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Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education?

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I have tried to stay away from anything that smacks of politics on social media during this election cycle. There is just so much negativity I can let into my life. I followed the issues. I voted. Now we are presented with an appointment that might unite the left and the right because parents, teachers, students, and many others are concerned about the state of education–the overtesting, Common Core State Standards, evaluations based on testing, and ridiculous administrative mandates.

I have done some research on Betsy DeVos and there is much I could say. Today I just want to focus on two things. First, her words. In a video I watched she made two very telling statements about initiatives she supports:

“[they] will empower educational entrepreneurs.”

“entrepreneurial spirit will prevail even in the industry of education.”

I find it troubling that she wants to empower an entrepreneurial spirit to prevail in education.  Big business is trying to take over education for their own profit and to dumb down the 99% so we are not educated enough to stand up for our constitutional rights. We need to get big business out of education.  The accumulating of wealth and warming a seat in the classroom do not qualify one to make educational decisions.

Even more troubling is the use of “industry” and “education” in the same sentence.  Our schools should not be industries; we should not make a profit off of them or produce worker bees for the powerful in our society. We are nurturing growing minds and bodies, and we should be creating opportunities for independent thinking–not that of the right or the left, independent. The goal of our efforts should be citizens with a moral and ethical compass who can find satisfying ways of supporting themselves and their families.

Second, her actions. These “education advocates” like DeVos are big money, big business people, and you can be sure that they have their own bottom line in sight with every decision. DeVos says she does not support Common Core. Just take a look at Jeb Bush’s pet project that she has been involved in for so many years as a board member and “education advocate”: ExcelinEd common core “toolkit.”

I retired after 34 years of teaching in the midst of this kind of nonsense, and I saw and experienced first hand the devastating effects it has on learning, creativity, and morale of students and teachers. Why would we continue down this same path, sacrificing our children, to line the pockets of the 1%?

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3 Comments

  1. Joëlle says:

    I so agree with you when you say the words “business” and “education” should not be used in the same sentence. Educating children is not about making an immediate profit, it’s about investing (since money is involved) for the future, theirs as well as their country’s.
    Like you, I have just retired from teaching. I see you use a lot of your free time reading, thank you for sharing your finds. I read more now than I used to but not as much as you, a good chunk of my time being devoted to cooking, due to my husband’s issues with dairy, additives and preservatives and mine with gluten.
    Interesting blog, will keep an eye on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      Thank you. It is good to hook up with someone with a like mind. I understand about the dietary issues. I have a daughter with Chronic Lyme Disease. As she fights it, she has extraordinary restrictions on what she eats and has to eat “clean.” She also has a daughter who recently found that she has a gluten intolerance. I’ll be interested in the recipes you discover and/or develop in your search to help your husband. It is time consuming and frustrating since we do not really know what happens to our food before we buy it. Happy new year in 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joëlle says:

        To tell you the truth, the only reason I started a culinary blog is that four years ago I was quite at a loss, really didn’t know what to cook. I was focusing too much on what we couldn’t eat instead of what fresh ingredients were available to me. I started a “parallel blog” in English last year but it seems that people use Google translate to figure out the recipes on my French blog. If you need any further explanations, let me know!
        I wish you, your daughter and granddaughter a very happy and healthy new year. A change in diet as drastic as gluten exclusion can be a life saver, and, no, we really don’t know what happens to food when it is processed. When food shopping in the States I look for “free from” packages and keep my fingers crossed ^^.

        Liked by 1 person

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