Here's how I could support Betsy DeVos...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betsy DeVos is a big proponent of school "choice".

 

I will support Ms. DeVos if she can can guarantee that every family has the opportunity to "choose" a school in their neighborhood or community that...

  • transports their child to and from school on well-maintained and safe buses driven by qualified, professional drivers
  • feeds hungry children a healthy breakfast and lunch
  • provides a full array of special needs services *and* opportunities for gifted students
  • doesn't use draconian and militaristic behavior management techniques that emphasize control over respect, and that doesn't expel students whose test scores may not help the school achieve "adequate yearly progress"
  • offers a rich, comprehensive curriculum that includes music, art, and physical education in addition to the other academic disciplines
  • has a faculty of qualified, certified career teachers, supported by high-quality professional development opportunities, and work under appropriate course loads, class sizes, and working conditions
  • is led by a certified administrative team that consists of persons with teaching degrees, and classroom teaching experience
  • is staffed by registered nurses, certified librarians, social workers, school psychologists, guidance and career counselors
  • is governed by an elected school board that is made up of members of the local community
  • takes all students, without regard for socio-economic status, academic ability, physical, mental, or behavioral disabilities

If Betsy DeVos can guarantee that privatizing schools, destroying unions, and replacing certified teachers and public schools with "value schools" with computer-delivered classes, virtual "teachers," and online degrees can accomplish all of these goals, then I'll be the first one to support her agenda.

 

But until that time, in Betsy's own words: “people like you must surely be stopped.'"

Write a comment

Comments: 15
  • #1

    Melba Hauck (Saturday, 26 November 2016 20:03)

    I totally agree with this! And, since she cannot or WILL not guarantee these things, then she should be disqualified from holding the position that she's been appointed to!

  • #2

    Fred Norris (Sunday, 27 November 2016 09:39)

    Since MSU instituted a smoking ban, have you been forced to give lectures off campus since you blow so much smoke?

  • #3

    Richard Christy (Saturday, 03 December 2016 01:44)

    Oh Mitch! Great to see you are back up to par! I thought the election results might make you, well, you know....Well, I have a few points I'd like to make, but I don't have a lot of time in which I can make them, so I will be brief (and somewhat incomplete. Sorry :) ). I mean, for example, why would an RN in their right mind take a job in the public schools when their skills would be better utilized in a hospital setting or a clinic working under an MD/DO or PA-C? Does pink eye and temperature taking really warrant an RN on staff? "Has a faculty of qualified, certified career teachers...." This statement is pretty interesting, since MSU's music ed faculty (or former) doesn't really fit the bill. Some professors in the music education department (present and recently past) spent few, if any, years teaching in the public schools to qualify them from teaching university students how to teach primary/secondary education. Lack of experience is, well, lack of experience. You've waxed poetic about "national standards" and the importance of a federal Department of Education (which, for all intents and purposes, is worse than useless, but I digress), but mention that schools should be "governed by an elected school board that is made up of members of the local community." Which one is it Mitch? Let's say, for example, that a local community saw fit to get rid of their music programs or favor one form of musical expression over another and elected a school board (made up of members of the aforementioned community) to do just that? What would your response be? Do members of the local community (or state) have the right to self-determination with regards to education or does the federal government have the right to take a hands-on approach? Ever hear of the 10th amendment? Which is it? I could choose to pick apart every point you make here, but there are, unfortunately, not enough hours in the day. Why waste more of my time? Your argument is all very beguiling, but it seems that it betrays one major facet of your philosophy: You dislike choice. You know what's best for us. Q.E.D.

  • #4

    Mitch (Saturday, 03 December 2016 08:14)

    Thanks for reading, and for your brief comment, Richard. Let me respond to your thoughtful points below...

    A nurse may want to work in a school for lots of reasons: predictable and reasonable hours, no shifts, he or she enjoys working with children, etc. There is also a lot more than pink eye that needs to be treated in school settings, but I'm sure you know this.

    All of our music ed faculty attended public schools, have music education degrees, and taught in public schools--I'm glad you value public school experience and background. Like me, I'm sure that makes you uncomfortable with Betsy DeVos' nomination.

    As I'm sure you know, the function of the federal DoE is very different than that of a local school board--so it is possible to be in favor of both. It's not really incompatible to be a fan of local support--I am--and understand that the DoE is important in terms of protecting civil rights and administrating special education provisions.

    Your school board example is confusing, because it combines the cutting of a program with emphasizing one approach over another. Obviously, no one should be in favor of eliminating a school music program. On the other hand, school music programs differ from state to state widely--there are Mariachi groups in the Southwest, steel drum bands in Florida, etc.

    Locally-elected school boards have the authority to implement and manage the education policies determined by their state--the DoE plays an important oversight role, making sure that the rights of special learners and minority students are protected.

    And you're right that I am not a proponent of school choice--because school choice has nothing to do with choosing anything. Parents already have the right in my state to send their children to the school of their choice. School choice proponents want me and the rest of the state's citizens to pay for that choice. That's not freedom--that's blackmail.

    I'm sorry you thought you wasted your time--feel free to comment any time.

  • #5

    Judith Pont (Monday, 16 January 2017 10:11)

    You say it so clearly, thank you

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