We should have stopped Betsy DeVos when we had the chance

devostrump2

On behalf of the people of Michigan, I apologize… Not only were we one of three states credited with making Donald Trump, the least qualified presidential candidate in American history, our President-elect, but, as it turns out, we might also be responsible for ending public education as we know it. You see, we, the people of Michigan, had a chance to stop Amway billionaire Betsy DeVos from dismantling our public schools, but we didn’t do it. And, now, unless something unexpected happens, it looks as though she’s going to be replicating the failed policies that she championed in Michigan across the entire nation as our next Secretary of Education.

While DeVos has absolutely no qualifications for the job, she does have money, and she’s proven again and again that she’ll use it to get what she wants. As she said in a 1997 op-ed for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee.” She then when on to add, “I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.” And, with this as her objective, DeVos, with her $5.1 billion net worth behind her, has wreaked havoc in Michigan, funding successful legislative efforts to efforts to, among other things, “restore religious freedom” by keeping gay couples from adopting and stop Michigan cities from passing living wage ordinances. But her real passion is in the realm of education reform, where she’s worked tirelessly to ensure that Michigan is the most anti-public education state in the union, funding campaigns to remove all caps on charter schools, while, at the same time, guaranteeing virtually no oversight.

Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, said of DeVos yesterday: “Her efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers – which take away funding and local control from our public schools – to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. These schemes do nothing to help our most vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps.

“She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education,” Eskelsen García went on to say. “By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.”

And, for what it’s worth, Eskelsen García isn’t employing hyperbole here. Those of us who live in Michigan have seen it play out firsthand. We’ve seen the ubiquitous billboards for fly-by-night virtual charters offering to educate our kids over the internet. [They give kids laptops and access to an online platform, and just collect the money from the state that would have otherwise directed to a public school.] And we’ve seen our school districts closing once vital neighborhood schools right and left due to the unchecked proliferation of charter schools and a “schools of choice” system that pits neighboring districts against one another, fighting over those “good” students who don’t require things like special education, which can be costly.

They’ve been assuring us for the past 20 years that this unfettered competition will yield better opportunities for our students, but the results just don’t bear that out. [More on that in a minute.] I’d argue, however, that better schools were never the end goal. I think, from day one, the real objective has always been to kill the teachers unions, while, at the same time, funneling public money into the hands of private corporations, which, in turn, contribute to conservative causes and legislators. And, it’s working. While I don’t have current data, between 2012 and 2015, Michigan’s two teachers unions, the MEA and the AFT, lost almost 28,000 members. And, in large part that’s due to the overwhelming growth of the charter school industry, which, according to the Detroit Free Press, “Michigan taxpayers pour nearly $1 billion a year into.” [] More importantly, though, these programs pushed by DeVos and others, just aren’t working for kids.

A recent investigation by the Detroit Free Press, which looked at two decades of charter school records and data from across Michigan, found: “Wasteful spending and double-dipping. Board members, school founders and employees steering lucrative deals to themselves or insiders. Schools allowed to operate for years despite poor academic records. No state standards for who operates charter schools or how to oversee them. And a record number of charter schools run by for-profit companies that rake in taxpayer money and refuse to detail how they spend it, saying they’re private and not subject to disclosure laws. Michigan leads the nation in schools run by for-profits.” And much of the blame lies with DeVos, who not only led, but funded, the charge.

Here, from Chalkbeat, is a great example of DeVos in action: “When Michigan lawmakers this year were considering a measure that would have added oversight for charter schools in Detroit, members of the DeVos family poured $1.45 million into legislators’ campaign coffers — an average of $25,000 a day for seven weeks. Oversight was not included in the final legislation.”

And, that, my friends, is the kind of maneuvering on behalf of the for-profit charter industry that you can expect to see happening across the United States, assuming DeVos is confirmed as Trump’s Secretary of Education… I’m not sure what she paid for cabinet post, but you can be damn sure she’s going to see a return on that investment.

[If I had to guess, I’d say that, in return for the cabinet position, DeVos offered to supply Amway lightbulbs and laundry detergent to all of Trump’s properties at a deep discount. I hope someone asks when she goes before the Senate for her confirmation hearing.]

For what it’s worth, DeVos wasn’t always a fan of Trump’s. “(He) does not represent the Republican Party,” she said of Trump prior to the election, calling him an “interloper.” I guess her opinion of him changed, however, when he won, opening up an opportunity for her to bring her crusade to the entire nation.

So, if you ever looked at Michigan and thought, “How in the hell can people live in a state where their leaders are actually arguing in court that literacy isn’t a fundamental right under the Constitution?”, it’s headed your way. Consider yourselves warned.

And, for what it’s worth, the ultimate objective for some in the DeVos camp may be even darker than just ending public education in America as we know it. It’s being reported today that the Acton Institute, a right wing organization funded by DeVos, is pro-child labor. [On their site, they’ve referred to child labor as, “a gift our kids can handle.”] Just a few weeks ago, the organization posted an essay to their blog which included the following. “Let us not just teach our children to play hard and study well, shuffling them through a long line of hobbies and electives and educational activities,” the piece said. “A long day’s work and a load of sweat have plenty to teach as well.”

Indeed.

I should point out that there’s no evidence that I’m aware of that would indicate DeVos wants to dismantle child labor laws, or put children to work inside the light bulb factories that power her family’s lucrative pyramid scheme. I do think, however, it’s important at times like these to remember that this is where the path we’re on leads. We don’t talk about it a lot, but, not too long ago, we actually had American children working in mines and textile plants, and there’s no reason to think that it couldn’t happen again. It’s also important to remember that it’s not just whacky right wing think tank employees who are musing about the prospect of bringing children back into the workforce. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has called our current child protection laws “truly stupid,” and, not too long ago, in Maine, Republicans passed something called The Act to Enhance Access to the Workplace for Minors, which sought to roll back some of those very child labor laws Gingrich objected to. So, yes, feel free to laugh off the suggestion that DeVos has been tied to an organization calling for the eradication of child labor laws, but do so at your own peril. As we’ve seen in the past, this is exactly what unfettered capitalism leads to… It won’t be enough to just end the minimum wage. They’ll eventually want our kids.

