US Ed Sec Nominee Betsy DeVos Has More Firsthand Experience Selecting Carpet Swatches
On January 09, 2017, founder of the Center for Education Reform (CER), Jeanne Allen, issued a press release stating (warning: worn-out phrase coming), “But charter schools are public schools” and adding, “they’re just not the kinds of public schools that the AFT likes.” Allen was responding to American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten’s statement about US secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos’ being “anti-public-education.”
Allen maintains that Weingarten is wrong since DeVos supports charter schools.
At best, charter schools are only partially public schools: They often take public money without answering to the public via elected boards.
CER’s email notification of its press release included the following statement:
Union’s language and rhetoric should be rebuffed by every American teacher
That will not be happening. In order for The Rebuff to occur, *every American teacher* would have to buy into the idea that there really is no distinction between charter schools and actual public schools– with “public schools” being defined as those that enroll any student at any point in the school year, and that are operated by elected school boards, and that cannot refuse a board-determined audit of their finances or other operations.
Still, those occupying the soft seats of ed reform like Allen continue to try to press-release charter schools as being unequivocally “public.”
The lucrative side of ed reform to be on is Allen’s side. That noted, I wonder how CER stays in ed reform business. CER’s “latest” news release listing jumps from January 09, 2017, listed first to January 22, 2013, listed second, to January 13, 2013, listed third, to November 07, 2012, listed fourth.
As CER was offering its press release (apparently the first n four years) about DeVos’ charter support equaling DeVos’ being pro-“public school,” ed reformer nest, Ed Next, produced this article in an effort to paint DeVos as “a relatively mainstream reformer.”
One of the less convincing components of the Ed Next piece is its inclusion of a huge photo of DeVos selecting carpet swatches.
The picture is actually a publicity photo one is able to download at betsydevos.com. The photo above is entitled, “Betsy in a meeting1-2016.”
A meeting to select carpet and to review floor plans.
The only picture of DeVos with a school-aged student is this one, given the file name, “Betsy tutoring at Potters House”:
The photo is a product placement pic for boxed water produced by the Windquest Group, an organization that DeVos chaired.
For a pretty good idea about DeVos’ background in, uh, education, read this 2013 interview that DeVos gave for Philanthropy Roundtable. Her view of school choice does not even mention traditional public schools.
Her favorite is the “publicly funded, private-choice program.”Too, the quasi-public-private charter school will do.
However, when it comes to traditional public schools, to quote Allen with a twist: *They’re just not the kind of public schools DeVos likes.”