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Betsy DeVos’s Education Agenda Can Be Overturned. This City Shows How


Betsy DeVos’s Education Agenda Can Be Overturned. This City Shows How.

Helen Gym

Last month, with the help of a tie-breaker vote, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos squeaked through one of the most humiliating confirmations ever for a cabinet official. In the weeks leading up to the vote, millions of Americans deluged congressional phone lines with calls and faxes urging their elected representatives not to confirm DeVos. GOP leaders may have pushed through this disgraceful nomination, but they unleashed a tsunami of citizen activism that won’t let up when it comes to the fight for our public schools.


Excellent and inspiring piece Ms. Gym. My sister, recently relocated to Philly and of retirement age, has been volunteering in the Philly public school system.

It is important to keep in mind what Betsy DeVos wants. She is first and foremost a religious zealot and wishes to force Christian religious indoctrination through government intervention. If she and her acolytes can not force prayer and religious indoctrination into US public schools she will attempt to destroy those schools. As most of those of a fundamentalists bent are, she is not very bright in her rigid narrow-mindedness of religious conformity. This is what has been elevated to the status of director of a major department of the US government.


Yes, attempt to destroy, but what an impressive piece. Quite honestly, I do not know where these theocrats get all of their crazy agenda. DeVos is also anti semitic. ( You can imagine). She is also not qualified and has no experience in education, plus she is a billionaire with an inheritiance.


The theocrats' agenda is not "crazy", it is part of the plan to refine the well oiled machine turning the US into a theocracy that keeps a majority of voters indoctrinated to prevent competing ideologies from gaining ground, and assures that the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) never stops growing.

On top of Betsy Devious' inheritance she married into Amway, the most far reaching pyramid scheme the world has ever seen.


For educating the masses of American citizens in ways that are consistent with the highest ideals of our morality and democracy, a system of fully-public education is broadly superior to privatized or charterized schooling.

The failures of market-based approaches to defend our lives, freedoms, and pursuits of happiness are not only obvious these days in the destructive effects of market-based approaches to education, but also in the absolute failure of the GOP to come up with any viable market-based healthcare policy that affordably insures everyone.


If they want a theocracy they can go to Iran or so a bumper sticker states. Always great to read your posts. This is great about Philidelphia, and MA is prepared to do something similar. In fact expansion of charter schools was voted down resoundedly this past November. Still I agree with you about the plan of continued indoctrination especially towards those who have little to no critical thinking skills. And Amway, one the the biggest scams ever.


Plus charter school teachers make very little although I understand that in some states they are beginning to ( heaven forbid) become unionized. Right on to them!


Remember rethugs did not even want to have social security after the depression of the 1930s. They see each person as a dollar sign.


Eloquent and elegant, Ms. Gym. My day is past but to see the inspired dedication such as yours and your colleagues for the future of our beloved children is both inspiration and education in and of itself. And I have the delightful feeling I am far from alone in these sentiments.


You can bet that the business courses designed by Ms. DeVos' minions have conveniently axed the classes covering pyramid schemes, fraud, money laundering (my own take is that Amway is a huge money laundering facade - much like the big banks.) You can also bet that the kids will never hear the names Charles Ponzi, Enron, or Bernie Madoff. The really bright students might connect the dots back to her wealth. Bright, well informed kids? Bad for business.


Well, if we're going to be stuck with this charter school nonsense, I think it's time for a national movement to roll out charter schools built around a socially responsible, environmentally responsible curriculum -- in short, a democratic socialist framework. The objective should be to create a whole new generation of intellectually enlightened, empathic, scientifically-grounded, socially-oriented graduates who possess strong critical thinking skills and a willingness to challenge authority. They should be empowered to move our society forward through the use of sound problem-solving skills, while avoiding ideological platforms, such as are embraced by the conservative/Republican/Tea Party/NRA/evangelical/fascist elements of our society.

One of two things, or both, might result: 1) Such schools might bend the arc of our future or 2) The charter school crowd might shut themselves down to avoid having socialist charter schools come into being. It would be, to borrow a corporatist phrase, a "win-win" scenario!


Along those lines, there was talk among the teachers in my school (before I retired) that school prayer might not be such a bad thing. Imagine their surprise when I went along, enthusiastically saying, "Great idea! We could have the Lord's Prayer on Mondays, a Jewish prayer on Tuesdays, Naive American Prayer on Wednesdays, the Catholic version of the Lord's Prayer on Thursdays, and of course, Moslem prayer on Fridays!"

After that they either dropped that idea or they only discussed it when I was not around.


In a past life I was a 'born-again christian' and the big thing among the young mothers was having an Amway membership so they could be home with their kids and still make money -- the problem for most of them was that they were so far down on the totem pole that they made absolutely no money.


When my mentally disabled son was 5 years old the fundamentalist church that we attended decided it would be good to have a choir made up of 4/5/6-year-olds so I put Jon in it, and the first time they went up in front of the congregation to sing some idiot[s] decided that having a disabled child in that choir was just too repulsive to bear, so the ministers came to me and said he could practice with them, but couldn't sing in front of the congregation until 'he got better at singing." I went along with it until one morning I came up to the sanctuary late to find a teenage girl holding him back while he sobbed so he couldn't join the rest of his peers. I went home and wrote a letter, including bible verses, and showed it to my husband -- he said to put cc:atty at the end of the letter ... I made sure all 3 ministers got a copy of that letter the next Wednesday night. After that Jon was allowed to sing in front of the congregation one more time, and then they disbanded the choir! It was harder on the a$$holes to lose than to do the 'christian' thing! So yeah, I think it is imperative that we institute a socialist curriculum in all these charter schools as soon as feasible as that should seriously serve to shut them all down within hours! :smiling_imp::imp: