Many of you may know that the nominee for U.S. Secretary Betsy DeVos serves as a board member on Jeb Bush’s pro choice Foundation for Excellence in Education. Bush has written a letter in support of her nomination.
Bush argues that opposition to school choice is based on two false narratives. The League has no formal position on this appointment. So, you decide. Let your Senators know what you think.
- False narrative?: School choice is opposed to public schools. Bush says this is not true. Rather it is about giving parents choice for the best high quality learning environment for their children. Concern: There is no demonstrated difference in learning for corporate charters. Private schools are not required to meet the same standards as public schools.
- False narrative?: Choice weakens public schools. Again, Bush disagrees. He cites improvement in fourth grade NAEP reading scores for low income minority students. Yet, these are the children until last year, tax credit vouchers target. Could it be that the improvement is due to removing struggling students from public schools and retaining those who do not leave in third grade? Most states do not retain third graders, so if Florida does then its fourth graders will look better on NAEP than those in other states. The Bush A+ ‘miracle’ may be a mirage.
Vouchers are not legal in Michigan. Yet, she and her husband were the primary supporters of a failed Michigan ballot initiative in favor of vouchers. She also supports deregulated charter schools. Michigan has a higher percentage of for-profit corporate charters than does Florida.
For a reasonably balanced assessment of De Vos’ views on religion in schools, see the Washington Post article here. For an assessment of possible scenarios if De Vos becomes Secretary of Education, see the Valerie Strauss post here.