President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announces the choice of Common Core and charter school supporter Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education.
Anti-Common Core grassroots groups of parents and teachers urged Trump to abandon DeVos as his choice, citing her support for the education reform policies of pro-Common Core Jeb Bush and her influence through the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) in favor of Common Core.
Karen Braun who writes at Stop Common Core in Michigan noted:
GLEP is a strong supporter of the Common Core and its continued implementation in Michigan. They are part of the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards which opposes SB 826 to Repeal and Replace Common Core, science, social studies, and aligned assessments with pre-common core Massachusetts standards. Stop Common Core in Michigan believes there is a high correlation between candidates who accept the GLEP endorsement and their future votes on legislation.
GLEP claims NOT to have a litmus test on Common Core. This allows candidates to say they are against common core and still gain the endorsement of GLEP. But DeVos is a champion for “school choice” while at the same time continuing the implementation of common national standards. The DeVos definition of “school choice” is the freedom to choose which common core school will track your child from cradle-to-career (P20). All Michigan charters must use common national standards. That’s NOT true choice.
Like Bill Gates, Betsy DeVos has some money and has some things she’d like to see different. Like all good investors, DeVos likely expects a return on her investment. And if you don’t play the game under their rules and vote the way you want her to vote, you may find yourself challenged the next time you run for office.
DeVos, whose family founded Amway, was an at-large delegate for pro-Common Core Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich received a grade of “F” at The Pulse 2016 for his support of the controversial standards. The former presidential candidate referred to parent activists in his state fighting against the Core as a “runaway internet campaign.”
Trump likely chose DeVos because of her support for public/private partnership charter schools. While on the campaign trail, Trump said Common Core was a “disaster,” and criticized Jeb Bush for his support for the standards. Trump also said he would get Washington, D.C. out of education, and said he favored local control of education and the dismantling of the U.S. Department of Education.
Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, said in a statement prior to the announcement of DeVos’ nomination:
President-elect Trump rightly slammed Governor Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core on the campaign trail. Betsy DeVos would be a very Jeb-like pick, and the idea that Trump would appoint a Common Core apologist as Secretary of Education seems unlikely.
In a news release, the campaign says:
“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families. I am pleased to nominate Betsy as Secretary of the Department of Education.
I am honored to accept this responsibility to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” said Ms. DeVos. “The status quo in education is not acceptable. Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”