Category Archives: Reblogged Post

Blog posts from other WordPress sites around the Internet of interest to Mark, or possibly his readers.

Twenty-One Reasons People Hate, Hate, HATE Betsy DeVos

[This is a quick digression from the business of Women’s History Month on Mark’s Text Terminal to heap richly deserved scorn on Betsy DeVos, the callow heiress who still mistakenly believes she has the qualifications to serve as the United States Secretary of Education.]

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Lesley Stahl: Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?

Betsy DeVos: I’m not sure exactly how that happened…

I’m more misunderstood than anything.

The above exchange from last night’s 60 Minutes interview highlights an important point about our Education Secretary.

She is deeply unpopular, but not because she’s misunderstood. If anything, she’s understood too well.

We know what she stands for and we don’t like it.

If she was really so misunderstood, why didn’t her answers in the interview veer away from the same usual canned responses she’s given time-and-time-again to the same type of questions?

What’s wrong with schools? NOT ENOUGH CHOICE.

 

How do we prevent school shootings? LET SCHOOLS ARM TEACHERS.

You didn’t really even need DeVos to show up to the interview to be able to guess with a high degree of accuracy what her answers would be.

In fact, many of…

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Parents Across America: A Detailed Critique of the Dangers of Screen Time for Young Children

[Here’s something from Diane Ravitch’s Blog that should interest and concern all teachers; I post it here as much for my future reference as anything else, as I am planning to write a couple of lessons on smart phones and screen time and their threat to education.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Parents Across America (an independent group of parent activists that is critical of the commercialization and corporate takeover of education) has created a valuable resource about the effects of screen time on children. 

It is titled “Our Children @ Risk.”

The paper is 26 pages long. It contains extensive documentation.

It is a valuable resource in light of the profit-driven effort to promote EdTech in the schools without regard to is effects on children.

Here is the introduction:

“Children have a basic right to live in environments that promote their social, emotional and intellectual well-being. They have the right to grow up, and parents have the right to raise them, without being undermined by greed.” Susan Linn

“Parents Across America has developed a position paper and associated informational materials which detail a number of concerns about the invasion of EdTech* into our schools, and which we have collected under the…

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David Dayen: Betsy DeVos’ Gut Punch to Defrauded Students

(Here’s yet another reason why Betsy DeVos will be the worst thing that ever happened to education in this country.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Investigative writer David Dayen, writing in “The New Republic” describes the variety of ways that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is protecting predatory for-profit “colleges” while allowing them to stiff the students they cheated.

“Imagine a car dealer sold you a lemon. You sue to get your money back. But the judge discovers that you managed to get yourself around most of the time, despite the bum vehicle. You only missed 10 percent of your appointments, so the judge orders that you are entitled to 10 percent of the price of the car.

“That’s essentially what Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced last week for students defrauded by for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges. Victims of the corrupt diploma mill will not have their student loans discharged; instead, they will get a portion of relief based on their current income. The more professional ingenuity they showed despite being defrauded by Corinthian, the less…

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Steven Singer: DeVos Pretends to be a Champion of Children with Disabilities, and EdWeek Enables the Hoax

(In a sane world, this would be a scandal.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Singer is steamed. He read a “Commentary” by Betsy DeVos in Education Week in which she pretends to be a champion of children with disabilities. You don’t have to have a long memory to remember that she testified at her Senate hearing last year that she was unsure what IDEA is or whether the voucher schools she promotes would be bound by federal law.

Steven remembers. He can’t understand why Education Week allowed her to burnish her image, while ignoring the 72 federal regulations she eliminated that protected students with disabilities.

He begins:

“Meet Betsy DeVos, Champion of Students With Special Needs.

“At least that’s who she’s pretending to be this week.

“The wealthy Republican mega-donor who bought her position as Secretary of Education published an article in the current issue of Education Week called “Commentary: Tolerating Low Expectations for Students With Disabilities Must End.”

“It was almost…

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Mercedes Schneider Channels Betsy DeVos’s Deepest Thoughts

(Mercedes Schneider is one of the most perceptive analysts of educational policy out there, and here she really shows off her many talents while showing us what Betsy DeVos–and arguably the entire administration of Donald Trump–really intends for public schooing in the United States–and why.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

This post is a real tour de force. That means that Mercedes Schneider has managed to say something truly original, which I hope you will read in full.

Betsy DeVos is constantly saying how much she wants the best for every child, how urgent it is to let parents have charter schools, voucher schools, for-profit schools, cybercharters, almost anything but public schools. Despite her protestations, she is contemptuous of public schools and has spent many millions through her American Federation for Children to advance privatization.

So zmercedes uses her post to tell you what Betsy would say if she spoke her mind, without covering up any of her thoughts.

She begins like this.

“First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for coming because I appreciate yet another opportunity to campaign in a manner that ultimately promotes my favorite minority, the one to which I belong: America’s elite…

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Betsy DeVos and the Acton Institute Celebrate School Privatization and Free-Market Capitalism

(Betsy DeVos, like many ultra-wealthy people in the United States today, has the money to buy her own ideological echo chamber)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Thanks to reader and teacher-blogger David Taylor for sharing this post from the far-far-far right Acton Institute.

The Acton Institute will hold its annual dinner on October 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The keynote speaker is Betsy DeVos. There will be no protestors. She will be speaking to her tiny little claque of extremist libertarians, who are exulting these days about their great strides in rolling back the New Deal, shredding any safety net for the poor, getting rid of unions, eliminating pensions, and privatizing government programs and services. Betsy is their hero, because she has not only funded the free-market cause (and the Acton Institute) but has jumped into the arena to put her reactionary agenda into the mainstream.

The post includes the names and connections among some of Betsy’s friends.

Like J.C. Huizenga. Time for a personal anecdote. Many years ago, I was invited to lecture at Calvin…

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Betsy at Harvard: She is Unaccustomed to This Kind of Rude Reception

(I always like to end the work week with some good news….)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Having lived her life in a billionaire bubble, Betsy DeVos expects deference. She did not get it at the Kennedy zdchool at Harvard last night.

Protestors unfurled banners and raised their fists as Betsy tried to speak about the glories of school choice.

One said “Our Students Are Not for Sale. Another said, “White Supremacy.” Another said “Dark Money.”

When she asked in her speech whether more money would solve the problems, a line that must have been greeted with applause when she spoke at ALEC, a student shouted out “YES.” This was not the answer she expected.

Betsy thought she was in a safe space, given that the event was sponsored by pro-choice scholars and the Koch brothers and the Gates Foundation, but she forgot that the audience was students.

Students were warned that they would be evicted if they were disruptive but that didn’t stop the protestors.

In…

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