Betsy DeVos: ‘Common Core is dead’

By Kyle Perisic | The Daily Signal

In her first major policy address of 2018, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized the education policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, and laid out plans for the future of education reform.

DeVos has made school choice and reducing the role of the federal government in education two of her priorities as the Trump administration’s education chief. She also is working toward fulfilling President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to end Common Core — the education initiative that outlines what students should know in math and language arts at the end of each year of K-12 schooling.

U.S. Department of Education

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education

“I agree — and have always agreed — with President Trump on this: Common Core is a disaster,” DeVos said in recent remarks at the American Enterprise Institute.

“And at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead,” DeVos added.

“It’s about educational freedom,” she said, expressing support for school choice. Opponents of school choice could repeal every state and local school choice measure, but it “wouldn’t go away,” she said. “There would still be school choices … for the affluent and the powerful.”

DeVos said the “federal first” approach did not start with the federal No Child Left Behind law under President George W. Bush and noted how the federal government created the Department of Education under President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. She said federal mandates “distort” what the education system should be, which is “a trusting relationship between teacher, parent, and student.”

Even with the creation of the federal Education Department, she said, most classrooms today look “remarkably similar” to those of 1938, the year the American Enterprise Institute was founded. “Our societies and economies have moved beyond the industrial era, but the data tell us education hasn’t,” she said, contrasting it with how retail has changed over the past 80 years, from general stores to websites.

Each time the federal government has passed education reform legislation, such as with No Child Left Behind, which “did little to spark higher scores,” it has not changed “the system,” DeVos said. “Each attempt has really just been a new coat of paint on the same old wall.”

It’s not just the amount of education funding, either, DeVos said. “The fact is the United States spends more per pupil than most other developed countries, many of which perform better than us in the same surveys.”

Additionally, the Obama administration’s School Improvement Grants, which sought to fix targeted schools by “injecting them with cash,” cost $7 billion with little to show for it.

DeVos didn’t knock all of President Barack Obama’s policies, however. She said the Every Student Succeeds Act “charted a path in a new direction” and “is a good step in the right direction, but it’s just that — a step.”

DeVos said she thinks equal access to a quality education “should be a right for every American, and every parent should have the right to choose how their child is educated.”

She added, “I trust parents and teachers, and I believe in students.”

Images courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons and U.S. Department of Education

7 thoughts on “Betsy DeVos: ‘Common Core is dead’

  1. One more reason I left Vermont for one of the few states that don’t teach common core. The education my children are receiving far exceeds what they were provided in the VT school system for vastly less money out of my pocket.

    Look at the Value your tax dollars are providing and you will quickly see where VT ranks.

  2. Communist core dead,drive a pile stake in it to be good and sure.
    Now Vermont needs to take back it education system and start teaching fundamentals.

  3. There’s an easy, nonpartisan method for correcting all of these problems; purely perceived, real or in between….. School Choice tuition vouchers allowing parents to home-school or choose the public or independent school that best meets the needs of their children.

    The only reason anyone rejects School Choice is because they want to control the vast hordes of public tax dollars on behalf of education special interest groups – whoever they are – education employees and their families, social service providers, special education service providers, sub-contractors of all kinds…whatever… those who stalk their prey at the ‘great education watering hole’ in order to avoid responsibility for its success.

    There is one group that has never qualified as a ‘special interest’ and its time they were respected. They are Vermont’s parents and their children. School Choice will, in one fell swoop, remedy all that is wrong with the current State Education Monopoly. It will satisfy the requirements of the Brigham vs. State of Vermont case (Acts 60, 68 & 130), save money, lower property taxes, restore the real estate market and local economies, improve academic performance and, most importantly, get politics out of education.

    Don’t let the ‘red herring arguments’ of Transportation and Special Education (SPED) sway your thoughts. Under School Choice tuitioning, school districts can still provide as much, or as little, transportation to both public and independent schools as they choose to provide. SPED students march to the tune of their Individual Education Plan teams (not the schools or school districts), as they always have, and they are funded and transported by their sending school district whether they’re in a public or independent school, as they’ve always been.

    What’s not to like about that?…unless, of course, you’re employed by one of the education special interest groups.

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