Leaving child labor aside, DeVos, by almost any objective criteria, is a terrible choice for Secretary of Education. Not only has every initiative that she’s backed in Michigan hurt kids, but she’s never worked in education, which, one would think, would be a prerequisite for Secretary of Education. Not only has she never taught, or run a school, she’s never even had a child in public school. [Her children attended Grand Rapids Christian.]

But enough of what I think. Here are a few thoughts from other people who are smarter than me about the DeVos appointment.

New York Times:

…As one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system, she is partly responsible for what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country. At least some of the other candidates for education secretary, like Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor, led reforms that were accompanied by improved student results.

Consider this: Detroit is one of many cities in the country that participates in an objective and rigorous test of student academic skills, called the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The other cities participating in the urban version of this test, including Baltimore, Cleveland and Memphis, are widely considered to be among the lowest-performing school districts in the country.

Detroit is not only the lowest in this group of lowest-performing districts on the math and reading scores, it is the lowest by far. One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools. The situation is so bad that national philanthropists interested in school reform refuse to work in Detroit. As someone who has studied the city’s schools and used to work there, I am saddened by all this.

The situation is not entirely Ms. DeVos’s fault, of course, but she is widely seen as the main driver of the entire state’s school overhaul. She devised Detroit’s system to run like the Wild West. It’s hardly a surprise that the system, which has almost no oversight, has failed. Schools there can do poorly and still continue to enroll students. Also, after more than a decade of Ms. DeVos’s getting her way on a host of statewide education policies, Michigan has the dubious distinction of being one of five states with declining reading scores…

ACLU Michigan:

We strongly urge Congress to scrutinize the record of Betsy DeVos, who has been a staunch proponent of school vouchers, a misguided idea that diverts taxpayer dollars into private and parochial schools and perverts the bedrock American value of separation of church and state. She and her husband served as the primary fundraisers and engine for a Michigan ballot initiative –Kids First! Yes! Coalition that voters soundly rejected in 2000.

She has ardently supported the unlimited, unregulated growth of charter schools in Michigan, elevating for-profit schools with no consideration of the severe harm done to traditional public schools. She’s done this despite overwhelming evidence that proves that charters do no better at educating children than traditional public schools and serve only to exacerbate funding problems for cash-strapped public districts. We believe that all children have a right to a quality public education, and we fear that Betsy DeVos’ relentless advocacy of charter schools and vouchers betrays these principles.

Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party:

Donald Trump could not have made a more dangerous and ill-advised pick for his Secretary of Education than billionaire charter school advocate and anti-public education activist Betsy DeVos… Here is someone, in Betsy DeVos, who has made it her life’s work to channel her family’s massive wealth toward destroying Michigan’s public education system, and now she’s about to oversee the policy and direction of education for the entire United States. She has consistently encouraged and enabled attacks on public school teachers and our children’s right to a quality public education, to line the pockets of corporate charter school investors and make her family’s extremely conservative views part of a mainstream curriculum…

Vox:

Unlike others Trump was reportedly considering for the post, including education reform advocate Michelle Rhee and former state superintendents from Indiana and Florida, DeVos has never been formally involved with public education. She hasn’t been a teacher or principal, or run a school district or state education agency. She’s never even taken a public position on Common Core, the education standards that Trump railed against on the campaign trail.

But DeVos has a long history of activism on one issue: school choice — a term that refers to both school vouchers, which allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private school, and charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run…

And DeVos is a voucher advocate first and foremost, advocating both for vouchers for children and for tax credits to businesses that give money to private school scholarship funds. She and her husband founded All Children Matter, a political action committee that supports school vouchers and private school scholarships, and she chairs the American Federation for Children, which advocates for the same issues.

Voucher programs, though, have been established at the state level — most education funding in the US is state and local, and despite efforts from congressional Republicans, Congress has never instituted a national school voucher program. Trump has vowed to try, and his nomination of DeVos suggests that he’s serious.

Trump’s plan for his first 100 days includes the creation of a $20 billion school choice program. The money — which is more than the Education Department currently spends on supporting K-12 education for poor students, and which Trump says would be found by “reprioritizing existing federal dollars,” meaning budget cuts elsewhere — would go to states with laws that agree to let the money follow students to schools of their choice.

In practice, this would mean a giant influx of federal money into private schools, which would be tied to students. So if a student chose to attend a public school, the public school would get the money; if she went to a private school, the private school would benefit…

Detroit News:

…In 2000, Betsy and Dick DeVos funded an unsuccessful statewide ballot initiative to amend the state Constitution to allow tax dollars to be used for private school tuition through education vouchers. They have since advocated for school vouchers in other states.

In 2012, Dick DeVos led the charge in getting the Legislature to make Michigan a right-to-work state, eliminating work rules that made financial support of unions a condition of employment for teachers in public schools.

The DeVoses founded their own charter high school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

Gov. Rick Snyder weighed in Wednesday in a statement, saying Betsy DeVos “will mean great things for Michigan.”

