'It Is Over': Congress Certifies Donald Trump's Victory

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion & War Issues' started by Guy Fawkes, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. bigvalboy

    bigvalboy Regent

    +1 sync

    A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Lookin likes this.
  2. Nvr2Thick

    Nvr2Thick Count

    So, when you mock your adversaries' sources are you for or against free speech? Such absurd exaggeration.

    If these two women were Martin Lawrence in a fat suit they'd be identified as the parody that they are. They do have one thing in common with you; a penchant for changing the subject in mid-discussion. A half-assed attempt to compare Sessions' dubious past with US trade agreements is kind of like trying to compare my ridicule of this pop culture nightmare of two sassy clichéd social media characters with the state racial inequality in America.

    If my comments on this forum can be characterized as writing the scripts and demanding final approval then most certainly yours can too.

    Thank you for once again showing the clown face of uncompromising partisan extremism.

    BOZO T CLOWN Count

    It speaks volumes about you that you believe there is a moral equivalence between referring to the NY Times, Huffington Post, WaPo, etc. as liberal, Trump-bashing media and you referring to two Black females as "Uncle Toms". Truly pathetic!
    Bozo doesn't engage with racists and bigots like yourself. Never did. Never will. This conversation has concluded.

    America Will Be Great Again
    12 days to go

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  4. bigjoey

    bigjoey Duke

    Yes, money can be "made from government" as Bill and Hillary Clinton proved as they went from "flat broke" to multi-millionaires. However, some rich people like Michael Bloomberg go into public office because they have a sense of responsibility to help the public and not for personal gain. Time will tell but I can not believe Betsy DeVos who is worth billions and donates millions to charity is going into office to advance her personal wealth. My view is that Betsy DeVos wants to help education where the public school systems have failed; we will have to see.
  5. Charlie

    Charlie Peer

    I'm sure Betsy DeVos believes that she knows the best way to help public education. I don't happen to agree with her way.
    WilliamM likes this.
  6. bigjoey

    bigjoey Duke

    Interesting article where the writer admits he sends his own children to charter schools rather than the public. The article admits that in Detroit, the charter schools have a higher graduation rate and test score rate than the public schools. The writer gives out misleading statistics but nationally, for inner-city schools, charters perform better. The writer attacks the salary of a charter school employee but gives no comparison to see how that relates to a public official who heads a failing school system.

    From Stanford University:
    http://credo.stanford.edu/documents/NCSS 2013 Final Draft.pdf

    Charters are not "the answer" but only part of the solution. First, not all charters are "for profit" but actually public schools. In most states, if a charter does not perform well after a certain number of years, it loses its charter and closes down; I am in favor of this: show good results or close; meanwhile bad public schools like those in Detroit seem to go on forever like a vampire that can not be killed.

    I am in favor of giving children a quality education and if that means that charter schools and vouchers help accomplish that, then so be it. The big city, union controlled schools see to be beyond reform; just look at Chicago where a Democratic mayor had to retreat from simple school reforms due to the power of the union more interested in the betterment of its members than the education of children. Finally, Betsy DeVos just might be able to bring reform to the poor, inner-cities with better education alternatives for the trapped children there.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Epigonos likes this.
  7. Nvr2Thick

    Nvr2Thick Count

    Don't flatter yourself. You don't participate in conversations. You sling tired extremist tropes and scurry away when the hypocrisy shows through. I can see why you like using these two black women to further your closed-minded, obsessive cause. They create intentional caricatures of sassy black divas, and you love to troll them around as bait for "identity politics" accusations. How dare I identify Sheneneh as black.

    The Uncle Tom characterization fits. These girls are creating a sad race parody to milk their fifteen minutes, and some guy in white clown face relishes exploiting them.
  8. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Completely agree. Do the two women know that the Senate voted against Sen. Sessions for a lower-level position before he was in Congress?

    More important, I am really sorry I did not welcome you back to the forum from your relatively brief absence. I apologize. It is truly wonderful to have you back.:):):)
    pitman, Nvr2Thick and bigvalboy like this.
  9. bigvalboy

    bigvalboy Regent


    • [​IMG]

    "Finally, Betsy DeVos just might be able to bring reform to the poor, inner-cities with better education alternatives for the trapped children there."


    Well she hasn't yet, and it's been decades. She will be heading a department that she has systematically been trying to dismantle.

    Betty DeVos...bad for education and bad for the country.

    In Detroit, parents of school-age children have plenty of choices, thanks to the nation's largest urban network of charter schools.

    What remains in short supply is quality.

    In Brightmoor, the only high school left is Detroit Community Schools, a charter boasting more than a decade of abysmal test scores and, until recently, a superintendent who earned $130,000 a year despite a dearth of educational experience or credentials.

