Jennifer Berkshire writes about Betsy DeVos’s radical agenda, which she cloaks in platitudes.
She has become the mistress of not speaking to the press. When invited to address the annual meeting of the Education Writers Association in D.C., she skipped out, claiming she was too busy.
She briefly appeared on a network news show, speaking about the only subject she cares about: choice. When asked about a charter school which avoids children wupith disabilities and English language learners, she turned the subject upside down and said the school was great for those enrolled. Berkshire notes that she has often praised schools that have no students with disabilities. Inclusion and diversity are not in her vocabulary.
“Her substance-free performances are all the more remarkable given the fierce urgency with which DeVos has pursued her agenda since arriving in Washington. Sidelining federal civil rights enforcement, rolling back protections for students who have been defrauded by shady for-profit colleges, meeting with a steady stream of “edupreneurs” and flogging school choice at every turn—these have been busy days for the Secretary.
“The NBC interview was actually a trio of softballs thrown by reporter Craig Melvin as part of a segment on Philadelphia’s charter school wars. Melvin met up with DeVos at Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter school. You can read their entire exchange yourself:
“Melvin: You go to a lot of schools like this, I would imagine.
DeVos: I do.
“Melvin: Critics have said the success of schools like Boys Latin has come at the expense of neighborhood schools. Are you OK with that?
DeVos: Actually, I think schools like this are a really great example of schools that are meeting the needs of kids that haven’t fit in elsewhere.
“Melvin: But if there’s only one pot of money, aren’t traditional public schools always end up getting shortchanged to some extent?
DeVos: Great public schools are going to continue to do a great job for the students that they’re serving. I think instead of talking about schools and school buildings we should be talking about funding students and investing in individual students.”
That’s vintage DeVos. Every person for himself or herself. No concern for those left behind. Just kick them to the curb.
“New York City requires a massive infusion of cash in order to repair its train woes, but by DeVosian logic we should be talking about funding and investing in individual commuters instead.”
Everyone on their own. Ride in a limo if you have one. If you don’t, you can ride a bike. Or walk. Problem solved.
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