“Betsy’s appointment will mean great things for Michigan and for children around the nation as she takes her no-nonsense commitment to empowering parents to the highest levels in Washington,” Snyder said…

So, I hope you’re ready, America. Betsy DeVos and her “no-nonsense commitment to empowering parents” is coming your way. And, soon, you too will know what it’s like to see your public education infrastructure crumble around you, as charter schools, unencumbered by oversight, pop up on every corner, dragging down your childhood literacy rates and weakening your communities, all while your tax dollars move out of state, and into the pockets of corporate shareholders… And, for what it’s worth, I wasn’t kidding about literacy rates dropping precipitously. In 2003, Michigan was 28th among the states when it came to fourth-grade reading achievement. By 205, we’d dropped to 41st. [Remember, according to the folks in Lansing literacy isn’t a fundamental right.]

And, for what it’s worth, I do feel guilty about not having done more to stop DeVos when we had a chance, or Governor Engler, for that matter, back when all of this started in Michigan. We had our opportunities. We allowed things to happen, though. And, over time, they added up, bring us to where we are today, staring hopelessly into the abyss. But I guess that’s how things like this always come about. You fight for a while, but you eventually let your guard down. And, when you do, people with power, time and money are ready to take advantage. And you don’t realize the enormity of what’s happening until it’s too late. So, now, I’m afraid, because we allowed Michigan to fall, the rest of the country, under the direction of Betsy DeVos, is likely going to follow suit… More charters. Less oversight. More separation between those who have the economic means to put their kids in private schools and those who don’t. And I can’t help but think it’ll be devastating to the very fabric of our society… What does society look like, I wonder, when a teacher’s salary is no longer enough to support a family? Do our best and brightest continue to go into the profession? And what becomes of our neighborhoods without local schools to tie people of different faiths, races and classes together? And what becomes of kids who move from K to 12 without ever engaging with people from outside their same socio-economic group? What kid aspires to be a doctor if none of his friends have parents who are doctors? And who fights to protect the rights of Muslims if they’ve never gotten to know one, perhaps through the PTA? And how are we ever going to solve issues like global climate change if we don’t prepare the next generation for the fight? And how do we stop this process that we’re caught up in, when we’re all just struggling to stay afloat? Who has the time and energy, after fighting to find a good educational situations for our own kids, to worry about everyone else?

It’s almost too overwhelming to even think about, but we need to get beyond that paralysis. We need to not only resist on behalf of our future generations, but we need to reclaim what’s already been lost. It’s not enough to stop Trump and DeVos, we need to invest even more in public education, ensuring that our kids grow up with the intelligence not to repeat our mistakes, and the skills necessary to repair the damage that we’ve done. We’ve already given them a world of shit… the least we can do is educate them so that they have a fighting chance.

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74 Comments

  1. Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    A little background on how things went down in Michigan from the New York Times:

    Michigan leapt at the promise of charter schools 23 years ago, betting big that choice and competition would improve public schools. It got competition, and chaos.

    Detroit schools have long been in decline academically and financially. But over the past five years, divisive politics and educational ideology and a scramble for money have combined to produced a public education fiasco that is perhaps unparalleled in the United States.

    While the idea was to foster academic competition, the unchecked growth of charters has created a glut of schools competing for some of the nation’s poorest students, enticing them to enroll with cash bonuses, laptops, raffle tickets for iPads and bicycles. Leaders of charter and traditional schools alike say they are being cannibalized, fighting so hard over students and the limited public dollars that follow them that no one thrives.

    Detroit now has a bigger share of students in charters than any American city except New Orleans, which turned almost all its schools into charters after Hurricane Katrina. But half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools.

    “The point was to raise all schools,” said Scott Romney, a lawyer and board member of New Detroit, a civic group formed after the 1967 race riots here. “Instead, we’ve had a total and complete collapse of education in this city.”

    …The 1993 state law permitting charter schools was not brought on by academic or financial crisis in Detroit — those would come later — but by a free-market-inclined governor, John Engler. An early warrior against public employee unions, he embraced the idea of creating schools that were publicly financed but independently run to force public schools to innovate.

    To throw the competition wide open, Michigan allowed an unusually large number of institutions, more than any other state, to create charters: public school districts, community colleges and universities. It gave those institutions a financial incentive: a 3 percent share of the dollars that go to the charter schools. And only they — not the governor, not the state commissioner or board of education — could shut down failing schools.

    For-profit companies seized on the opportunity; they now operate about 80 percent of charters in Michigan, far more than in any other state. The companies and those who grant the charters became major lobbying forces for unfettered growth of the schools, as did some of the state’s biggest Republican donors.

    Sometimes, they were one and the same, as with J. C. Huizenga, a Grand Rapids entrepreneur who founded Michigan’s largest charter school operator, the for-profit National Heritage Academies. Two of the biggest players in Michigan politics, Betsy and Dick DeVos — she the former head of the state Republican Party, he the heir to the Amway fortune and a 2006 candidate for governor — established the Great Lakes Education Project, which became the state’s most pugnacious protector of the charter school prerogative.

    Even as Michigan and Detroit continued to hemorrhage residents, the number of schools grew. The state has nearly 220,000 fewer students than it did in 2003, but more than 100 new charter schools.

    As elsewhere across the country, charters concentrated in urban areas, particularly Detroit, where the public schools had been put under state control in 1999. In 2009, it was found to be the lowest-performing urban school district on national tests.

    Operators were lining up to get into the city, and in 2011, after a conservative wave returned the governor’s office and the Legislature to Republican control for the first time in eight years, the Legislature abolished a cap that had limited the number of charter schools that universities could create to 150.

    Some charter school backers pushed for a so-called smart cap that would allow only successful charters to expand. But they could not agree on what success should look like, and ultimately settled for assurances from lawmakers that they could add quality controls after the cap was lifted.

    In fact, the law repealed a longstanding requirement that the State Department of Education issue yearly reports monitoring charter school performance.