    On the west side, another charter school, Hope Academy, has been serving the community around Grand River and Livernois for 20 years. Its test scores have been among the lowest in the state throughout those two decades; in 2013 the school ranked in the first percentile, the absolute bottom for academic performance. Two years later, its charter was renewed.

    inRead invented by Teads
    Or if you live downtown, you could try Woodward Academy, a charter that has limped along near the bottom of school achievement since 1998, while its operator has been allowed to expand into other communities.

    For students enrolled in schools of choice — that is, schools in nearby districts who have opened their doors to children who live outside district boundaries — it's not much better. Kids who depend on Detroit's problematic public transit are too far away from the state's top-performing school districts — and most of those districts don't participate in the schools of choice program, anyway.

    This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and "choice" means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.

    And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to the cause of school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.

    President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of controversial cabinet nominations already. But none seems more inappropriate, or more contrary to reason, than his choice of DeVos to lead the Department of Education.

    DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader. She’s not an expert in pedagogy or curriculum or school governance. In fact, she has no relevant credentials or experience for a job setting standards and guiding dollars for the nation’s public schools.

    ►Sept. 2016: DeVos family showers GOP with contributions after DPS vote
    June 2014: DeVos funded, pro-charter lobbying group shows its clout

    She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.

    For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.

    DeVos is a believer, and a powerful influence wielder for the special interest she has championed. But that doesn't make her the right pick to helm an entire arm of the federal government. Wealth should not buy a seat at the head of any policy-making table.

    That is true especially in public education — a trust between government and the people that seeks to provide opportunity for those who wouldn’t otherwise have it.

    The conflicts
    Supporters call Betsy DeVos an "advocate" who cares for children. And she may be that.

    But the policy expression of that concern has been one-sided, and as much about establishing an industry as it is about kids.

    The DeVoses have helped private interests commandeer public money that was intended to fulfill the state's mandate to provide compulsory education. The family started the Great Lakes Education Project, whose political action committee does the most prolific and aggressive lobbying for charter schools.

    Betsy DeVos and other family members have given more than $2 million to the PAC since 2001. GLEP has spent that money essentially buying policy outcomes that have helped Michigan's charter industry grow while shielding it from accountability.

    This summer, the DeVos family contributed $1.45 million over two months — an astounding average of $25,000 a day — to Michigan GOP lawmakers and the state party after the Republican-led Legislature derailed a bipartisan provision that would have provided more charter school oversight in Detroit.

    GLEP also pushed hard — and successfully — to lift the cap on charter schools a few years ago, even though Michigan already had among the highest number of charters in the nation despite statistics suggesting charters weren't substantively outperforming traditional public schools.

    And in 2000, the DeVos extended family spent $5.6 million on an unsuccessful campaign to amend Michigan's constitution to allow school vouchers — the only choice tool not currently in play in Michigan.

    Even if Betsy DeVos ceased her substantial contributions to pro-school choice lawmakers, or to GLEP’s PAC, what credibility would she have in a policy job that requires her to be an advocate for all schools? Would her family divest from the PAC if she were Secretary of Education? Rein in campaign spending? And even if it did, how could she credibly distance herself from her history as a lobbyist?

    About those outcomes
    Beyond the conflicts, there are also deep questions about Betsy DeVos' substantive understanding of education policy.

    As a private citizen, she’s free to hold any belief she wants, and to promote her beliefs however she likes, regardless of how it comports with fact or outcome. But as Secretary of Education, DeVos would be expected to help set standards, guide accountability and oversee research in a way that benefits children, through outcomes, not one particular interest or industry. And more important, the U.S. Secretary of Education must understand the value of both high-performing charters and traditional public schools.

    She has no track record of working along those lines, and no experience that suggests she’s even interested in it.

    Largely as a result of the DeVos’ lobbying, Michigan tolerates more low-performing charter schools than just about any other state. And it lacks any effective mechanism for shutting down, or even improving, failing charters.

    Betsy DeVos is the selection for Secretary of Education by President-elect Donald Trump (Photo: AP)

    We're a laughingstock in national education circles, and a pariah among reputable charter school operators, who have not opened schools in Detroit because of the wild West nature of the educational landscape here.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  10. bigvalboy

    bigvalboy Regent

    In Michigan, just about anyone can open a charter school if they can raise the money. That's not so in most other states, where proven track records are required.

    In other states, poor performers are subject to improvement efforts, or sometimes closed. By contrast, once a school opens in Michigan, it's free to operate for as long as it wants, and is seldom held accountable by state officials for its performance. Authorizers, often universities, oversee operation according to whatever loose standards they choose.

