Betsy DeVos opened her mouth-hole this week and a load of crap fell out.
And somehow that's news!
Our federal Education Secretary said Wednesday, "I'm not sure how [U.S. public schools] could get a lot worse on a nationwide basis than they are today."
Let's add that to the list of things she's already admitted she's not sure of:
-Whether charter and voucher schools should be held to the same standards as traditional public schools.
-Whether guns belong on school campuses in reach of children.
-Whether the Department of Education should protect students with special needs.
-Whether the Individuals With Disabilities Act is a federal law (Spoiler Alert: It IS!).
-Oh! And what the heck's the difference between proficiency and growth?
This woman is an idiot. Worse - she's a rich idiot.
She only holds this office because she bought off the entire Republican Party and she still needed a historic tie breaking vote by the vice-president to get confirmed!
Why are we publishing a thing she says as anything other than standup comedy?
She knows nothing about public schools. She never went to them as a student. She never sent her own children to them. In fact, she only started visiting them in her official role as Secretary of Education!
Yet she has spent her entire life bribing policymakers to replace public schools with charter and voucher schools.
She is a saleswoman for privatization and she thinks public schools suck.
They say opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.
What makes DeVos' opinion worth anything more than yours or mine?
But since you asked, there is a heck of a lot that makes our opinion better than hers.
Ninety percent of Americans have actually attended public schools. Ninety percent send their own children to public schools. And though popular opinion of public schools nationwide has suffered after an endless barrage of corporate propaganda against them, most people have a very high view of their own neighborhood school.
So if the media wants to publish a valuable opinion about public schools, they should publish what almost anyone ELSE has to say other than Betsy DeVos.
What does a Flat Earther have to say about constructing a globe? WHO CARES?
What does a skeptic about the moon landing have to say about NASA? WHO GIVES A CRAP?
What does Betsy DeVos have to say about public schools?
NO ONE CARES.
But fine. I'll bite. Why does the billionaire heiress think our public schools stink?
She trots out the usual nonsense about international test scores:
"I mean, the fact that our PISA scores have continued to deteriorate as compared to the rest of the world and that we've seen stagnant at best results with the NAEP scores over the years. I'm not sure we can deteriorate a whole lot."
First of all, she's wrong about the facts.
PISA scores did not deteriorate. Like NAEP scores, they've remained pretty much the same for all the decades we've been making these comparisons.
Internationally, our test scores have always been in the middle of the pack. And that shouldn't be surprising.
We provide every child with an education. Many of the countries we're compared with internationally don't. That means we're going to have lower test scores. You're comparing ALL of our kids with only the best academic achievers in Asia, Scandinavia and other countries.
Add to that the overwhelming child poverty rate in the United States - something completely absent in most of these other nations we're being measured against. Obviously our poorer kids who get fewer resources than your richer kids won't do as well on standardized tests. You're not comparing apples-to-apples. And whenever you make the adjustment for poverty, our students score at the top of the scale!
I'm not saying we can't improve. There's plenty we could be doing such as providing more resources for our poor and minority students. But opportunists like DeVos have always tried to use this test score myth to justify destroying the public school system and giving it away to private interests.
Betsy, please just stop. The blatant ignorance coming out of your mouth hurts. It's embarrassing.
But perhaps there is a silver lining here. We're used to hearing these lies from more credible sources. Before becoming Education Secretary, Arne Duncan and John King had advanced degrees. They ran major metropolitan school systems. DeVos is just rich.
And having such an obvious fool repeat these same lies pulls back the curtain.
There is no longer any question about their veracity.
Good luck trying to fool people with this same snake oil anymore. Just by opening her mouth, DeVos has poisoned the entire corporate school reform narrative.