    At the same time, the law included a provision that seemed to benefit Mr. Huizenga, whose company profits from buying buildings and renting them back to the charters it operates. Earlier that year he had lost a tax appeal in which he argued that a for-profit company should not have to pay taxes on properties leased to schools. The new law granted for-profit charter companies the exemption he had sought.

    Just as universities were allowed to charter more schools, Gov. Rick Snyder created a state-run district, with new charters, to try to turn around the city’s worst schools. Detroit was soon awash in choice, but not quality.

    Twenty-four charter schools have opened in the city since the cap was lifted in 2011. Eighteen charters whose existing schools were at or below the district’s dismal performance expanded or opened new schools.

  2. Morbid Larson
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    I was also disgusted when I heard that DeVos might be the next Sec of Ed.

    Interesting post that a few people will read.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    At last, conservatives and neoliberals are about to reap the rewards of a 35+-year-long campaign to destroy public education. No surprise really, since ending public education is a “win-win” for unfettered capitalism.

    Not only do they turn what was once a taxpayer-supported public good into an enormous private, profit center … they also get to control the curriculum, thus allowing them to shape the minds of future generations.

    In a similar fashion, we’re already seeing the remnants what was once a great network of non-profit health care delivery become consolidated and privatized, and I expect before long other important segments of was once the public sphere will, as well – including parks, roads, and perhaps someday soon, even whole communities.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Let’s not forget, Trump has also said that “wages are too high” in America.

    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/11/donald-trump-insists-that-wages-are-too-high/

  5. Linh Song
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Between DeVos and Weiser, the hits just keep coming from our home state with this new Presidency.

  6. Lynne
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    That is what happens when people don’t vote. Michigan liberals have been terrible about voting but conservatives have not been. It doesn’t help that most people are racist and don’t really care when bad things happen to brown people. I suspect very few Michigan residents are wringing their hands over how this affects poor and minority students.

    The dumb thing is that charter schools could have been set up in a way which benefits students, i.e. they should be required to accept all students and provide for the needs of special ed students and they should have state oversight. But you know, that would eat into their profits.

    If minorities someday gain power and make white people second class citizens, we will deserve it for what we have done.

  7. Eel
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I hesitate to say this for fear of being called a conspiracy theorist, but, given the way she’s operated in the past, and what we know about Trump’s business dealings, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she paid for the job of Secretary of Education.

  8. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    This is a good and important piece . . .thank you.

    I will throw some thoughts out later. For now, I will leave the class some links for further supporting materials on the “Devour” family. As a note, your headline is even more frustrating knowing that we had a chance to hinder some of Betsy’s Surge on our schools — if we had legitimate help from some on “our team.” For example, the 3rd grade retention/reading bill could have been STOPPED in committee by the Committee’s Vice Chair . . . this “dem” from AA will now be forever tied to the Devos and ALEC

    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/11/13180/5-things-know-about-billionaire-betsy-devos-trump-choice-education

  9. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Here is something about devouring the pensions

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/09/28/michigan-forum-devos-family-target-pension-reform/91241584/

  10. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Betsy’s play land . . . Michigan charters taketh away

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2014/06/22/michigan-spends-1b-on-charter-schools-but-fails-to-hold/77155074/

  11. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    an interesting quick read . . .

    https://emilytalmage.com/2016/11/26/bad-news-betsy/

  12. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The Devos-Pence connection

    * as a side note remember this name (Tony Bennet . . . not the signer)

    https://inschoolmatters.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/devos-money-big-in-indiana-politics/

  13. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    For the non readers or those who like digital . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6uwXcv_8wc

  14. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Nancy Bailey’s thought provoking piece on Betsy’s path of privatization

    http://nancyebailey.com/2016/11/26/privatization-and-school-buses-thoughts-please-betsy-devos/

  15. Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Mark, how could we have stopped her? I’m not being facetious. The only things I can think of are:
    a) for every parent to refuse to send their kid to a charter, esp. a for-profit. (Not going to happen because public schools simply can’t “compete” with the limited resources that we have)

    b) braying loudly about charters. Personally though, I see friends of mine being completely bamboozled by charter schools, but I’m not saying a word because it’s not my business and people (I’ve noticed) get really upset when people try to tell them what to do with their kids. And whenever you say ANYTHING negative about charters, 20 people jump up and down and jizz theyselves yelling for equal time.

    c) presenting facts and evidence but we’ve done that and people gonna people. Most evidence shows that charters don’t make a difference in test scores, etc.

    Another thought–
    I go to a school where a 3rd grader brought a corkscrew to class, went up to a boy, and held it to his neck (this same kid beats up at least one or two students a day). The school cannot expel him (long long story) and the mom won’t move him. I go to another totally different district where a 1st grader punched his teacher, hit another teacher with a pole, kicked his one-to-one aide and likes to abuse classmates. Parents are starting to leave, and I imagine more than a few are going to charters. What do we tell them? (Again, I’m not being facetious. The parent of the kid on my caseload was practically in tears because her kid got spit on).

  16. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Russ provides a good reading (with some related links . . . worthy of reading)

    http://russonreading.blogspot.com/2016/11/heavens-to-betsy-devos.html

  17. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    http://www.mitchellrobinson.net/2016/11/25/trump-names-betsy-devos-as-secretary-of-education-it-s-game-set-match-for-public-education/

  18. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Diane Ravitch has many interesting pieces

    https://dianeravitch.net/category/michigan/

  19. Steve W
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Dick DeVos’ “stealth strategy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fTAhc4QC4&sns=fb

  20. Morbid Larson
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Glad to see people posting interesting links and making constructive comments.

    Mr. 2102 will be happy.

  21. KWB
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    You’re so right about the DeVos name/mission not being known outside of MI. At least Arne Duncan was the CEO of one of the largest school districts in the country. DeVos just has a lot of money and an agenda. It worries me how many people in the Trump administration have a track record of tearing stuff down rather than building it up. Once it’s all torn down… then what?

