Expanding charter schools is the passion of Betsy DeVos.

Lest we forget, it was also the passion of the Obama administration, which spent eight years promoting the wonders of charter schools.

In the last months of the Obama Administration, with John King as Secretary of Education, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $100 million to California and to KIPP to open more charter schools. 

“KIPP Public Charter Schools and the California Department of Education have received federal grants together worth nearly $100 million to expand and start more public charter schools.

“The California Department of Education won $49.9 million to run a grant competition for charter school operators, to support nearly 500 new and expanded public charter schools.

“A consortium of the KIPP Foundation and the KIPP California Region won nearly $48.8 million over three years.

“Among schools benefiting from the award are four growing KIPP Bay Area schools: KIPP Heritage Academy and KIPP Prize Preparatory Academy in San Jose, KIPP Excelencia Community Prep in Redwood City and KIPP Bridge Academy in Oakland. Each of the schools may receive up to $500,000 over the three-year grant period for expansion.”

All that money to expand a charter chain that was first introduced to a national audience in performance at the Republican convention of 2000, when George W. Bush was nominated for the Presidency. 

Betsy DeVos will enjoy the results, but hold Secretaries Arne Duncan and John King and President Obama accountable. John King is now president of Education Trust, which supports high-stakes testing as the path to equity (which it never has been and never will be since all standardized tests mirror family income). Arne Duncan works for Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective.