1/12/2017 – Will Betsy DeVos Restart The ‘Education Wars’?

THIS WEEK: Warren Warns About DeVos … Congressional Education Caucus … Charter Schools Fear DeVos … Harsh Discipline Fails … 2017 Pre-K Agenda


Will Betsy DeVos Restart The ‘Education Wars’?

By Jeff Bryant

“Education … has suddenly been thrust to the frontline in the increasingly heated conflict over President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposed cabinet appointees. The reason for that turn of events is his choice of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Her nomination risks “reigniting the education wars,” according to Randi Weingarten … Strong opposition to the DeVos nomination from Democrats indicates that if Weingarten is right … the conflict will be different from the past.”
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Warren Letter To Trump Education Pick Highlights ‘Lack Of Experience’


“‘There is no precedent for an Education Department Secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,’ wrote Senator Warren … ‘You and the organizations you led have also spent millions to promote policies that send more public funds to for-profit and virtual charter schools with no accountability for how well these schools serve students or how these taxpayer dollars are spent.'”
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Democrats Form Congressional Caucus To Support Public Education

The Huffington Post

“Several Democratic members of Congress announced the effort alongside the presidents of the nation’s two largest teachers unions … Members expressed fear that public education will be under attack if DeVos is confirmed … Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who spent over two decades as a public school teacher and is part of the caucus, said at the press conference that DeVos’ lack of experience gives her an ‘incredibly narrow view of public education’ … Another caucus member, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), said he has never worked as a teacher, but his years in the Wisconsin Legislature showed him the havoc school choice can wreak on children.”
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Charter Advocates Tell Liz Warren: Betsy Devos May Not Make Grade

Boston Herald

“Leading Massachusetts charter-school advocates have taken aim at Betsy DeVos … being pursued can lead investors to be dangerously slow in shifting their approach, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of its flaws … In a letter to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, which represents 70 charter schools, asks Warren to ensure that DeVos commits to a strict oversight system for charter schools nationwide. ‘We’re very concerned that if the federal government lowers the standards for charter schools, it would have a negative impact on Massachusetts charter schools.’”
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Detentions, Suspension And Expulsion Do Not Curb Violent Behavior

The Hechinger Report

“Schools have traditionally applied punitive procedures, including detention, suspension, or expulsion in response to behavioral infractions … Numerous large-scale and well-conducted research studies reveal … these approaches don’t work. When schools apply highly punitive and restrictive procedures, problem behaviors such as rebellion toward teachers, vandalism against school property, absenteeism, and truancy actually increase … The solution is to develop and apply a positive approach that prevents problems from emerging and provides supports for students.”
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Early Education Priorities For 2017

New America

“New America’s Education Policy program has released an agenda with 10 important actions to help reform the country’s education system, spanning birth through higher education and the workforce … Expanding access to quality early learning is one key action for both federal and state policymakers … State lawmakers can improve the accessibility of child care by increasing financial assistance for families struggling to afford care … provide adequate funding to help school districts offer full-day kindergarten to all students … [and] enact policies for teacher preparation and professional development that put a premium on the quality of interactions between adults and children.”
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