The co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core says conservative icon and Donald Trump supporter Phyllis Schlafly would be troubled to learn Trump’s reported short list of education secretary candidates consists of many Common Core and Jeb Bush supporters.
“Her longest-running signature issue was education,” writes Indiana parent activist Heather Crossin about Schlafly, pointing out that “long before Common Core and No Child Left Behind existed, Phyllis and her warriors were fighting their predecessors – Outcome Based Education, Goals 2000, School to Work, the Careers bill and more.”
Like many grassroots constitutionalists who have been battling for years now against the creep of federal intrusion in education, Crossin says she is “alarmed” to find that – other than Trump transition team member Bill Evers and Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn – most others considered to be possible education secretary candidates are Common Core supporters and/or supporters of Jeb Bush, who essentially built an education empire around promotion of charter schools and school vouchers.
Vouchers – the transfer of taxpayer funds to private and other schools – have been shown to be the method of school choice that is associated with the highest level of regulation for private and other schools that might accept them.
Trump’s reported short list for education secretary has included Michelle Rhee, Betsy DeVos, Tony Bennett, Kevin Chavous, and Eva Moskowitz – all with “views on education that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to Schlafly’s,” writes Crossin.
These people not only support Common Core, they fail to understand the importance of draining the education swamp. In fact, most are products of and live within the swamp that permeates the $600 billion K-12 education industry. They represent Jeb Bush’s Common Core machine that Donald Trump ran against.
Crossin knows well the controversy over school vouchers as the means to bring about school choice. In January of 2015, dozens of constitutionalist groups in Indiana came together to sign onto a “Platform for Educational Empowerment” that addressed the overbearing regulations that were being placed on voucher-accepting schools in the state. The current Vice President-elect and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is a fierce supporter of school choice, but the coalition noted the use primarily of vouchers brought on significant regulation of private and charter schools.
According to the coalition’s platform, while Indiana had the largest school voucher program in the country, the Center for Education Reform found the Hoosier State was “ranked as the second-worst state in the country at ‘infringing on private school autonomy’ due to our voucher program’s many suffocating and unnecessary regulations.”
“Particularly egregious is the requirement that voucher-accepting schools administer the new assessment aligned to Indiana’s rebranded/Common Core-aligned standards,” said the coalition.
Pence allowed a “rebrand” of Common Core in Indiana, drawing the ire of grassroots parent groups.
Crossin addresses Trump directly about Schlafly, whose final book before her passing was The Conservative Case for Donald Trump.
“While [Phyllis] will not be making the trek to Trump Tower to meet with you or be given a prominent role in your administration, there remains one way for you to show your gratitude and give honor to her legacy,” she writes. “Appoint a Secretary of Education that would make her proud. She, who was God’s gift to the nation, gave your presidency to us as her final gift. Don’t let her down. Don’t let us down.”
Ohio parent activist Heidi Huber, who was also on the front lines fighting Common Core and federal overreach, tells Breitbart News it’s not difficult to be misled by the rhetoric of the so-called advocates for school choice.
“As a recovering school choice activist, I understand the misconception that President-elect Trump is operating under,” Huber explains. “The problem is these so called ‘choice advocates’ are frauds. They are Common Core/FedEd cheerleaders offering the same junk education at a different location.”
Huber continues, observing that corruption in public education can come from both teachers’ unions on one end and the public/private charter-promoting organizations on the other end:
One’s choice is which set of cronies you’ll encounter: the corrupt public cabal or the corrupt private foundation cabal. This education uniparty sits around the same table masterminding the next top down education reform to meet their own political agendas. Public/Private partnerships sound great in theory, but operate like the Clinton Foundation in practice. These self-described philanthropists, such as Betsy DeVos and Bill Gates, purchase access and public policy at the expense of children and taxpayers.
“President-elect Trump must appoint a Secretary of Education with a proven track record of supporting parents and fighting Common Core if he is to keep his promise of returning local control over education,” Huber concludes. “His choice will determine whether we restore our Republic or graduate generations of socialists.”