  22. Morbid Larson
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Someone on here was defending populism.

    Well, this is what you get. Populist campaign rhetoric will inevitably hurt the people it purports to be defending.

  23. Morbid Larson
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, that last sentence makes no sense.

    My life is meaningless.

  24. iRobert
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realize DeVos was such a handsome woman. Is Dick bisexual?

  25. wobblie
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget the good work that “No Child Left Behind” has done.

  26. iRobert
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve really enjoyed all the pornographic pics of Melania. Is the administration going to make similar photos of Besty available, so the public can properly vet her?

  27. Andrew S.
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Billionaires these days – if you stop them, it seems to be only be temporary. That said, I was in Lansing protesting emergency management and right to work. I’ve gone several times in the last couple of years to fight for Detroit Public Schools as well as refusing to work when the state said there weren’t funds to pay us (all mixed up in DeVos legislation). I’m not done fighting.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    i Robert– “I didn’t realize DeVos was such a handsome woman. Is Dick bisexual?
    “I’ve really enjoyed all the pornographic pics of Melania. Is the administration going to make similar photos of Betsy available, so the public can properly vet her?”

    — It appears you are really short on the sexism concept. Those two comments were horrifically sexist. It doesn’t matter if DeVos and Melania Trump are your political enemies, what you said about them appealed to gender stereotype and sexualized them as a means of diminishment. It wasn’t even clever. Just gross. You seem to have both a prurient and a puritanical bent. They often go together. It’s unfortunate. You distaste for the word ‘Bitch’ is taking on a new color in light of these comments.

  29. Lynne
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I wonder if we can even begin to address the racism and misogyny of the right before dealing with it on the left. I have been very disturbed by the people who think that because Trump won on white male identity politics that the left should adopt more of that strategy. Plus all the slut shaming of Melania Trump is just straight up disgusting. Just because the right chooses to vilify strong liberal women in the position of FLOTUS, it doesn’t justify a similar treatment of Melania Trump in that position. It would be better if we focused on things that matter more than the body of the President elect’s wife. I suspect that she never wanted this job.

  30. iRobert
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Are you tone policing me, Jean?

  31. iRobert
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    You’re kinda new here, Jean. All the regulars know I’m really sexist and degrading of women.

  32. iRobert
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Mark can testify to what a monster I am. He has had to warn me several times to tone down my offensive and degrading comments toward women. I’m one of the few people he’s censored regularly, and I’m proud of that.

  33. iRobert
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    By the way, why didn’t you get upset at me for suggesting Dick DeVos’ bisexuality was something about which it was okay to attack him? Did you not find that offensive also?

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that comment was gendered as well as being homophobic. I didn’t say I was offended. I said it was sexist. Just letting you know. Glad you can see it.

  35. Metrotimes
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The signal has been amplified.

    http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2016/11/30/ypsis-mark-maynard-we-should-have-stopped-betsy-when-we-had-the-chance#

  36. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    You know, Jean, it’s a crime to threaten bodily harm to another person. EOS may have chosen to let it go, but it’s not his choice ultimately. As a civil society with laws, it is the public at large that decides weather or not your criminal threat is something to be punished legally. Do you have a history of violence? Have you served time for a violent crime? Is that where you got into the habit of saying things like “I’ll cut you, Bitch” to people with whom you feel you have a conflict? Or do you just watch a lot of HBO?

  37. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Whether not weather. Indeed, threatening bodily harm will get a person in trouble.
    So don’t do it.
    EOS baited people, and was unkind about it.
    and he was a lobbyist with access to a lot of information that was from business.
    he got paid to write on this blog.
    Many people are worried about the schools..and chose different strategies to try and help a complex problem.

  38. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Ms. Huffman,

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Nothing you wrote has any truth in it.

  39. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I posted my last comment from my iPhone, and it auto-corrected my “whether” to “weather.” It does that sort of thing on a lot of words I would assume it recognizes.

    Anyway, Jean literally committed a crime when she threatened EOS with bodily harm. Nothing EOS said in his post would warrant such a response. Her threat of mindless violence says a whole hell of a lot about who she is, and essentially nothing about EOS or anything he said.

    If EOS decided to pursue a legal action against Jean for making a threat against him, he’d win in court. No judge or jury would ever side with a person who said what Jean said. I suspect Jean has a history of such behavior, being that she can’t even pretend to be otherwise in her blog posts.

    Mind you, all of this still doesn’t change my preference than she take over this blog from Mark. I still think he should step aside and let more diverse voices be heard.

  40. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I have no idea if Jean even wrote that. I don’t follow that closely, but yes, people can get in trouble for writing such things.

    EOS was not nice on this blog.
    Can’t go to jail for that, but people noticed.

  41. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    A long time ago, when I went to the University of Michigan I knew a person and he said to a female person, I am going to kill you if you do that…he didn’t mean it, he was just talking…and she complained formally about him and he got spoken to…and I remember thinking, whoa…I had never heard of such things before.
    And she was very matter of fact about it.
    She said, he just can’t say that to me.
    And he never said anything like that ever again.

  42. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The thing about EOS taking Jean Henry to court is that then we would all get to know who EOS is.

  43. Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Here is the cut and paste of EOS’s last comment before Jean’s threat on the “Election Day live blog” thread:

    EOS
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “Bigotry definition: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    I think many Clinton supporters are shining examples of bigotry in action. You attempt to demonize all political opinions that differs from your own. You sling mud and call names and shout down any form of dissent. You don’t even hold out the possibility that people chose Trump for any reason other than racism or sexism.