    And in Michigan, you can operate a charter for profit, so even schools that fail academically are worth keeping open because they can make money. Michigan leads the nation in the number of schools operated for profit, while other states have moved to curb the expansion of for-profit charters, or banned them outright.

    The illusion of choice
    The results of this free-for-all have been tragic for Michigan children, and especially for those in Detroit, where 79% of the state's charters are located.

    A yearlong Free Press investigation found that 20 years after Michigan's charter school experiment began, Detroit's charter schools have shown themselves to be only incrementally stronger, on average, than traditional public schools. They have admirable graduation rates, but test scores that look nearly identical to those of public schools.

    The most accurate assessment is that charter schools have simply created a second, privately managed failing system. Yes, there are high-performing outliers — a little more than 10% of the charter schools perform in the top tier. But in Detroit, the best schools are as likely to be traditional public schools.

    DeVos and her family have not been daunted by these outcomes. It's as if the reams of data showing just incremental progress or abysmal failure don't matter. Their belief in charter schools is unshakable, their resistance to systematic reforms that would improve both public and charter schools unyielding.

    They have also pushed hard on schools of choice, where districts open their borders to kids from other jurisdictions.

    In concept, it could be a great equalizer: Children from poor districts could attend schools that have many more resources. But in practice, it has played out quite differently. In districts that participate in choice, white and more affluent parents have fled as poorer, minority kids have come into their schools, exacerbating de facto segregation, according to a report by Bridge Magazine.

    Outcomes first
    This newspaper has been, and will continue to be, an advocate for successful charter schools, and for educational choice as one way — but certainly not the only way — to improve this state’s school landscape.

    But it's impossible to imagine such improvement will be aided by an education secretary who is so willfully impervious to the relevant data. Instead, Betsy DeVos' lodestar has been her conviction that any nontraditional public school is better than a traditional one, simply because it's not operated by government.

    Charter school advocates like DeVos reject any criticism of charters as a defense of the status quo. But that's a gross and partisan distortion, especially for people like me.

    I've made the most personal endorsement possible by sending my two children to charter schools in Baltimore and here in Detroit. In both cases, we've chosen high-quality charters; in Detroit, the best choices were far scarcer than in Baltimore. And to get into the high-performing school we chose in Detroit required an extraordinary effort. I have the income, the transportation and access to be sure my kids get the best opportunity available.

    Most Detroit parents don't enjoy those same advantages, and they are stuck choosing from among a sea of mediocrity or worse.

    What Detroit needs are better, high-quality choices — public, charter, whatever.

    But DeVos and her family have stood in the way of improving what we have. They've stood for the charter industry and its middling results, over our kids.

    I'm certain she'll try to make the nation's charter landscape look more like the chaos we face here in Detroit, and less like it does in states like Tennessee or Massachusetts or Maryland — all much better performers who have tighter reins on charter creation and proliferation.

    Her lobbying hasn't been good for Detroit, or Michigan.

    It won't be good for the nation.
    WilliamM, sync, honcho and 1 other person like this.
  11. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Classes start on Wednesday at the University of Pennsylvania where the Trump kids attend (attended) college. DeVos may not even finished as the worst Trump nominee in a student newspaper poll because a few nominees are worse. Gen. Michael Flynn would finish last if he had to be confirmed.
    bigvalboy likes this.

    BOZO T CLOWN Count

    Liberals need the Government schools to stay the same as they have been, by indoctrinating our youth and teaching them the sewage Socialism that the left believes in. School choice and Charter schools don't do that so the Libs hate them. The left historically has been willing to sell poor Black kids down the river. Just look at the state of urban American schools.

    The only way to improve education, especially in the urban centers, is to A) deconstruct the Department of Education B) Give block grants to states to manage themselves with the control on what curricula is taught decided by local school boards C) Utterly destroy the teacher's unions so that mediocre and outright incompetent teachers can be fired and good teachers rewarded on results. D) Return to Classic Education which once made us the envy of the world and NO FUNDING for any course that does not teach a marketable skill. Yes, this would include things like Lesbian literature studies or any kind of ethnic studies. If people want to take such courses they pay for them without federal or state taxpayer funds.

    America Will Be Great Again
    12 days to go

    RockyMount likes this.
  13. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    "Hey Diamond"
    "Waz up Silk ?"
    "You Ready for the Inaguration Gurl" ?
    "Sure is, Do ya like the outfit and Wig Donny sent me"
    "Luvs it gurl, its da bomb. You like mine" ?
    "Fo shizzle boo. Donny sure do got class"
    "And he's always sooo thoughful. He said he wanted us to be comfortable and FIT IN".

