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Betsy DeVos and school choice
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 10899
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:48 pm    Post subject: Betsy DeVos and school choice Reply with quote

I have an open mind towards both charter schools and private schools. I went to parochial schools until 5th grade, and was in an outstanding junior high school in New Jersey for 7th grade that had me far ahead of the public schools in Southern California. But that school was tracked, which raises major issues.

But unlike the bust the public school’s folks, I don't think the problem lies with teachers. It lies with the administration who fail to evaluate, train, and properly discipline the few teachers. I am speaking of schools in the K-12. A few statistics for edification (education if you are paying attention.)

--there are 50.4 million K-12 students for 2016-2017
--5.4 students are in private schools
--there are now about 2.5 million students in charter schools, an increase from 0.8 million in 2003-2004
--charter schools, on average for the nation, have a larger proportion of African-American students, and are slightly poorer.
--private schools, on average for the nation, have a larger proportion of white students (74% vs. 58%), and have wealthier students and fewer with disabilities.
--77% of private schools are religious.

I have no problem with parents choosing to send their children to private schools, and paying for that choice. I had many professional and middle class African-American friends who did that because they were concerned about their kids having African-American school mates from dysfunctional backgrounds. The issue becomes when public funds are used, starving the schools and breaking down the constitutional prohibitions against funding private religions. But this is where Betsy DeVos comes in. That is her purpose.

School choice, for most parents, is a myth. I have a grandson in San Leandro who has special needs that are not being met by the school district. My daughter is struggling to get his needs met, but bringing him to Berkeley, which has much more support, is not practical because of transportation. Those issues are compounded for those in poverty, where transportation by bus for 1 1/2 hours each way to a better school is simply not a realistic solution. Diane Ravitch, in "The Death and Life of the Great American School System", reviews the experiments--and results--of various experiments in school reform, including charter schools. She is hardly a liberal, serving as former assistant secretary of education under Bush I. She spends a chapter on school choice, reviewing the results in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and the District of Columbia. Clearly well meaning people truly believe that using market forces will result in parents moving their children from low-performing schools to better schools. The conclusion of researchers? There were "relatively small achievement gains for students offered educational vouchers, most of which are not statistically different from zero."Ravitch's conclusion, and my own observation, is that schools educate best when academic standards--and expectations-- are high. Many programs achieve this, but for the first 5 grades, Common Core is the best thing that I have seen. Particularly in math, it is a wicked smart way to teach, and focuses on issues like place value and using diagrams and word problems to improve understanding of the underlying concepts. On the other hand, focus on high stress tests have narrowed teaching and critical thinking. And battles over curriculum, to meet the wildly differing political correctness in California and Texas, have created chaos and often lower standards. At the other extreme, we have Massachusetts, with stable and ambitious curriculum, and the best results of any of the states.

It is encouraging that 42 of the states have adopted the Common Core curriculum, with only Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, Indiana and South Carolina holding out. I certainly don't favor establishing national standards for curriculum, and I think that the Obama administration's use of carrots to encourage Common Core was at best a distraction, and at worst a mistake. But there are problems associated with leaving standards entirely in the hands of states, and using large economic incentives and disincentives to try to prove that the market will work. We have solid data that shows that states that claim success--such as Texas and Mississippi, in fact have results that are very different when compared using the NAEP tests, which compare states with other states and with other countries. Mississippi claimed 89% proficiency for its fourth graders--but it was only 18% under NAEP. Texas claims a high graduation record--but has lower standards and as a result students struggle in college.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
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Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now for Trump nominee Betsy DeVos, who knows little but believes strongly.

Quote:
By Rebecca Mead December 14, 2016

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, is a vocal proponent of charter schools, voucher programs, and virtual education—but not of public schools.
Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, is a vocal proponent of charter schools, voucher programs, and virtual education—but not of public schools.

Among the points that can be made in favor of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s billionaire nominee for the position of Secretary of Education, are the following: She has no known ties to President Vladimir Putin, unlike Trump’s nominee to head the State Department, Rex Tillerson, who was decorated with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal a few years ago. She hasn’t demonstrated any outward propensity for propagating dark, radical-right-leaning conspiracy theories, unlike Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s designated national-security adviser. She has not actively called for the dismantling of the department she is slated to head, as have Rick Perry, Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, and Scott Pruitt, the nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

That the absence of such characteristics should bear noting only underlines the dystopian scope of Trump’s quest to complete his cabinet of cronies. On the other hand, DeVos has never taught in a public school, nor administered one, nor sent her children to one. She is a graduate of Holland Christian High School, a private school in her home town of Holland, Michigan, which characterizes its mission thus: “to equip minds and nurture hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ.”