    I don’t doubt that you think the Democratic Party has the solutions to many of today’s problems. I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe she was the better candidate. I just think that you were misled by a constant stream of biased reporting and an indoctrination led by academia, the mainstream media, and collectivism engineered by the elite.

    8 years of Obama didn’t improve the condition of our country. Let’s let Trump try a different set of tactics and see the result. Let’s get businesses back in the USA employing all Americans. Let’s try to avoid endless wars. Let’s change the tax laws to remove the breaks for the wealthy. Let’s see what happens when we put America first.”

    Here is Jean Henry’s post in which she threatens EOS:

    Jean Henry
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    “EOS– I have called out anti-conservative bigotry on the left– and plain old bias. There’s plenty of it to go around. BUT there is a difference between being oppositional to entrenched interests and being oppositional to the already marginalized.

    And the difference is in the risk of actual harm entailed in those biases.

    Duh… Big duh.

    Like real threat. So stop botching about how you are victimized but how they should toughen up.

    We are facing real harm now. This is not rhetoric. The way you feel about those unborn fetuses, that’s how we fill about the risk of physicla harm and displacement and further impoverishment and exclusion of people of color. muslims, the disabled and LGBTQ people from the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    So shut the fuck up. It’s going to get ugly. Stay out or I will cut you, Bitch.”

    You can also get there by clicking on my name, iRobert, above.

  44. Lynne
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It seems fairly obvious that iRobert isn’t a lawyer. Neither am I but even I know that one important element of a threat to commit bodily harm is that the recipient of said threat must have a reasonable expectation that the threat could be carried out. Not to mention that it also must be clear that the threat isn’t figurative in any way. “I am going to cut you, bitch!” could be reasonably interpreted to mean “I am going to cut you verbally with sharp arguments, bitch” especially in the context of this blog where as far as I know, no one even knows who EOS is!

  45. Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, I’m willing to put it to the legal test, if EOS is willing to pursue it. I’ll pay the legal expenses.

  46. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ll begin the process anyway, in the event that EOS decides it might be worth filing a criminal complaint. I’ll start with a criminal background search on Jean Henry. I’m curious to see if she’s had any previous issues with making threats. These things are never isolated incidents.

  47. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Imaginary Robert….are you retained by EOS?
    So… this blog.. I think probably everyone has gone through a background check on it, no?

  48. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Because if there is one person who contacted DuPont or DuPont contacted it,was EOS about the drainage at the Flint paint plant.

  49. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I have asked Mark to filter posters through a criminal background check, but he’s refused.

    EOS and I haven’t been on the best of terms over the many years we’ve been commenting on this blog, but I am willing to put all that aside, in the interest of seeing a criminal held accountable.

    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about the Flint paint plant or drainage there. I do seriously doubt EOS has ever been paid to shill for anybody though.

  50. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    So back to Betsy DeVos…Trump scared and scares a lot of people.
    Betsy DeVos scares a lot of people. Deporting 2 million people seems to be a bit excessive.
    I write drily.

  51. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I apologize for being sexist and saying Betsy DeVos is a handsome woman. I was just very surprised to see she didn’t look like the monster I imagined from the way everyone talks about her. I’m also an unabashed misogynist extremist, which is why I didn’t realize I was saying something offensive.

  52. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Mark usually censors my most offensive, misogynistic, comments. I’ve come to rely on it. Jean would be breaking in to my house right now to cut me, if she had ready all the things I’ve tried to post here degrading women.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I am thrilled that I am so diabolical a character for Mr Robert. He can run a background check. Anyone can. And bring suit. Anyone can. This is all quite amusing and a bit flattering. I have lived a very boring life. A friend years ago told me I should use my powers for evil, not good. Maybe I missed my calling.

  54. iRobert
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’d use the term diabolical. I’m just thinking more along the lines of violent impulses and the sort of legal trouble that often gets folks into.

  55. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Huffman,

    You have held a grudge ever since I expressed my disbelief that Dupont poured thousands/millions of gallons of paint down Flint’s sanitary sewers. I didn’t contact Dupont. Any amount of paint put into the sewers at the plant would be detected at the water treatment plant and traced back to the company. As I have tried to explain to you at least twice already, a floor drain in a factory doesn’t necessarily go straight to a sewer. It went to a retention container and was disposed as a hazardous waste. Or they could allow it to dry to a solid and then put it in a landfill. I’m not getting paid to say that. If you knew anything about waste water treatment it would be obvious to you. It’s just something I have picked up after years of cleaning swimming pools.

    Jean,
    If I were you I wouldn’t lose any sleep. I am not considering suing you. But I am thankful that I don’t use my real name when other people resort to violent threats merely because I hold a different point of view.

  56. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Huffman,

    You have held a grudge ever since I expressed my disbelief that Dupont poured thousands/millions of gallons of paint down Flint’s sanitary sewers. I didn’t contact Dupont. Any amount of paint put into the sewers at the plant would be detected at the water treatment plant and traced back to the company. As I have tried to explain to you at least twice already, a floor drain in a factory doesn’t necessarily go straight to a sewer. It went to a retention container and was disposed as a hazardous waste. Or they could allow it to dry to a solid and then put it in a landfill. I’m not getting paid to say that. If you knew anything about waste water treatment it would be obvious to you. It’s just something I have picked up after years of cleaning swimming pools.

    Jean,
    If I were you I wouldn’t lose any sleep. I am not considering suing you. But I am thankful that I don’t use my real name when other people resort to violent threats merely because I hold a different point of view.

  57. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    It told me to try again later – so I did. I hope I didn’t break it. It usually doesn’t let you post duplicates. Sorry.

  58. jean henry
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I was never going to lose my sleep. I use my real, full name because I have integrity and stand by my words. I’m not a fearful person.

