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Stuffing the Public Education Turkey: How’s it going to Turn Out With DeVos as the Cook?

Thursday, November 24, 2016 21:22
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If you follow education reform, this Thanksgiving has been, well, interesting.  Twitter comments on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary have ranged from those celebrating a charter school proponent to those concerned about her apparent 11th hour conversion against Common Core and praise from Jeb Bush:

jeb-bush-and-devos

devos-5

Many of us are skeptical that she is not a supporter of Common Core as she has not spoken out against it one time during the seven years it was being implemented and as she sat on the Board of Jeb Bush’s organization, Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE).  But hey, if you believe that statement from DeVos on her twitter feed, then you probably believe the Benghazi murders of four Americans happened because of a YouTube video.

If we’ve learned anything in the last few years of political non-transparency and WikiLeaks information on the public and private positions of politicians, we’ve learned politicians, bureaucrats and political operatives will say anything that is politically convenient:

public-and-private-position

Politically convenient statements do not mean they are true statements.  Let’s see what Ms. DeVos says in confirmation hearings about her thoughts on

  • ESSA which cements Common Core in publicly funded schools
  • FERPA regulations which have been gutted and don’t protect PII
  • Increased data mining on students and family information

If she doesn’t see major problems with ESSA, FERPA regulations which are meaningless and the increased data tracking of students from birth/Pre-K through their careers, then your concerns about Ms. Devos as Education Secretary (her lack of educational experience, NGO connections) are probably well-founded.  It will also be incumbent upon those in the confirmation hearings to question her on exactly what she has done to raise student achievement.

For a bit of levity about a nomination which has been about as bad as Thanksgiving Dinner with feuding relatives, enjoy the clip below from The Three Stooges and Curly stuffing a turkey.  Watch how Curly reads everything literally and the comedic disaster that occurs.  So much for informational reading.

Who knows? Maybe DeVos can stuff the public education turkey with ingredients to make it palatable to local communities (decreased Federal control) or she will stuff it with choice that’s not really choice, increased data tracking and mining, and no end to ESSA mandates which cement Common Core into all publicly funded schools.  We’ll have to see how this turkey turns out.

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