Trump Picks School Choice Champion to Run Ed Dept

 

90In a perfect world, the President-elect would dissolve the Department of Education, salt the earth, and erect a charter school in its place. But a close second is nominating a Secretary of Education who will take on the meddling DC bureaucrats and ossified teachers’ unions. Trump did just that today by naming school choice enthusiast Betsy DeVos to the post.

“Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

Ms. DeVos, a Republican mega-donor and chairman of the American Federation for Children, vowed to help Mr. Trump remake the education system.

“I am honored to accept this responsibility to work with the president-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” she said. “The status quo in education is not acceptable. Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”

The choice has taken some hits because Trump opposed Common Core on the campaign trail, but DeVos has been labeled a supporter of the unpopular program. These allegations are thin gruel.

Her organization, AFC, has donated money to one of the big kahunas in school choice, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which is run by Jeb Bush and supports Common Core. But FEE serves a zillion other important research and policy functions in school choice; Common Core is just one component. Pretty much everyone involved in the choice movement works with FEE, whether they support the CC or not.

DeVos addressed the criticism on her website:

I am not a supporter [of Common Core] —period.

I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense.

Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position. Sometimes it’s not just students who need to do their homework.

However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle.

Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.

The initial goal of Common Core was higher educational standards and teacher accountability, which are great. Its fatal flaw was imposing these standards from bureaucrats in DC. Even if the original CC standards were good, they would soon be larded with trendy teaching styles, progressive curricula, and PC pronouncements on bathrooms and extracurricular activities.

State and local governments should take the lead on education for now. But, more and more, parents should decide how best to educate their kids.

There are 37 comments.

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  1. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    As someone working to spread charter schools, this is more welcome news, and no mistake!

    • #1
  2. Robert Dammers Thatcher
    Robert Dammers
    @RobertDammers

    It is worth remembering that Mrs Thatcher’s government was responsible for proposing a National Curriculum in the UK.  It started off so well, but over the years what Toby Young calls “The Blob” took it over,  and the whole thing is in need of radical reform again.  It shows the importance of changing hearts and minds (most importantly among parents, but also new teachers) rather than imposing standards that can be modified and co-opted.

    • #2
  3. Spiral Inactive
    Spiral
    @HeavyWater

    This is an excellent nomination.  I think we can thank Harry Reid for this one.  If the filibuster were still available, a nomination like this would surely be defeated by 41 Democrats.

    • #3
  4. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    And who was Hillary going to appoint:  Carmen Farina?

    Anyone still think Trump/Hillary was a pick’em?

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Been there and done that on the Member Feed! : )

    • #5
  6. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Trump is going to control a lot of the media narrative by dropping these out every few days. Good idea. He keeps his cards pretty close, doesn’t he?

    • #6
  7. erazoner Coolidge
    erazoner
    @erazoner

    Common Core was a state-level initiative, and as such was a great idea. If there had been no Dept of Education, it would likely be a success today. But alas, the federal bureaucrats couldn’t let well enough alone and turned it upside down.

    • #7
  8. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Quake Voter:And who was Hillary going to appoint: Carmen Farina?

    Anyone still think Trump/Hillary was a pick’em?

    This is probably deserved, but you know what they say about hindsight.

     

     

    • #8
  9. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Larry Koler:Trump is going to control a lot of the media narrative by dropping these out every few days. Good idea. He keeps his cards pretty close, doesn’t he?

    One has to wonder if the sudden appearance of the Mittster is a false flag operation.

    • #9
  10. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Sounds like a good choice.

    • #10
  11. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Hoyacon:

    Quake Voter:And who was Hillary going to appoint: Carmen Farina?

    Anyone still think Trump/Hillary was a pick’em?

    This is probably deserved, but you know what they say about hindsight.

    Some had foresight and some didn’t.  A recognition of the lack thereof amongst those who lacked it would be/is valuable.

    • #11
  12. Reldim Inactive
    Reldim
    @Reldim

    She’s been attacked as the scourge of public schools (by the most shameful alumna of my august law school) and as a common-core-loving tool of the establishment.  Sounds like my kind of Education Secretary.  All the right enemies even before she’s done anything.  =)

    I will probably write a post about this, but I will add here that I am really liking the fact that Trump has finally made the pivot that was long hoped for. He is taking the office seriously and is making serious selections.  And proving his election night statement that he will be asking those who opposed him for advice and help. I have more optimism about the Trump Administration today than I did 2 weeks ago and that is a great sign.

    • #12
  13. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Hoyacon:

    Larry Koler:Trump is going to control a lot of the media narrative by dropping these out every few days. Good idea. He keeps his cards pretty close, doesn’t he?

    One has to wonder if the sudden appearance of the Mittster is a false flag operation.

    Trump seems to like to make the media look stupid. I know I like it.

    • #13
  14. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Reldim:She’s been attacked as the scourge of public schools (by the most shameful alumna of my august law school) and as a common-core-loving tool of the establishment. Sounds like my kind of Education Secretary. All the right enemies even before she’s done anything. =)

    I will probably write a post about this, but I will add here that I am really liking the fact that Trump has finally made the pivot that was long hoped for. He is taking the office seriously and is making serious selections. And proving his election night statement that he will be asking those who opposed him for advice and help. I have more optimism about the Trump Administration today than I did 2 weeks ago and that is a great sign.

    Nice avatar!

    • #14
  15. Reldim Inactive
    Reldim
    @Reldim

    Larry Koler:Nice avatar!

    My two favorite modern leaders. They were great warriors for the cause of conservatism. Watching them in old videos is still inspiring even 30 years on.

    • #15
  16. Commodore BTC Inactive
    Commodore BTC
    @CommodoreBTC

    Other than “stop doing things we are currently doing”, I can’t think of anything good a Dept. of Education can do.

