Tuesday, February 7, 2017

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For whom the bell tolls---

Today it tolled for public education with the confirmation of the most unqualified person yet to fill the Secretary of Education position.  A woman who could not intelligently discuss education during her confirmation hearing.  She couldn't discuss the difference between growth and proficiency.  She was unfamiliar with special education laws.  Make no mistake:  She was confirmed because she is a billionaire, and the only two republican senators with balls have no literal balls because they're women.  The rest of the republicans either voted party line and/or were bought off by her prior contributions to their campaigns.

I am angry.  I hope I am wrong, but I am penning this post now so if I am wrong, someone may come back and tell me.  Betsy DeVos loathes public education as much as my former pastor who spewed venom against it any chance he got.  She is in favor of vouchers for charter schools, religious schools, and maybe even home schools.  Home schools?  Really?  And, pray tell, what kind of accountability is in home school education?  I know some wonderful home school parents, but like anything else, there are some crummy ones, too.  The fact is that not everyone can teach--even parents.  

Betsy DeVos is from Michigan.  All one needs to do is look at the Detroit public school system to see what charter schools have done there:https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/for-detroits-children-more-school-choice-but-not-better-schools.html?_r=0

I have spent 28 years in Title One high poverty schools, devoting my career to teaching the most downtrodden students.  There are several charter schools in my town, and they are not diverse.  I call charter schools here "private schools with public dollars."  They get around enrolling truly special ed students by saying they don't have the money for those teachers, or they claim they have a lottery system.   I'm not fooled; they cherry pick who is allowed in.

I'm glad I am exiting the system before the inevitable happens.  Maybe someone can come back here in four years and tell me I was wrong...........but I won't hold my breath.