Comments: Solidarity!

Perhaps you can explain to dagny why this is a good thing. I've failed up to now.

Posted by johngalt at February 7, 2017 2:43 PM

Alright, I and Nick Gillespie will try again:

I'm sure that most of the Senate Democrats opposing Betsy DeVos think they are opposing an inexperienced billionaire whose secret dream is to loot public school coffers for...what, exactly? Some sort of bizarre right-wing agenda, I suppose. DeVos' brother did start the company called Blackwater, so maybe her dedication to giving poor kids more options than they would otherwise have is really a way of helping her bro staff his mercenary forces?

Or maybe it's just a more simple misunderstanding, one rooted in special-interest politics. The Democrats are closely allied with teachers unions, who threatened by any and all changes to the educational status quo. So of course they oppose Betsy DeVos and they will use any club on the ground to beat down her chances. But to the extent that DeVos—and Trump, too, who has been outspoken on the need for more school choice—are in favor of giving more students and more parents more choices when it comes educating their kids, they are on the side of the angels. A recent poll found that 68 percent of Americans favor expanding school choice, including 55 percent of self-described Democrats, 75 percent among Latinos, 75 percent among millennials, and 72 percent among blacks. Contemporary politics may not allow partisans to admit that (or even see it), but for those of us who are neither pro-Trump across the board or always anti-Democratic Party, the conversation surrounding the DeVos nomination is everything that's wrong with Washington.

Posted by johngalt at February 7, 2017 3:07 PM

Reason has a good wrap up in Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary: Enjoy the Delicious Tears of Teachers Unions.

My first gloat is that -- for this first time since this supraconstitutional aberration was incarnated -- it will be headed by someone outside what Michelle Rhee calls "The Blob." The Blob is composed of public sector union members, education establishment, and the collectivist politicians who fund them and then rely on their financial and ground support.

The Blob is dedicated to self-preservation over the interests of kids. Highly successful voucher, scholarship, and charter programs have been shut down in Louisiana, DC, and Milwaukee by demand of The Blob. Each time, students who had finally found escape from horrible schools were left out.

Ms. DeVos rescued many children from Detroit's failing schools with her private fortune (hey, I bought a few bottles of Amway L.O.C in my hotrod days). Now she is in a position to keep the Dept. of Education out of the way as others are rescued.

Heritage offers tips for her first 100 days.

Posted by jk at February 7, 2017 4:12 PM

Let me try my pet theory out her. Our entire idea of education might need to be turned on its head. I'm (full disclosure) spouting back what sounded like a good idea from Diamandis' _Abundance_ (no rating yet; I'm barely 1/3 through it), that education in the world of Echo Dots and smart watches needs a new paradigm away from memorization and rote learning, towards personalized learning. The thrust should be to recognize innate talents, teach critical thinking and broadly encourage creativity.

This and Sir Ken Robinson's TED talks are the closest I've found to a primer:

That all being said, surely a bold millionaire with drive and (dare I say, desire?) to improve sclerotic systems and empower teachers and parents will be eons closer to this dream Diamandis has put in my head...

Posted by nanobrewer at February 7, 2017 11:52 PM
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