  59. Maria Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    EOS you were quite unkind on that post.

  60. Maria Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s Mrs Huffman

  61. Maria Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    today the argument on the floor is the pensions, which I do not think should be scrapped, no matter how angry people are with the educational system.

  62. Morbid Larson
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “It’s just something I have picked up after years of cleaning swimming pools.”

    lol

  63. Maria Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    so the reason Betsy DeVos even gets to be considered for her position and there are people who do not want anything to do with traditional public schools and are looking from relief from sending their children there…so desirous are they of getting out from under a regular traditional district..people considered this when voting for Trump..is because of the school districts dysfunction and overreach towards its families.

  64. Maria Huffman
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Charters have big problems as well. just as big and maybe bigger. How this ever get rectified well, I sure will never know. SOC is a terrible thing, because you cant vote for the board members who oversee the superintendent, so there is no accountability. I am not arguing with you EOS. Have a nice day.

  65. Meta
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    The Bridge has a new feature on DeVos’s role in re-segregating Michigan’s schools.

    For more than a decade, Holland Public Schools has watched its enrollment fall, prompting the closure – and demolition – of multiple schools.

    The decline is not the result of an aging community with fewer, school-age children. Rather, it’s largely a reflection of Michigan’s generous school choice policies. Choice has, consciously or not, left districts like Holland not only scrambling for students, but more racially segregated as its white students leave, often for districts that are less diverse.

    “When school choice started, that decline started,” said Brian Davis, superintendent of the Holland district. In 2000, Holland had 15 school buildings; it now has eight. About one-in-three students living within the district are now being educated in another district or charter school. Because state education dollars follow students to their new district or charter, Davis said that Holland’s white flight has shaken the district’s finances.

    In the two decades since Michigan adopted school choice, Holland’s white enrollment has plummeted 60 percent, with 2,100 fewer white students. Today, whites comprise 49 percent of school-age children living in the district, but only 38 percent the school population (Hispanics make up 47 percent of Holland schools).

    From Holland to metro Detroit, Flint to Jackson, tens of thousands of parents across Michigan are using the state’s schools of choice program to move students out of their resident districts and into ones that are more segregated, a Bridge analysis of state enrollment data shows.

    Read more:
    http://bridgemi.com/2016/11/betsy-devos-and-the-segregation-of-school-choice/

  66. Meta
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    The Detroit Free Press: “Betsy DeVos and the twilight of public education”

    In Detroit, parents of school-age children have plenty of choices, thanks to the nation’s largest urban network of charter schools.

    What remains in short supply is quality.

    In Brightmoor, the only high school left is Detroit Community Schools, a charter boasting more than a decade of abysmal test scores and, until recently, a superintendent who earned $130,000 a year despite a dearth of educational experience or credentials.

    On the west side, another charter school, Hope Academy, has been serving the community around Grand River and Livernois for 20 years. Its test scores have been among the lowest in the state throughout those two decades; in 2013 the school ranked in the first percentile, the absolute bottom for academic performance. Two years later, its charter was renewed.

    Or if you live downtown, you could try Woodward Academy, a charter that has limped along near the bottom of school achievement since 1998, while its operator has been allowed to expand into other communities.

    For students enrolled in schools of choice — that is, schools in nearby districts who have opened their doors to children who live outside district boundaries — it’s not much better. Kids who depend on Detroit’s problematic public transit are are too far away from the state’s top-performing school districts — and most of those districts don’t participate in the schools of choice program, anyway.

    This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and “choice” means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.

    And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to the cause of school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.

    Unqualified

    President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of controversial cabinet nominations already. But none seems more inappropriate, or more contrary to reason, than his choice of DeVos to lead the Department of Education.

    DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader. She’s not an expert in pedagogy or curriculum or school governance. In fact, she has no relevant credentials or experience for a job setting standards and guiding dollars for the nation’s public schools.

    She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.

    For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.

    DeVos is a believer, and a powerful influence wielder for the special interest she has championed. But that doesn’t make her the right pick to helm an entire arm of the federal government. Wealth should not buy a seat at the head of any policy-making table.

    That is true especially in public education — a trust between government and the people that seeks to provide opportunity for those who wouldn’t otherwise have it.

    The conflicts

    Supporters call Betsy DeVos an “advocate” who cares for children. And she may be that.

    But the policy expression of that concern has been one-sided, and as much about establishing an industry as it is about kids.

    The DeVoses have helped private interests commandeer public money that was intended to fulfill the state’s mandate to provide compulsory education. The family started the Great Lakes Education Project, whose political action committee does the most prolific and aggressive lobbying for charter schools.

    Betsy DeVos and other family members have given more than $2 million to the PAC since 2001. GLEP has spent that money essentially buying policy outcomes that have helped Michigan’s charter industry grow while shielding it from accountability.

    This summer, the DeVos family contributed $1.45 million over two months — an astounding average of $25,000 a day — to Michigan GOP lawmakers and the state party after the Republican-led Legislature derailed a bipartisan provision that would have provided more charter school oversight in Detroit.

    GLEP also pushed hard — and successfully — to lift the cap on charter schools a few years ago, even though Michigan already had among the highest number of charters in the nation despite statistics suggesting charters weren’t substantively outperforming traditional public schools.

    And In 2000, the DeVos extended family spent $5.6 million on an unsuccessful campaign to amend Michigan’s constitution to allow school vouchers — the only choice tool not currently in play in Michigan.

    Even if Betsy DeVos ceased her substantial contributions to pro-school choice lawmakers, or to GLEP’s PAC, what credibility would she have in a policy job that requires her to be an advocate for all schools? Would her family divest from the PAC if she were Secretary of Education? Rein in campaign spending? And even if it did, how could she credibly distance herself from her history as a lobbyist?

