Tag Archives: news

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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Nancy Bailey: DeVos’ “Let’s Get Rid of Public Schools” Tour

(Diane Ravitch continues to cover this dim ideologue, for which I thank her.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Nancy Bailey valiantly followed Betsy DeVos’s national tour, from a distance.

Her message everywhere was the same: Public schools suck! Private schools are awesome!

In public schools, children sit in desks arranged in rows. In private schools, well, maybe the same but it doesn’t matter.

In public schools, children hate going to school. In private schools, they are enthusiastic and happy.

This woman is an ideologue. She knows nothing and learns nothing. Whatever she proposes is meant to damage public schools and communities.

Education is a learning profession, and she is not open to learning anything!

We will wait her out, fight her at every turn, and return to the task of improving and strengthening public schools for all children, a concept unknown to her.

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Betsy DeVos and Her Family Are Funding the Republican Candidate for Governor in Virginia

(Remember Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” sketches on Saturday Night Live all those years ago? That’s who Betsy DeVos is, only not funny and quite dangerous.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico reports that the DeVos family is funding the campaign of the Republican candidate for Governor in Virginia.

According to Politico:

TEACHERS UNIONS TARGET GILLESPIE IN VA GOVERNOR’S RACE: Teachers unions are stepping up their opposition to Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie – and they’re using an emerging tactic on the left: linking him to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. National and local union leaders said on Tuesday that they would be mobilizing against Gillespie by highlighting his ties to DeVos, as they back his Democratic opponent Ralph Northam. Gillespie has accepted more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the DeVos family. “Ed Gillespie can dress it up in any which way he wishes to, but the bottom line is he is a clone of Betsy DeVos. The agenda that Gillespie is pushing for is an agenda that hurts kids,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

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Department of Education Will Continue to Spend More Than $1 Million Per Month to Protect DeVos

(Other than to wonder why a Secretary of Education needs this level of protection, there’s really nothing to add to this post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico reports that the Department of Education will renew the agreement with the U.S. Marshalls Service to protect Secretary Betsy DeVos, which cost nearly $8 million for six months. This occurs at a time when DeVos has enthusiastically endorsed budget cuts of billions to the Department’s programs. One program that she agreed to cut is a $10 million subsidy to the Special Olympics. Should the Dartment pay for her security detail or for opportunities for students with disabilities to demonstrate their athletic accomplishments? She is a billionaire. Why doesn’t she pay for her own security or ask her brother Erik Prince to send over a detail of his mercenaries?

“DEVOS, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE TO RENEW SECURITY AGREEMENT: The U.S. Marshals Service and the Education Department plan to renew an agreement to continue providing protective services for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a spokesman for the Marshals Service tells Pro Education’s Caitlin…

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The Education Bloggers Network

Mark’s Text Terminal is now part of  The Education Bloggers Network, about which I am particularly excited. What is the Education Bloggers Network? The Network was founded by Jonathan Pelto, who sent me this conspectus of its mission:

The Education Bloggers Network:

The Education Bloggers Network is an informal confederation of more than 230 bloggers who are dedicated to supporting public education, pushing back the corporate education reform industry and their agenda, while ensuring that the voices of parents, teachers and other educators are part of the national, state and local debate about education policy.

While many members of the Network have their own blogs sites, some write commentary pieces for national, regional and local newspapers while others use their Facebook or other social media platforms to write about education issues.

Like the Committees of Correspondence leading up to America’s War for Independence, education bloggers work alone, in groups and as a collective to educate, persuade and mobilize parents, teachers, education advocates and citizens to stand up and speak out against those who seek to undermine public education, privatize public schools and turn classrooms into little more than Common Core testing factories.

The Education Bloggers Network was developed in conjunction with the publication and roll-out of Diane Ravitch’s best-selling book, “Reign of Error.”    It was founded and is managed by Jonathan Pelto, an education advocate, former member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, communications strategist and education blogger. 

The Education Bloggers Network has become a vibrant community of advocacy journalists, investigative bloggers and public education activists working to make sure that citizens have accurate and timely information about public education issues at the local, state and federal level.

I thank Jonathan Pelto for extending an invitation to join this distinguished group of scholars, educators, journalists, writers and activists.

Lubienskis: Why is Betsy DeVos Pushing Vouchers When Research Shows They Don’t Work?

(Betsy DeVos is an ideologue whose views on education are seriously at odds with reality. Here’s another excellent post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog exposing Secretary DeVos’s penchant for pursuing failed policies.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Christopher Lubienski and Sarah Lubienski are among the nation’s leading researchers on the subject of school choice. Their book, “The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools” is must reading. Christopher Lubienski is professor of education policy at Indiana University. Sarah Theule Lubienski is a professor of mathematics education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

They can’t understand why Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are pushing vouchers when evidence shows that they actually harm children.

This article appears in Education Week.

“For years, voucher advocates have pointed to a series of more than a dozen reports—usually funded or conducted by voucher proponents—that used randomized approaches, similar to those used in medical research, to isolate the effects of vouchers on treatment groups in citywide programs.

“While other researchers have questioned those reports over the last decade and a half, voucher advocates have claimed that these “

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