Law and Politics, New York

Detroiters Fear DeVos’s Education Policies

December 16, 2016

By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel 

Betsy DeVos

Detroit, MI – If you want to see what public education looks like under billionaire Betsy DeVos’s agenda, Detroit might be a good place to start. Nearly half of students there attend charter schools, and many suffer from the same problems that plague the city’s public schools: a lack of resources needed to educate students, high teacher turnover, and low test scores.

DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, and her husband, Dick, have long financed efforts to privatize education, such as vouchers and expanding the number of charter schools. “It doesn’t matter that charter schools aren’t giving any of the things they promised 22 years ago,” said Detroit Free Press editorial-page editor Stephen Henderson, a Detroit native whose two children, attended charters. “She… and her family funds any effort to block any changes or accountability or standards that would perhaps produce better results for us.” Henderson said Republican lawmakers told him that DeVos explicitly stated last summer that she wouldn’t give them anything if they voted for a bill that created a commission overseeing Detroit charter schools. After that provision was removed, DeVos contributed $1.45 million to GOP legislative candidates over the next two months. Read more

December 15, 2016

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