Home > Uncategorized > Diane Ravitch’s Criticism of Betsy DeVos Wrongheaded Ideology Overlooks a Practical Reality

Diane Ravitch’s Criticism of Betsy DeVos Wrongheaded Ideology Overlooks a Practical Reality

February 7, 2018

Yesterday Diane Ravitch wrote a post criticizing “Backpack”, a pilot new funding mechanism being launched by USDOE Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Ms. Ravitch described “Backpack” using a quote from Education Week as follows:

“DeVos and her team have been especially interested in the pilot, pretty much from the time they took office. That could be because, in theory, adopting a weighted student funding formula could make it easier for districts to operate school choice programs, since money would be tied to individual students and could therefore follow them to charter or virtual public schools. Importantly, though, districts that opt to participate in the pilot don’t necessarily have to use it to further school choice.”

While I concur with Ms. Ravitch’s insights roughly 95% of the time, occasionally she overlooks the fact that NEITHER political party has advocated for traditional public schools…. which led me to leave this comment:

Lest we forget, Mr. Duncan foisted VAM on the entire nation when he put RTTT together!

I’m not sure that either political party cares much about children. Instead they seek to replace locally elected school boards with for profit charter schools, to prove that “failing schools” can be fixed if you get rid of “bad teachers”, and to avoid any interventions that require additional funds… because “everyone knows” that throwing money at the problems in public education will not fix anything.

Had Hillary Clinton won the election in 2016 we wouldn’t have the blatant libertarianism of Betsy DeVos and her friends the Koch brothers… but I’m not at all certain we would be witnessing a renaissance in progressive learning or the abandonment of the use of standardized tests to measure success.

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