local reform group that provides school information to families. Nearly 70 percent earned a D+ or lower, and 40 percent of those bottom-performers were charters. Earlier this year, seven Detroit students sued the state of Michigan for failing to provide basic access to literacy — two of the kids were enrolled in local charter schools.

(click here to continue reading School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next. – VICE News.)

Charter schools performing even worse than gutted public schools, yet still being promoted is like Supply Side Economics still being promoted despite a single success story.

Washington Elementary School
Washington Elementary School

Relevant because Ms. DeVos spluttered and muttered her way through an interview aired on 60 Minutes March 11th, 2018:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night and stumbled in answering questions that journalist Lesley Stahl asked during a pointed interview.

Stahl repeatedly challenged the education secretary, at one point suggesting that DeVos should visit underperforming public schools to learn about their problems. DeVos responded, “Maybe I should.” The secretary also said she is “not so sure exactly” how she became, as Stahl described her, “the most hated” member of President Trump’s Cabinet but believes that she is “misunderstood.”

DeVos, who rarely gives interviews to journalists, is a longtime school choice advocate who once said that traditional public education is “a dead end,” and she has made clear that her top priority as the nation’s education chief is expanding alternatives to traditional public schools. She is  a champion of using public funds for private and religious school education, and critics say she is determined to privatize public education. DeVos has denied that.

DeVos, a billionaire who has spent millions of dollars on school efforts in her home state of Michigan, has been perhaps the most controversial of Trump’s Cabinet members. She became the first Cabinet nominee in history to need a tie-breaking vote from the vice president to be confirmed by the Senate. Her January 2017 confirmation hearing before the Senate education panel was marked by her inability to answer basic questions about education.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, more than a year after becoming education secretary, DeVos again had trouble answering questions and seemed to contradict herself.


(click here to continue reading Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stumbles during pointed ‘60 Minutes’ interview – The Washington Post.)

Why go To Night School
Why go To Night School?

and as Philip Bump reports:


“In places where there is a lot of choice that’s been introduced,” DeVos told CBS’s Lesley Stahl, “Florida, for example, studies show that when there’s a large number of students that opt to go to a different school or different schools, the traditional public schools actually, the results get better as well.”

 This is DeVos’s core case. Introducing charter schools forces public schools into the sort of competition you see in the free market, forcing the public institutions to improve. It’s a market-based proposal for solving the endemic problem of low-performing schools. Florida, DeVos argues, is an example of where it works.

 But Stahl was prepared for this.

 “Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?” Stahl asked. Michigan is a key litmus test because it’s the place where DeVos’s pre-government advocacy was centered. DeVos stumbled over a response.

 “Your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better is not working in Michigan,” Stahl said. “Where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here.” She later added, “The public schools here are doing worse than they did.”

A 2009 study from the RAND corporation found “little evidence that the presence of charter schools affects the achievement scores of students in nearby traditional public schools either positively or negatively.” A number of studies since have found similarly murky results.

We can look at this another way. Using data from the Education Department, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we looked at how charter school enrollment and educational achievement looked in nearly 30 states between 2005 and 2015.

The educational achievement data indicated the percentage of students in fourth or eighth grade who’d attained basic proficiency in math and reading. We compared the change in those four percentages with the national change from 2005 to 2015. Then, we cross-referenced those changes with the increase in charter school student enrollment as a percentage of public school enrollment. (In other words, if there were 10 charter and 20 public school students in 2005 and 15 charter and 25 public in 2015, the percent change was from 50 percent to 60 percent — an increase of 10 percentage points.)

Overall, the correlation was small, meaning that you couldn’t predict an increase in achievement in math and reading proficiency based on the increase in charter school enrollment. The strongest link was in eighth-grade reading scores



(click here to continue reading Why it was so easy for ’60 Minutes’ to rebut Betsy DeVos’s charter-school arguments – The Washington Post.)

She is just another Trumpian demon, intent upon dismantling the America we know so that Trump can become dictator-for-life. 

Written by Seth Anderson

March 12th, 2018 at 10:10 am

Posted in government,politics

Tagged with ,

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