    And mission creep means DeVos will inevitably want to do affirmative things.

    Guessing some kind of federal voucher program. Which will lead to more and more strings attached to those vouchers.

    • #16
  17. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    I’m not that familiar with her, but Rick Hess at AEI says she’s a good pick, and that means she’s fine.

    Still have some questions. I’m concerned about a national school choice program, too — keep the feds out of that one, please. And I’ll want confirmation that she intends to enforce ESSA as written by Congress, not trying to squeeze every last bit of rule-making potential out of its vaguer provisions. (I’d love to see the vague provisions scrapped altogether, but will take what we can get for now.) From the little I’ve read she should be solid on the Dept. of Civil Rights stuff.

    • #17
  18. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    If she is able to tie federal funding and support to opening up School Choice at the local level, she can do a lot of good for kids trapped in awful schools.

    To that end, she’ll need support from Congress and Trump. But it would be a wonderful accomplishment.

    Indeed, to really enjoy this to its fullest, I went to the DailyKos website and read the comments. Hearing the lamentations of their women!

    • #18
  19. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Ario IronStar:

    Hoyacon:

    Quake Voter:And who was Hillary going to appoint: Carmen Farina?

    Anyone still think Trump/Hillary was a pick’em?

    This is probably deserved, but you know what they say about hindsight.

    Some had foresight and some didn’t. A recognition of the lack thereof amongst those who lacked it would be/is valuable.

    I will say, for what it’s worth, that I hesitated on the question of whether Trump, following his worst instincts, might actually be worse.

    I decided otherwise after he absurdly got tangled in Paul Ryan’s primary and ended up endorsing Ryan (which he clearly didn’t want to do, and wouldn’t have needed to do if he hadn’t stayed out of it all in the first place). That told me that, in the end, Trump didn’t have what it would take to really run over Congress.

    I thought — and still think — he’d be more dangerous if he’d won like he really could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. But I believe he won in such a way that he really owes his victory to the party — to Reince Preibus, to various senators’ ground game, to Paul Ryan’s fundraising — and he knows it, for better or worse. That pushes him away from some of his worst instincts, for now.

    • #19
  20. Spiral Inactive
    Spiral
    @HeavyWater

    Ario IronStar:

    Hoyacon:

    Quake Voter:And who was Hillary going to appoint: Carmen Farina?

    Anyone still think Trump/Hillary was a pick’em?

    This is probably deserved, but you know what they say about hindsight.

    Some had foresight and some didn’t. A recognition of the lack thereof amongst those who lacked it would be/is valuable.

    People who doubted that Trump was a conservative were simply taking Trump seriously when he said that socialized medicine works “incredibly well” in Scotland and Canada during the 1st Republican presidential debate.

    The concept that we should elect someone who has bankrolled Left-wing Democrats for decades and hope that once in office he will govern as a conservative is, at the very least, debatable.

    Also, given that Trump hasn’t yet served in office for a nanosecond, let’s not start celebrating until we can actually win some tangible victories.

    • #20
  21. Wiley Inactive
    Wiley
    @Wiley

    iWe:If she is able to tie federal funding and support to opening up School Choice at the local level, she can do a lot of good for kids trapped in awful schools.

    To that end, she’ll need support from Congress and Trump. But it would be a wonderful accomplishment.

    Indeed, to really enjoy this to its fullest, I went to the DailyKos website and read the comments. Hearing the lamentations of their women!

    Sweet.

    • #21
  22. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Spiral: People who doubted that Trump was a conservative were simply taking Trump seriously when he said that socialized medicine works “incredibly well” in Scotland and Canada during the 1st Republican presidential debate.

    Oh, I still don’t think he’s conservative. I do think we’re seeing the American constitutional system work pretty well at the moment, and I also think we might have dodged a bullet with Pence instead of Christie leading the transition team.

    It’ll be like having Anthony Kennedy in the White House, except that at least he has to worry about Congress a little more.

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Let’s be happy. This is genuinely good news. I too am worried that Trump isn’t a conservative. But he’s doing some conservative stuff at the moment so let’s be grateful.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Henry Castaigne:Let’s be happy. This is genuinely good news. I too am worried that Trump isn’t a conservative. But he’s doing some conservative stuff at the moment so let’s be grateful.

    It will be interesting if he turns out to do more conservative stuff than those who are “conservative enough,” (as the Rovians put it).

    • #24
  25. Ryan M(cPherson) Member
    Ryan M(cPherson)
    @RyanM

    If this results in real reforms, I will be absolutely thrilled.

    • #25
  26. Mister D Member
    Mister D
    @MisterD

    As a teacher I am fine with this. My wife, who gets most of her news from the Talk, the View, Rachel Maddow, and the union, will be a quivering mess when she finds out.

    • #26
  27. Commodore BTC Inactive
    Commodore BTC
    @CommodoreBTC

    if you hear DeVos start talking about “strong standards”, that’s code for Common Core, run for the hills

    • #27
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    In places where the bad guys can see our writing we should use the term “pro-choice” rather than school choice.  Or at least interchangeably with it.

    • #28
  29. Spiral Inactive
    Spiral
    @HeavyWater

    Commodore BTC:if you hear DeVos start talking about “strong standards”, that’s code for Common Core, run for the hills

    Does “strong standards” just mean that a parent can’t send their children to a school that has them pulling weeds and raking leaves all day long?  Or does it means something else?

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Spiral:

    Commodore BTC:if you hear DeVos start talking about “strong standards”, that’s code for Common Core, run for the hills

    Does “strong standards” just mean that a parent can’t send their children to a school that has them pulling weeds and raking leaves all day long? Or does it means something else?

    Something else. Standards like that wouldn’t provide enough jobs for the regulators.

    • #30

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