How might DeVos seek to transform the educational landscape of the United States in her position at the head of a department that has a role in overseeing the schooling of more than fifty million American children? As it happens, she does have a long track record in the field. Since the early nineteen-nineties, she and her husband, Dick DeVos, have been very active in supporting the charter-school movement. They worked to pass Michigan’s first charter-school bill, in 1993, which opened the door in their state for public money to be funnelled to quasi-independent educational institutions, sometimes targeted toward specific demographic groups, which operate outside of the strictures that govern more traditional public schools. (Dick DeVos, a keen pilot, founded one of his own: the West Michigan Aviation Academy, located at Gerald Ford International Airport, which serves an overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male population of students.)

As a board member of Children First America and the American Education Reform Council, and later as the chair of the American Federation for Children, DeVos lobbied for school-choice voucher programs and tax-credit initiatives, intended to widen the range of institutions—including private and religious—that could receive funding that might otherwise go to both charter and traditional public schools. In a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, DeVos expressed her ultimate goals in education reform, which she said she saw encompassing not just charter schools and voucher programs but also homeschooling and virtual education: “That all parents, regardless of their zip code, have had the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children. And that all students have had the best opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”

One can fully credit DeVos’s commitment to her cause—one might even term it her crusade—while also seeking to evaluate its effectiveness. How have such DeVos-sponsored initiatives played out thus far in her home state? Earlier this year, the Detroit Free Press published the results of a yearlong investigation into the state’s two-decade-long charter-school initiative—one of the least regulated in the country. Almost two-thirds of the state’s charter schools are run by for-profit management companies, which are not required to make the financial disclosures that would be expected of not-for-profit or public entities. This lack of transparency has not translated into stellar academic results: student standardized-test scores at charter schools, the paper found, were no more than comparable with those at traditional public schools. And, despite the rhetoric of “choice,” lower-income students were effectively segregated into poorer-performing schools, while the parents of more privileged students were better equipped to navigate the system. Even Tom Watkins, the state’s former education superintendent, who favors charter schools, told the newspaper, “In a number of cases, people are making a boatload of money, and the kids aren’t getting educated.”

After DeVos’s nomination, the editorial-page editor of the Free Press, Stephen Henderson—whose own children attend a high-performing charter school—wrote a searing indictment of Detroit’s experiment. “This deeply dysfunctional education landscape—where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and ‘choice’ means the opposite for tens of thousands of children—is no accident,” he wrote. “It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.” DeVos was at the center of that lobby; her lodestar, Henderson wrote, “has been her conviction that any nontraditional public school is better than a traditional one, simply because it is not operated by government.”

As the Republican nominee, Trump campaigned on a platform of educational reform, proposing to assign twenty billion dollars of federal funds to a block grant aimed at opening up school choice. The assumption is that productive competition between schools will result. “Competition always does it,” Trump said in September, as if he were speaking about air-conditioner factories rather than academic institutions. “The weak fall out and the strong get better. It is an amazing thing.”

DeVos has yet to say much about specific actions she might seek to take as Education Secretary. In a Q. & A. published on her personal Web site—which pictures DeVos and her husband, casually but impeccably dressed, sitting on a porch swing, clasping hands—she declines to give details of her ideas, out of deference to the U.S. Senate, which is required to confirm her appointment. (She does, however, remind readers that she is “a total outsider to elective office and government.”) But through her past actions, and her previously published statements, it is clear that DeVos, like the President-elect who has chosen her, is comfortable applying the logic of the marketplace to schoolyard precincts. She has repeatedly questioned the value of those very precincts’ physical existence: in the Philanthropy interview, DeVos remarked that, “in the Internet age, the tendency to equate ‘education’ with ‘specific school buildings’ is going to be greatly diminished.”

Missing in the ideological embrace of choice for choice’s sake is any suggestion of the public school as a public good—as a centering locus for a community and as a shared pillar of the commonweal, in which all citizens have an investment. If, in recent years, a principal focus of federal educational policy has been upon academic standards in public education—how to measure success, and what to do with the results—DeVos’s nomination suggests that in a Trump Administration the more fundamental premises that underlie our institutions of public education will be brought into question. In one interview, recently highlighted by Diane Ravitch on her blog, DeVos spoke in favor of “charter schools, online schools, virtual schools, blended learning, any combination thereof—and, frankly, any combination, or any kind of choice that hasn’t yet been thought of.” A preëmptive embrace of choices that haven’t yet been thought of might serve as an apt characterization of Trump’s entire, chaotic cabinet-selection process. But whether it is the approach that will best serve current and prospective American school students is another question entirely.


Rebecca Mead joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1997
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real-human



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

again I have no problems with alternatives that have proven they work for all. To date have not seen such a thing. Yes that means the all, not just taking the top percentiles to another school. That includes taking the handicapped.

as I said have never seen examples of successful systems for all.

She a trust fund kid certainly has not shown any in her years that she has been such a advocate for them.

All the countries that are doing far better than the USA are all government institutions all over the world.