    Read more:
    http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/stephen-henderson/2016/12/03/betsy-devos-education-donald-trump/94728574/

  67. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    @ Meta,

    What do you know about Brightmoor?

    Most families have left. There are 3 abondoned houses for every house occupied by a family. Blightbusters (a charity) works full time trying to board up the abandoned houses to prevent them from being used as drug dens. They renovate as many as they can and demolish the rest. It’s not a neighborhood where kids can walk to school or stand on a corner to catch a bus. They are always looking for more volunteers.
    http://www.mcbbdetroit.com/

    Do you want to help? Wellspring has operated a non-profit Kumon Center there for years. Demand outpaces the resources. They are tripling their capacity. http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/WellspringExpandsX3.aspx

    They have an afterschool program that gives kids a place to go, monitors their homework, and provides food and recreation.
    http://www.brightmooralliance.org/learn/after-school-learning

    They need donations.

    It’s a neighborhood that needs help. You can sit behind a typewriter and complain that Betsy DeVos has ruined education or you can recognize the fact that it will take a large number of committed and involved adults to put forth a great deal of effort. The public schools can’t possibly help students who are so severely disadvantaged. It makes Ypsi seem like a utopia in comparison.

  68. Lynne
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    While I agree that it will take more than government intervention to help the more disadvantaged kids in our state, particularly in Brightmoore, it really doesn’t help to have greedy billionaires trying to profit off of them.

  69. Rat
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    How do you stop a machine like this?

    “DeVos Family Made $14 Million In Political Contributions In The Last 2 Years Alone”

    http://www.mcfn.org/node/6043/devos-family-made-14-million-in-political-contributions-in-the-last-2-years-alone

  70. Angelo Filigenzi
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Just remember an uneducated public (read ignorant) public is so easy to control Just look at who voted for Trump

  71. Rat
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    It’s like we’re dumping giant sacks of termites on the foundation of nation.

  72. Meta
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Jezebel: “The U.S. Department of Education Misspells W.E.B. Du Bois, Apologizes, Misspells Apology”

    http://theslot.jezebel.com/the-u-s-department-of-education-misspells-w-e-b-du-bo-1792275923

  73. XXX
    Posted February 18, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    It’s going to be harder to stop her now. She’s got US Marshals protecting her.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/betsy-devos-is-now-being-guarded-by-us-marshals/2017/02/17/7dc341f4-f54b-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html

  74. anonymous
    Posted February 28, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Read this:

    Insane Betsy DeVos Press Release Celebrates Jim Crow Education System as Pioneer of “School Choice”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/28/betsy_devos_press_release_praises_segregated_jim_crow_education_system.html

17 Trackbacks

  1. […] across the United States if given the opportunity. So, if you haven’t already, please read my last post about DeVos, share it with everyone you know, and ask them to call their Senators and demand that they vote […]

  2. […] not just Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow that’s decided to come out aggressively against Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, in advance of the Amway billionaire’s […]

  3. […] across the United States if given the opportunity. So, if you haven’t already, please read my last post about DeVos, share it with everyone you know, and ask them to call their Senators, especially if they happen to […]

  4. […] across the United States if given the opportunity. So, if you haven’t already, please read my last post about DeVos, share it with everyone you know, and ask them to call their Senators, especially if they happen to […]

  5. […] Here, in case anyone out there is unconvinced as to just how bad DeVos would be as Secretary of Education, is an excerpt from something that I posted just after Trump nominated her for the position. [Read the whole post here.] […]

  6. […] Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote, which he would almost certainly make in support of the anti-public education billionaire, who has, over the course of the past several years, donate hundreds of millions of dollars to […]

  7. […] [For more background on DeVos and why she’s the wrong person to lead the Department of Education, read this: “We should have stopped Betsy DeVos when we had the chance.”] […]

  8. […] Senate vote on Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme billionaire turned anti-public education crusader who’s attempting to buy her […]

  9. […] Senate vote on Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme billionaire turned anti-public education crusader who’s attempting to buy her […]

  10. […] Senate vote on Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme billionaire turned anti-public education crusader who’s attempting to buy her […]

  11. […] Charter school teachers have no contract and no union. In an at-will state, this means that they can be fired for almost any reason. Charter school teachers usually get paid poorly compared to public school teachers, so teachers often don’t have the financial security to be jobless for even a short time. As an example, I’ve never been paid so little as a teacher. I have years of experience and a master’s degree. Nonetheless, I was making less at Renaissance than I was my first year teaching, almost 20 years ago without experience or a master’s degree. These conditions directly cause a lack of academic freedom to teach. There are dire consequences for this. If teachers are afraid to advocate for student safety, or are fired for discussing oppression, what happens to our society? This experience, gives me even more reason to be concerned with the appointment of Betsy Devos. […]

  12. […] fact, they were just actively engaged in getting billionaire turned anti-public education activist Betsy DeVos named our new Secretary of […]

  13. […] recently, White House strategist Steve Bannon was a member, and our new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has close ties, it’s being taken seriously. [While it doesn’t appear that Betsy DeVos […]

  14. […] recently, White House strategist Steve Bannon was a member, and our new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has close ties, people seem to be taking it seriously. [While it doesn’t appear that Betsy […]

  15. […] I’ve said several times in the past on this site, we should have stopped DeVos when we had a chance. And, now, because we didn’t, the whole country is likely to suffer the same fate. As our […]

  16. […] January 23rd of this year, two weeks before billionaire turned anti-public education crusader Betsy DeVos was sworn in as Secretary of Education, Congressman Steve King of Iowa introduced HR 610, a bill […]

  17. […] January 23rd of this year, two weeks before billionaire turned anti-public education crusader Betsy DeVos was sworn in as Secretary of Education, Congressman Steve King of Iowa introduced HR 610, a bill […]

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