DeVos record in Michigan shows she wants as much charter corruption as possible by keeping charters free of regulation and accountability...

As the day draws nearer when Donald Trump will be legally able to make Betsy DeVos U.S. Secretary of Education, more and more information becomes available about the corrupt history of DeVos's involvement in public education in her home state of Michigan. And it is all on the same wave length: DeVos wants to manage the creation as many publicly funded for-profit schools as possible, while continuing the attack on the real public schools.

On December 1, 2016, Diane Ravitch updated her materials on the DeVos legacy in Michigan and some musings about DeVos's support for "vouchers"...

DeVos Fought to Keep Michigan Charters Unregulated and Unaccountable

by dianeravitch

The DeVos family has had an outsize influence in Michigan, by its charitable contributions and its political contributions.

After the Detroit Free Press published a scathing series of articles about the corrupt, unaccountable practices in charter schools in the state, the legislature was shamed into drafting a law that would provide oversight of the charter sector.

The DeVos family gave out $1.5 million in campaign contributions to make sure that charter schools continued to be unregulated and unaccountable.

80% of the charter schools in Michigan operate for profit. No other state has so many for-profit operators.

Detroit is overrun with charters. It is at the very bottom of all urban districts tested by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, despite all its choice and competition. Or because of them.

Michigan doesn't have vouchers, because the people of Michigan voted them down in 2000 when the DeVos family proposed an initiative to permit public funds to flow to nonpublic schools. The measure lost overwhelmingly, by 69-31%. No county in the state voted for it.

Milwaukee has had both charters and vouchers for more than 20 years, and it is among the lowest scoring urban districts in the nation, but ahead of Detroit.

Read what the New York Times wrote about charters in Detroit last June. DeVos now owns this mess.

Why should anyone open a charter school, get public money, and be free of oversight? Why should taxpayer dollars flow to religious schools when every state referendum on vouchers has gone down to inglorious defeat by large majorities?


Campbell Brown, Reformer, Recuses Herself from Covering Her Friend, Betsy DeVos

by dianeravitch

Campbell Brown will not be covering Betsy DeVos on her website The 74. Brown, an ex-CNN talking head, has been a vocal critic of teachers' unions and tenure and a vocal proponent of non-union charter schools. (She is on the board of DeVos' American Federation for Children and on the board of Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy charter chain.) She filed a Vergara style case against teacher tenure in Minnesota, claiming that tenure denied the rights of black and Hispanic children, but the Minnesota judge threw out her claim because of lack of evidence of any link between tenure and test scores. Another lawsuit filed by Brown's "Partnership for Education Justice" has been filed in New York state.

Politico writes:

CAMPBELL BROWN STEPS BACK FROM COVERAGE: Campbell Brown, editor-in-chief of The 74, is "recusing herself" from her website's news coverage of Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary. That's according to a note from Romy Drucker, CEO of The 74, which will post online today. The note comes after reporters and activists in the last week have raised questions about Brown's ties to DeVos and the ethics of covering her in The 74, which Brown maintains is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news site. Critics have labeled the site as advocacy journalism.

- "We've received some inquiries about The 74's relationship with Betsy DeVos," Drucker's note says. "In particular, her family foundation's philanthropic donations to the site, our disclosures of any possible conflict of interest, and our standing policy on editorial independence. While we typically allow our article disclosures to stand by themselves, the current situation is unexpected and unprecedented - and deserves further transparency and explanation."

- Brown and DeVos are friends, and Brown sits on the board of DeVos' school choice advocacy group, the American Federation for Children. (DeVos resigned as chair last week after accepting Trump's Cabinet offer.) In 2014, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation helped launch The 74 with a two-year grant - the amount of which wasn't disclosed to Morning Education. "The final disbursement of those funds, in the first quarter of 2016, means that the foundation is only an active donor through the end of this year," Drucker's note says. "Obviously, given Ms. DeVos's potential role in the federal government, The 74 will not be seeking additional funding for 2017 or beyond." The website receives funding from a number of other education reform organizations like the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which has also funded education reporting at the Los Angeles Times. Last year, the American Federation for Children also sponsored a summit held by The 74 for Republican presidential candidates.

- Brown has also recused herself from covering New York's Success Academy Charter Schools because she sits on the board. Drucker writes that The 74 will continue to post disclosures on articles that mention DeVos or the American Federation for Children. In a recent op-ed for The 74, Brown defended DeVos as Trump's pick for education secretary. But when asked if she'd consider serving alongside her friend in the Trump administration, Brown said, "Absolutely not. Definitively."


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