DeVos praises virtual schools, but new research points to problemsBy Darlene Powers Feb 23, 2017
Secretary DeVos reportedly asked for additional language to be put in the letter that would affirm students would still be protected, with her concern being that people may interpret it as removing protections otherwise.
DeVos was one of Trump's most controversial cabinet nominees and was narrowly appointed through Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote. This right has existed since 1925 when the Supreme Court decision, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, struck down an OR compulsory education law which, in effect, required attendance of all children between ages 8 and 16 at public schools. Supporting public education benefits us all. The schools were overseen by accreditors who failed to take action to protect students or the taxpayers who funded their federal student loans, despite ample evidence of these and other problems.
School choice is a good idea in theory.
Betsy DeVos has acknowledged the significant role that community colleges will play in the advancement of President Donald Trump's workforce agenda. While there are positives to this option, it does very much deplete public schools' funding. The study from RAND Corporation and New York University found that OH students with low test scores who enroll in online-only schools tend to fall even further behind. While voucher programs often target disadvantaged students, not all children in these uncertain situations have the connections or meet the specific requirements necessary to get into these private schools. Together, we champions of public education must take on the critical work of sharing the best of what America's public schools have to offer with our new Secretary.
The republican billionaire has long argued for making education better through vouchers, more charter schools, more private schools, more local innovation, and less federal involvement. "People are protesting Betsy DeVos because she's an idiot, and it's an outrage that she's in charge of public schools".
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Magnet schools were originally created in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision with the explicit goal of reducing school segregation while providing high-quality public education programs to all students. "The racial anxiety and belief in white supremacy that led white Americans to riot over school integration should feel familiar: these same forces fueled Trump's win and thus, indirectly, DeVos's appointment", wrote Desmond-Harris. DeVos is not an enemy of traditional public schools - merely someone with a different opinion and a valuable voice. "I would hope you wouldn't include other family members beyond my core family".
For the rest of us that aren't thrilled at these prospects, the ones who have worked with kids with special needs (me), or who are parents of kids with special needs (also me), the path is clear: We have to continue to resist, and we have to make that resistance count. If opponents fail to have healthy discussions, we stifle growth and intellectual understanding of one another.
After all, the activism of teachers, parents and progressives nearly got DeVos's nomination scuttled, and we are bloodied but also fired up for more battles. For me, her success is grounded in decisions that return power to the local communities.
"In the USA, around 50.4 million children attend public schools, and with that in mind, how can someone who has had no experience in the public school arena have the best interests of our children at heart", Ladd asked.
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