2/15/2018 – DeVos Denies Students’ Civil Rights, Locks Out Teachers. But She’s The Victim?

THIS WEEK: School Choice Schism … Opposition To DeVos … Trump Budget Cuts Education … Most Schools Are Under-Funded … Charters Segregate


DeVos Denies Students’ Civil Rights, Locks Out Teachers. But She’s The Victim?

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos … played the ‘victim’ card in saying criticisms of her actions as secretary have been ‘hurtful’… In her first year as secretary, DeVos has established a consistent pattern of first delaying then eventually curtailing her department’s duties to uphold the civil rights of students. And despite her role as a government official, she’s demonstrated little interest in hearing what the public thinks about these actions … People like DeVos are not victims of anything … ‘DeVos and her agenda are a legitimate threat to our democracy.'”
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Inside The Virtual Schools Lobby: ‘I Trust Parents’


“The travails of virtual schools have split the charter school movement. The national organizations representing traditional charter schools have sought to put daylight between themselves and virtual schools … Virtual schools and their supporters have fought back. They’ve lobbied politicians and donated millions to their campaigns. They’ve pushed for changes and exceptions to accountability systems. They’ve taken legal action. And, they’ve organized a network of lobbying groups to make it appear that parents don’t care about test scores … What matters, they say, is parent choice. This message is summed up in a phrase that has also often been a rallying cry of [Betsy] DeVos. It lives online as a hashtag: #ITrustParents … Since her appointment, DeVos has used the phrase many times in public statements and speeches.”
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One Year In, Betsy DeVos Has Supercharged Teacher Activism


“There has been a wave of activism in response to President Donald Trump … This activism has manifested as a renewed rallying around traditional public schools … More teachers than ever are running for office … [Betsy] DeVos ‘was a wake-up call to everyone who was concerned about the future of public education’ … ‘What you also see, on the other side, is a brazen, non-hidden quest to just kill [public education], and to kill every bit of every tool that enables broad-based voice and opportunity’ … ‘Even though there is a heightened awareness and pushback, there is so much money on the other side that it is overwhelming.'”
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Does Trump’s Education Budget Even Matter?

The Atlantic

“President Trump’s proposed federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for major cuts to existing education programs and a huge increase for school-choice initiatives … What a president lays out as his priorities can inform debate on education spending. And since Trump doesn’t spend much time talking about education, this is also one way to gauge what’s on his administration’s agenda … Trump’s budget would significantly reduce the federal footprint in public schools … Many of the programs on the chopping block are longstanding … including grants to support safe and healthy schools and the Special Olympics … ‘Education freedom’ would get a big bump under Trump’s plan – $1 billion.”
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Almost Three-Quarters of Superintendents Say Schools Inadequately Funded: Survey

Education Week

“Seventy-three percent of superintendents say their school districts are inadequately funded, and about 62% say that they do not have a way to make up the shortfall if federal and state aid are cut in the upcoming school year. Forty-percent said they expected state and local revenues to be cut … School districts were forced to make brutal decisions during the Great Recession, including laying off thousands of workers, putting off construction and other school renovations, and cutting extracurricular activities.”
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New Research Shows Charter Schools Foster Segregation


“Are charter schools fostering segregation in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools? According to a new study … yes … ‘Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were once the nation’s bellwether for successful desegregation. Today, the district exemplifies how charter schools can impede districts’ efforts to resist resegregation … Charters are increasingly drawing the most academically able, many prosperous families, whites … Only people who can take their kids and have the time and have the vehicle can take their children to these charters, and that limits the population.'”
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