4 comments

  • I think you’re stretching here to paint a more favorable portrait of DeVos here.

    It’s true. There’s a lot of charged language surrounding her– but then, a woman who proclaims that “government sucks” and public schools are a “dead end” has pretty much invited charged language into the conversation. I have little patience for things like piling on DeVos for tweeting “historical” rather than “historic,” but suggesting that she’s just a regular old mainstream nominee is silly. This is a woman whose only qualification is that she has inherited a lot of money and has used it to play politics. Nobody made up her oft-quoted comment about expecting to buy influence with her contributions; if she were just a concerned citizen who held exactly the same policy ideas, but was just a middle-class housewife, nobody would be proposing her for a cabinet level post. I don’t know that she’s less unqualified than Ben Carson, but really, that’s not much of a bar to clear.

    Attempting to minimize her clout by noting that she didn’t get vouchers into Michigan or her husband into the statehouse ignores those events as experiences that led her to develop a more muscular, democracy-circumventing approach, attested to by residents of Michigan over and over and over again. Take a look at what Jennifer Berkshire (Edushyster) found when spending nine days to conduct forty-two interviews in the state.

    You’ve also overlooked one of the more interesting “nuances,” which is the opposition to DeVos from other charter fans. DeVos apologists are trying hard to blunt the anti-accountability charges, but DeVos has been clear about believing the free market should be absolutely free. And looking at Detroit is exactly what we should be doing because in Detroit she got what she wanted– and it has failed.

    DeVos is rich and a friend of VP Pence. She has demonstrated little understanding of how education really works, and her skills in lobbying and venture philanthropy do not qualify her to run a cabinet level department of the US government. She is, in fact, the very definition of a wildly unqualified pick. I agree that it is exceptionally unlikely that she won’t be installed in the department. I don’t think that will bring on the apocalypse, but I expect the very best we can hope for is that she will be so inept at managing the department and working with Congress and the states that the department will come grinding to an ineffective halt.

  • David Biggs

    The writer misses the point. Although I don’t like Charters in general, I believe, if they are run by non-profits, may generate some good ideas.

    But, with Mrs. DeVos, my overriding objection is her support of Vouchers for private and religious schools, and her utter failure to grasp the basic principal of free, secular public schools espoused by those who wrote our constitution. I have served on a local school board for 12 years in a district with an 80% poverty rate, and our students have made tremendous progress in that time. Not just in “academics”, but also in the fine arts and dual language immersion.

    I believe that most of the answer is in EQUITABLE FUNDING for public schools. Beyond that, our nation’s teacher education colleges need upgrading. There are many details I could talk about…these are the basics.

    Mrs. DeVos has no place as Head of the US Department of Education, but, alas, Donald J. Trump has no business being President of the United States.

    –A school board member.

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