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The Demolition of American Education

The Demolition of American Education

Diane Ravitch

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos’s proposed budget for the US Department of Education is a boon for privatization and a disaster for public schools and low-income college students. They want to cut federal spending on education by 13.6 percent. Some programs would be eliminated completely; others would face deep reductions. They want to cut $10.6 billion from existing programs and divert $1.4 billion to charter schools and to vouchers for private and religious schools.

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“(DeVos’s) only idea is Choice. But we already know how That will turn out.”

So does DeVos, and that’s her Goal.


Now, is the time for parents and guardians of any school age children to stand up for what is best for their children and reject privatization as sub-standard education for all.

Like the famous Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say No.”

Or, “Hell No.”


The picture of Trump and Devos should demonstrate to all the shortcoming of a privatized education !

It is time to remind the elites about the Jubilee Rule: “Nothing can be privatized for forever”. Eventually all that is properly a part of the Commons must be returned to the people when that is what the people chose. We will take back our governing structures, our infrastructure, our schools, our media, our police and military. It is time to educate ourselves that we can do this.

When we take back our governing structures, those structures that have for many decades protected and given legitimacy to the property rights by which the Rentiers and Privatizers lay their claim to “perpetual ownership” of so many pieces of the Commons, we can modify the property rights so as to protect our interests and with equal legitimacy take the pieces of the Commons back. The grandchildren are not obligated to respect and honor the swindles that were done to their parents and grandparents.


Live in Michigan. De Vos is a scurge.

But the D-party went with charter schools just as vehemently as their counterparts in the duopoly.

School choice actually helps remove a choice: to fully support neighborhood schools.


Excellent insight.

Excellent points.

In New Mexico, crop irrigation is provided by large ditches, called acequias, that carry surface water to farmers on the acequia who have rights to the water. Most acequia covenants have provisions against participants selling their water rights out of the acequia. If there is less water running through the acequia, it will not function properly. In our public education system, funding diverted to school vouchers and private charter schools means less money to maintain and operate public schools. They will be unable to function properly. Students who do not have access to private schools, many because they do not have transportation available or such schools do not exist in their towns, are left to languish in a crumbling infrastructure with inferior educational opportunities. Those will be children from lower income families, and they will not grow up with the tools they need to break out into higher income careers. This will create a permanent underclass of people who will literately be at the mercy of a permanent elite class. Sounds just like ancient feudal systems, doesn’t it? Almost as if it were planned that way.


Seeing the forest in the valley below, the woodsman with his axe grins eagerly, sensing his take, ignoring the decimation of the life within.

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One quite noticeable cut is with AP. Those tests are global benchmarks. AP tests are pegged to other international tests such as A-levels in the UK, Colleges and universities throughout the world use them for admission purposes. Many colleges and universities (particularly outside the US) stipulate how many AP exams they require applicants to have and what test scores they will (or will not) accept. Even when they don’t stipulate, the implication that a student will submit AP scores is heavily implemented and AP scores are weighted in college admissions.

As a parent and former teacher, I am not a fan of the AP or its high-stakes approach. Nevertheless, as pointed out, many colleges and universities use AP scores in admissions. Years ago, this may not have been a big deal but today it is.

Students who apply to Harvard, for instance, are competing against thousands of applicants – local, regional, national, and international applicants. While applicants of alumni and those with money to line Harvard’s ever growing endowment funds seem to go into a different applicant pool, those applicants without such connections have to compete for slots in a very restricted applicant pool – against thousands of local, regional, national, and international candidates. While Harvard receives millions and millions of taxpayer money in research and many other ways, families like Jared Kushner are milking this game since AP scores do not matter for those with millions to give to Harvard and receive a tax write-off from doing so plus a Willy Wonka golden admission ticket.

Whether we like it or not, AP test scores are used in global educational ranking. By cutting AP test scores, Trump is affecting America’s educational ranking on the world stage. He is hurting millions of American students who need AP scores to enter prestigious universities like Harvard. But he’s also potentially hurting Harvard in the process by cutting funding for AP programs since potential candidates who depend on that funding to take those AP courses and tests to apply to Harvard.

By cutting AP programs, Trump is cutting funding for gifted and twice exceptional/ 2e (gifted with special needs) in particular. Perhaps many would argue that gifted/2e kids do not need funding for such programs but this is naive and foolhardy. Trump is implying that intelligence is pegged to wealth which is blatantly erroneous – using his son-in-law as a case in point. It’s blatant class warfare.

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