6/14/2018 – Congress Stages A Sell-Job On Charter Schools And Ignores Complaints Of Black Parent

THIS WEEK: DeVos Listening to NRA … History Makeover Decried … DeVos Rejects Staff Advice … Vets Hurt By For-Profits … Dems Go Por-Public


Congress Stages A Sell-Job On Charter Schools And Ignores Complaints Of Black Parent

By Jeff Bryant

“During a Congressional hearing … charter proponents stacked the agenda with biased testimony and completely ignored the lone witness who could attest firsthand to the real impact these schools have on communities of color … Jonathon Phillip Clark, an Iraq War veteran and black Detroit parent with seven children in the public-school system … Clark described his community as an “education desert” ravaged by Michigan’s policy of school choice, where charter schools open and close seemingly at random, and public schools are shuttered because of the uncertainties created by charter school competition … The Republicans on the House Committee virtually snubbed Clark, directing their questions to the pro-charter witnesses.”
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NRA Has A ‘Tight Grip’ On Trump’s School Safety Work, Senator Tells Betsy DeVos

Education Week

“How can a federal commission, charged with figuring out how to prevent the next school shooting, ignore the issue of guns? That’s the question Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, put to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos … Murray wrote. ‘Shifting the focus away from guns only shines a spotlight on the tight grip the NRA has on this Administration and the Administration’s inability to listen to the voices of the people you claim to serve’ … She noted that the panel’s first ‘listening session” was held during the day, in Washington, D.C., with little advanced notice for students, community members, educators, health care providers … DeVos herself chose to skip that meeting.”
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AP World History Gets A Makeover, And High School Teachers Rebel


“High school history teachers are in revolt over the alteration of a widely taught Advanced Placement course that they say threatens to present a skewed, Eurocentric history of the world to thousands of students … Under the controversial changes … World History course would begin in 1450 – essentially the rise of European power – effectively eliminating instruction on pre-colonial Africa, Asia, Americas, and the Middle East. Earlier eras would be relegated to a pre-AP course that isn’t tested … and not likely to be taken by students … Students taking the new post-1450 course will lose a broad global understanding of history, teachers say.”
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Betsy DeVos Reinstated College Accreditor Over Staff Objections

The New York Times

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos disregarded a scathing review by her own staff this spring when she reinstated the watchdog body that had accredited two scandal-scarred for-profit universities whose bankruptcies left tens of thousands of students with worthless degrees and mountains of debt … The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or Acics, had failed to meet 57 of 93 federal quality and management compliance standards … DeVos went above and beyond the court’s order in restoring the organization’s status … Acics was stripped of its powers in December 2016 amid the collapse of two for-profit university chains, Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, where students were encouraged to take on debt based on false promises.”
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Military Veterans Decry Debt, Useless Diplomas From For-Profit Colleges

The Hechinger Report

“College fraud claims have increased 29% from August of last year. 98% of those claims involve for-profit colleges … The for-profit schools are targeting student veterans even as these institutions’ non-military enrollment has declined … These schools took advantage of a loophole in a federal law that bars for-profit institutions from obtaining more than 90% of their revenue from federal aid. Under the loophole, the schools were able to count GI Bill money as private dollars, meaning they disproportionately profited from enrolling veterans … DeVos has defended for-profit schools, maintaining that the U.S. needs to ‘expand, not limit, paths to higher education for students.’”
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Pro-Public Education Democrats Are Winning Big in Pennsylvania

The Progressive

Peter Greene writes, “Pennsylvania is shaping up to be proving ground for fans of public education and progressive politics this year … Pennsylvania elections will be energized by our newly de-gerrymandered map … Elizabeth Fiedler, candidate for House representative in the Philadelphia area won her primary race on a strong public education platform … She’s also calling for a moratorium on charter and cyber-charter schools … Summer Lee is running for state assembly in the Pittsburgh area proposing free pre-K for all and criticizing charter schools as a form of privatization. Sara Innamorato, also running in the Pittsburgh area, campaigned on a platform that included condemnation of charters … Perhaps progressives around the country could make gains by standing up for public education and against the continued privatization.”
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