This is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning.
She founded, funds and serves on the board of the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), an organization dedicated to the implementation and maintenance of Common Core. But somehow that doesn’t mean she’s for the standards.
Rarely has an education policy been such a political hot potato as Common Core. Typically Republicans hate it and Democrats love it. However, little of this has to with its actual merits – or lack thereof.
As a Republican, DeVos must do everything she can to distance herself from this policy.
It’s just that her history of advocating for it gets in the way.
She even acknowledges it.
When she was nominated by Trump, one of the first things she did was publish a statement on her Website explaining how very much she hates Common Core – despite appearances to the contrary. “Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position,” she says on her Website.
And it makes perfect sense. How many times have you, yourself, given millions of dollars to a cause that you don’t support? Who hasn’t founded an organization called “I Love Apples” because of your deep hatred for the fruits?
It’s kind of like Colonel Sanders admitting that he doesn’t actually approve of people eating fried chicken. Or maybe Milton Hershey supporting a ban on chocolate.
“It’s time to make education great again in this country…” she told the crowd. “This means letting states set their own high standards and finally putting an end to the federalized Common Core.”
Ah! So it’s not Common Core, per se, that she’s against. She’s against FEDERALIZEDCommon Core.
Shoddy academic standards designed by non-educators are just fine so long as they don’t come from the federal government? Academic standards that are developmentally inappropriate are okay if Big Brother didn’t force you to adopt them?
DeVos doesn’t want a world without Common Core. She wants one where the Core isn’t tainted with federalism. If the states somehow magically decided all by themselves that these exact standards were just peachy, that would be fine with her. It’s just that we can’t let the Feds tell us what to do.
In my book, that’s still being in favor of Common Core.
Moreover, it’s terribly disingenuous because not so long ago, DeVos’ organization, GLEP, was trying to convince people that Common Core actually wasn’t federal at all. In fact, that’s why the organization favors it.
“Implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) This is a state-driven effort to create a strong and consistent framework which will make our students internationally competitive. 45 states (including Michigan) have adopted the CCSS.”
Which begs the question – if Common Core isn’t federal, what does DeVos think is wrong with it?
This is the kind of wordplay you expect from Democratic apologists. You hear the similar things from Gates, David Coleman or even Hillary Clinton. It’s political rebranding: We don’t support Common Core so much. We support “high academic standards” that will ensure kids are “college and career ready.”
It’s all just double speak and spin.
In reality, establishment Democrats AND Republicans support Common Core. It’s just regular folks like you and me who hate it.
If that’s not being in favor of Common Core, I don’t know what is.
From my point of view, the rest of her educational ideas are little better. She supports school vouchers and increasing charter schools.
These are terrible ideas for reasons I have enumerated here and here. But even if you’re in favor of them, imagine what a pro-Common Core Education Secretary could do with a national school choice program.
Certainly she’ll call it something else, but it will be almost the same academic standards, freely chosen, because if you don’t, you won’t get any of this delicious tax money. Don’t forget, this is similar to why we have Common Core in the public schools – we were bribed.
That’s what the Department of Education has done for the last few decades. It tries to encourage education policy at the state level by offering tax money if you do its bidding.
Common Core is big business. It has generated obscene profits for the testing and publishing industry. Likewise, school privatization is a great way to get rich – reducing regulations and offering free tax money to any private or charter school operator! It’s manna from heaven for every flim-flam man and con artist from here to Syria.