The USA right wing has been on a hate crusade of education to the point of saying folksy uneducated is good. It all started with Reagan everywhere he went. Form California gov to president. He destroyed education in all.

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KGB-NP



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..

Last edited by KGB-NP on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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mac



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Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this characteristic of the charter school movement in the Bay area. Benford "Ben" Chavez established and ran the American Indian Model Schools charter school in Oakland. He was indicated this week on 6 counts of mail fraud and money laundering. http://robesonian.com/news/97572/chavis-indicted-for-money-laundering-mail-fraud

It is not clear how successful the AIM schools were. Certainly there was a lot of boosterism associated with success and strong discipline. It is not clear how well they really performed. See http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/East-Bay-Charter-Schools-Unionize/

For Devos, the results are clearer. The charters she championed in Michigan are not performing better than public schools, lots of money was made in the process, and she successfully fought off legislation that would have held charter schools accountable.

Make America under-educated again?
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real-human



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

still better performing than trump university... he and she are such experts in education in their delusional minds..

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/federal-study-of-dc-voucher-program-finds-negative-impact-on-student-achievement/2017/04/27/e545ef28-2536-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.366980305269

Nation’s only federally funded voucher program has negative effect on student achievement, study finds


Quote:
By Emma Brown and Mandy McLaren April 27
Students in the nation’s only federally funded school voucher initiative performed worse on standardized tests within a year after entering D.C. private schools than peers who did not participate, according to a new federal analysis that comes as President Trump is seeking to pour billions of dollars into expanding the private school scholarships nationwide.

The study, released Thursday by the Education Department’s research division, follows several other recent studies of state-funded vouchers in Louisiana, Indiana and Ohio that suggested negative effects on student achievement. Critics are seizing on this data as they try to counter Trump’s push to direct public dollars to private schools.

Vouchers, deeply controversial among supporters of public education, are direct government subsidies parents can use as scholarships for private schools. These payments can cover all or part of the annual tuition bills, depending on the school.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has long argued that vouchers help poor children escape from failing public schools. But Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Education Committee, said that DeVos should heed the department’s Institute of Education Sciences. Given the new findings, Murray said, “it’s time for her to finally abandon her reckless plans to privatize public schools across the country.”

DeVos defended the D.C. program, saying it is part of an expansive school-choice market in the nation’s capital that includes a robust public charter school sector.

“When school choice policies are fully implemented, there should not be differences in achievement among the various types of schools,” she said in a statement. She added that the study found that parents “overwhelmingly support” the voucher program “and that, at the same time, these schools need to improve upon how they serve some of D.C.’s most vulnerable students.”

The D.C. program serves about 1,100 students, giving them up to $8,452 to attend a private elementary or middle school and up to $12,679 for high school. Participating private schools must be accredited by 2021 but otherwise face few requirements beyond showing that they are in good financial standing and demonstrating compliance with health and safety laws.

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isobars



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About schools and their "crying rooms" where school-babies traumatized by controversy can go escape reality: REALLY?

Here's where that's going. A chronological adult complained to Dear Abby that "I’m a columnist who writes various news, feature and column stories. The other day, I received my first criticism. A reader chewed me out for challenging their program. It’s hard being a young writer. I work long hours and pour my life into my work. After being chewed out, I couldn’t get past it. I suffer from severe anxiety, so everything gets to me. How can I let this go?"

You've got to be kidding me. How about growing the F up? Is this the kind of baby anyone wants to hire, marry, or trust to act sanely in any capacity? Better get used to it, because it's becoming epidemic on high school and COLLEGE campuses across the nation.
Will this be your boss some day?

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nw30



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Choice is bad.
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mac



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nw30 wrote:
Choice is bad.


Congratulations NW. You have graduated from a situation where you didn't understand your own education (border vs, boarder) to one where you don't understand educational policy. But even better, you have boiled your ignorance down to a 2-word sound bite, "school choice." You have no idea about how that has worked where it has been tried, and you are willing to overlook DeVos' incompetence and conflicts of interest to repeat your slogan. It may be the most ignorant utterance of your tenure here. You really have outdone yourself!
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mat-ty



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
nw30 wrote:
Choice is bad.


Congratulations NW. You have graduated from a situation where you didn't understand your own education (border vs, boarder) to one where you don't understand educational policy. But even better, you have boiled your ignorance down to a 2-word sound bite, "school choice." You have no idea about how that has worked where it has been tried, and you are willing to overlook DeVos' incompetence and conflicts of interest to repeat your slogan. It may be the most ignorant utterance of your tenure here. You really have outdone yourself!


Mac the child still talking about a spelling error from three days ago....grow up old fool..

Mac would rather defend the teachers union and their shocking level of incompetence. And talk about conflicts of interest, how about protecting an awful teachers job at the expense of a child's future.
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