Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why Betsy DeVos, if Confirmed will be "Arne Duncan on Steroids"

When Ronald Reagan ran for President, one of the key components of his platform was abolishing the US Department of Education. Yet three years after he was elected, my student Ariana Cipriani points out, his administration issued a report "A Nation at Risk" that called for increased federal control of education!
The same thing could easily happen in the next few years with Betsy DeVos appointment as Secretary of Education. The kind of policies she supports, and which have been implemented in Michigan- vouchers, school privatization, de-funding of public schools in favor charter schools- will be fiercely resisted in states like New York, Washington, and Massachusetts. The only way to get traction for such policies in those states is to use federal funds and mandates to force their implementation, something which will require INCREASING the power of the federal government in education policy.
In short, Betsy Devos appointment promises the exact OPPOSITE of the position Donald Trump took in his campaign, which was to reduce if not eliminate federal control of education policy.
What we are likely to see, if she is confirmed, is Arne Duncan on Steroids- an aggressive proponent of charters and market driven education reform willing to use the full power of the federal government to force compliance with her ideas on state governments and local school districts.


Wise Bassline said...

What? No calls for meetings and proposals at the Dept of Education...

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