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  14. pitman

    pitman Viscount

    Other than voting for them
  15. pitman

    pitman Viscount

    I second WilliamM's comment. Welcome back Nvr2Thick. No one slices through the bs of the Trump cultists better than you.
    Lookin, bigvalboy and WilliamM like this.
  16. bigjoey

    bigjoey Duke

    The problem is reforms are needed in the public schools and have been after decades of failure. The Democrats who have been in charge of these schools and the Department of Education have done little in the way of needed reforms but instead have acted as an arm of the teacher unions rather than as an advocate for the children. Just look at Mayor Emanuel of Chicago who suggested modest reform to improve education like rewarding the better teachers with bonuses or letting the principals of a school pick his/her teachers rather than accept teachers based on seniority; the union went on strike rather than accept the mayor's modest proposals.

    Sorry, after decades of failure, the Department of Education and local inner-city schools need some shaking-up. We can not continue to allow more generations of children to be subject to sub-standard education that dooms them for life. Education is one of the keys for moving out of poverty. What the large, inner-city schools have been doing has not worked; time for change.
  17. BSR

    BSR Viscount

    To set the record straight about Senator Sessions, every liberal's favorite murderer Ted Kennedy orchestrated a smear campaign against Sessions to deny him the position. I very much look forward to Senator Session's confirmation hearings so that he has a chance to set the record straight and to bury the murder Ted Kennedy's slander campaign once and for all.
    RockyMount and BOZO T CLOWN like this.
  18. bigvalboy

    bigvalboy Regent

    You didn't read the article. Betsy has been at this for decades with dismal results. Despite statistics showing her failures, she has been steadfast in her beliefs, all the while, because of her wealth and influence, siphoning off much needed funds for poorer school districts for an ideology that is clearly not working. My mother taught for 30 years. I didn't have her resolve, and I lasted 2 years. I agree, for the most part our educational system is broken, has been for a long time, but Betsy De voe is not the answer. You don't put someone in charge of something that they have been systematically trying to destroy. That's like putting the ex EOY in charge of the message forum.

    Like Mr. Rick 'oops' Perry who couldn't even remember the name of the department he's being put in charge of and is suing that very department.

    No...now is the time to "Stand up an watch" what really is going on. Stop reading his tweets, they are a diversion to what his administration is up to. I don't care about his little petty Schwarzenegger tweet war, that's good for a quick laugh. Behind the scenes is disaster ready to happen.

    Now somebody go wake up Mr. Clown and tell him I'm on the way to Le Boy to shove my hand down the pants of those cute little 'illegal' dancer boys. I'll send his regards...:D
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  19. bigjoey

    bigjoey Duke

    I did read the article and commented on it above; it does not say what you think it does on close examination.

    On examination it says:
    Even in Michigan the charter schools are "incrementally stronger, on average, than traditional schools." "Incrementally stronger" means not equal or worse but somewhat better despite all the negative things written. Yes, the Michigan laws need to be tougher than they are. As I said, charter schools that do not perform need to be closed. There needs to be oversight like in the states cited. All charter school laws can not be dismissed like the weak ones in Michigan and the writer praises the charter laws in other states and as I noted even sends his own kids to charters and not the public schools.

    Yes, Betsy DeVos is overly defensive about criticism just like the unions and Democrats are overly defensive over criticism of public schools. I do agree with the writer that what is needed is better schools "public, charter, whatever." The Democrats have been fighting a "war" against ALL charter schools (public as well as "for profit"). The Unions have been holding back needed reforms in public schools like I cited in Chicago. What I hope is that with Betsy DeVos the government will give charter schools a chance and end the opposition to them; that Congress will craft laws that encourage good charter schools like the writer likes in states like Tennessee, Massachusetts and Maryland; Congress writes the laws not Ms DeVos and it is up to them to write good law. The charter schools need to be held accountable and their dealings transparent.

    At least with Betsy DeVos, charter schools will have a supporter at the Department of Education. Hillary Clinton had a record of 20 years for supporting charter schools UNTIL this election when the teacher unions were the first unions to endorse her and shovel $20 million to her campaign and she suddenly flipped her position to being anti-charter; I prefer the "old" Hillary who knew that charters offered a good alternative to failed public schools.

    Did you read the link to the Stanford University report that across the nation, when it comes to inner-city, poor, mostly minority children the charters do a much better job of education? What do you think of that report?
  20. pubic_assistance

    pubic_assistance Viscount

    Obozo has been having a constant temper tantrum for weeks, trying to screw up as much as he possibly can, so the idiot Dems have something to blame on Trump, right out of the gate.
    BOZO T CLOWN likes this.