By Andrew Pillow
It’s a well-known fact that Betsy DeVos is a fan of school choice and charter schools. However, DeVos took some time to lecture the charter school community the other day. The Secretary of Education warned the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools audience against becoming the very thing they hate.
DeVos told the crowd, “Charters’ success should be celebrated, but it’s equally important not to [quote] “become the man.” I thought it was a tough but fair criticism when a friend recently wrote in an article that many who call themselves “reformers” have instead become just another breed of bureaucrats—a new education establishment.”
“The man” of course being the longstanding colloquialism for “big government”.
“We don’t need 500-page charter school applications. That’s not progress. That’s fundamentally at odds with why parents demanded charters in the first place. Innovation, iteration and improvement must be a constant in our work.” Said DeVos.
The anecdote has been perceived to be a thinly veiled rebuttal to DeVos’s critics within the charter school sector.
The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools is the nation’s largest charter school organization. Their three day conference included advocates that support the Trump administration’s plan for school choice, and those who do not.
DeVos has fallen under criticism for supporting policies that critics say lead to less accountability. People also criticized DeVos for not addressing the Trump administration’s budget request, which would cut around $9 billion in education funding.
Read DeVos’s full remarks from the speech here. (ed.gov)