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.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Commodore BTC:DeVos addressed the criticism on her website:

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

    I’m of the mind that when it comes to DeVos, give her a chance, but keep your shot ready and your powder dry. She’s definitely made statements in the past that made her sound like a fan of Common Core. Maybe she’s wised up. Or maybe she thinks the Proles are stupid and easily distracted and she can cram it down our throats when we’re not looking. We shall see.

    • #31
  2. Spiral Inactive
    Spiral
    @HeavyWater

    Douglas:

    Commodore BTC:DeVos addressed the criticism on her website:

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

    I’m of the mind that when it comes to DeVos, give her a chance, but keep your shot ready and your powder dry. She’s definitely made statements in the past that made her sound like a fan of Common Core. Maybe she’s wised up. Or maybe she thinks the Proles are stupid and easily distracted and she can cram it down our throats when we’re not looking. We shall see.

    Is Congress likely to repeal Common Core?  Or can DeVos, as secretary, repeal it?

    • #32
  3. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Can I just clarify a few things, as someone who’s spent way too much time on this topic?

    1. “High standards” is not necessarily code for Common Core. Then again it can be. It literally depends on who is speaking. CC proponents use it to mean CC or something essentially like it. Many opponents of Common Core use it to mean other things: the ideal unwritten standards they’d like to see replace CC in their state, Massachusetts’ old pre-CC math standards which were considered the best in the nation, and so on.
    2. Congress can’t repeal Common Core, because Congress didn’t institute it in the first place. The states did, with some significant arm-twisting from Arne Duncan’s Department of Education. Congress already, last year, banned such arm-twisting from the Dept. of Ed — and, thanks to weird politics and the teachers’ unions, even got President Obama to sign the bill. It’s far from a perfect law and an ambitious SecEd can still try to stretch its terms, but the intent of Congress is clear.
    3. So because of that, it matters far more how much Betsy DeVos respects the rule of law and far less what exactly she thinks of Common Core. Her background in conservative politics looks like a positive factor.
    4. Your state education chief makes all the difference in the world right now.  If you want to get rid of Common Core, look there.
    • #33
  4. HeartofAmerica Inactive
    HeartofAmerica
    @HeartofAmerica

    One of my very left-leaning teacher/administrator friends posted a meme about Betsy withing hours of her appointment. Of course it was a hit job. I responded by indicating how encouraged we were with the choice and relished having a supporter of school choice and vouchers. Our son teaches in a charter school in FL (it’s a Hillsdale College influenced school) and are thrilled to see someone who will provide national support in DC.

    His response was….”well, you’re not an educator so you don’t understand….blah,blah, blah.”

    I am heartened to know that he already dislikes the choice which means the NEA is scared of losing money and influence.

    • #34
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: …who will take on the meddling DC bureaucrats and ossified teachers’ unions.

    We really shouldn’t refer to teachers unions without using the term “corporate greed.”  Would you write about the friendly farm dog who loves to play with the kids and guards them by day, but at night joins the feral pack in killing sheep and the neighbor’s chickens, without using the term “corporate greed”? Of course not. So we should use it here as well.

    • #35
  6. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    HeartofAmerica: …I am heartened to know that he already dislikes the choice which means the NEA is scared of losing money and influence.

    That’s enough of an endorsement for me right there.

    • #36
  7. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Spiral:

    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.

    I’ll put you down for Trump/Hillary as a pick’em.

    • #37
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.