Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Perusing De Vos's Statement

I have in front of me a copy of Betsy De Vos's statement before the committee yesterday, and it reeks of the sort of noblesse oblige that I feared was her motivating force.
When Dick and I became parents, education took on a whole new meaning. We recognized that other parents were not able to make similar decisions about their children’s education, based on their income or the zip code in which they lived. 
Goodness, what a shock that must have been.
Why, in 2017, are we still questioning parents’ ability to exercise educational choice for their children?  I am a firm believer that parents should be empowered to choose the learning environment that’s best for their individual children.
A sweet thought, but here's a roadblock. In my rural community, there is one school district. Choosing a learning environment isn't really an option. Unless I provide my own transportation, I can choose among my public school, Cortland Christian Academy, or the K-8 Catholic school in Ithaca. And many, many rural communities are far more isolated than mine.

The press release that accompanies De Vos's remarks says that she is "a stalwart advocate for students, especially low-income and special needs children." Yet she's fine with students' signing away their IDEA rights and seems to think states can do a perfectly lovely job of deciding who gets what kind of education.

I like her house, though.

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