In conjunction with their 4th annual conference in Oakland, California on October 14-15, the Network for Public Education is releasing a series of eight video “voices” defending public education in the United States. The initial video, “Why are Betsy DeVos and Bill Gates so Afraid of this Grandmother?” features Diane Ravitch, author, historian, teacher, and co-founder of NPE. In a 3-minute clip, Ravitch warns that Betsy DeVos’ agenda is a thinly veiled attempt to privatize schools and redefine citizens into consumers. Ravitch is especially concerned that charters, vouchers and so-called educational choice proposals will undermine American democracy.
In the video Ravitch calls DeVos “the first Secretary of Education in our history who is actively hostile to public education.” In Michigan, where DeVos was able to use her family’s wealth in campaigns to reshape the school system, “the charter sector is an unaccountable industry that costs the state of Michigan, that costs the taxpayers a billion dollars a year and performs worse than the public schools.” The charter schools have “high attrition rates, they keep out the kids who have disabilities that need extra care, they push out the kids who are English language learners they push out the kids who are behavior problems.”
To read the rest of Alan Singer’s piece in the Huffington Post, click here.