Will Bunch,  a journalist in Philadelphia, foresees disaster for his city’s public schools, which have been under siege by privatizers for a decade and are barely scraping by.




“Betsy DeVos, the right-wing billionaire school choice advocate tapped today by President-elect Donald Trump to run the U.S. Education Department, is definitely good at some things. Arguably, she’s displayed great skill in practicing the dark arts of big-money politics, using her family’s vast Amway forture to woo state legislatures through lobbying and obscure political-action committees and impose a vast empire of charter schools from Michigan to Louisiana.


“Her biggest failure, though, is a pretty huge one: Failing to do a damn thing to educate America’s children, especially in the nation’s poorest zip codes.


“Take a look at Detroit — Ground Zero for education reform in DeVos’ home state of Michigan, where the heiress has pumped millions into the political system to boost what advocates call “school choice.” The result is a broken urban school system where charter-school privateers have made big profits — aided by the failure of an charter oversight bill that the DeVos family spent $1.45 million to fight — and low student achievement has been locked in. Federal auditors discovered last year that an “unreasonably high” number of charters were among Michigan’s worst 5 percent of schools.
“Now. as Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, DeVos — with no governmental experience unless you count running the Michigan Republican Party — will be in a position to push her unregulated brand of the charter-school grift with the full force of the federal government. And public school advocates in Philadelphia are horrified.”


Read on.