Wednesday, November 23, 2016
WAKE UP AMERICA - CARE ABOUT EDUCATION ?
While the Alt-Right and Republicans and our media and even our Democratic Party 'leaders' are putting a nice face on it, our government is transitioning into what promises to be the most Wild Wild West destructive one ever in the White House.
The bottom-line (that everyone seems to be avoiding with determination) is that this Republican campaign has been dominated by a dialogue where truth and honesty are treated as dispensable jokes. Facade, fabricating alt-facts, bullying opponents, bluster are all used in what's become a generally accepted amoral exercise of avoiding objective reality. To me it seems, another example of "Seepage" in action, although this time in politics rather than science. Though the same cynical PR machine has driven that seepage. (FYI - http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyseepage.html).
This election 2016 should make clear to all concerned thinking citizens out there that no body has our back, not our political leaders, not the pundits of our liking, not the news media, certainly not those egomaniacal oligarchs who are today's masters of the universe and are busy with their own disconnected agenda. They are going to obliterate We The Proud American People and our achievements and future goals in direct proportion to how many millions of Americans get off the sidelines and take on some responsible for turning around the national degeneration we have been witnessing. A million conversations across the left and right fences of our respective backyards. Don't need to go far, your family, friends, co-workers, etc.
And now we come to Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, someone who hates our public education system. Someone who is so damned full of herself, that she believes she has a personal relationship with the God of space and time, life and love. Heck this petty, self-centered human has so little self-recognition that she believes her personal god has sent her on a national mission to rescue American education from multi-culturalism and science based learning. God told her to do it! Her god has also told her that this planet I inhabit is 6,000 years old and if I don't agree with her personal belief, well, that makes me an enemy - that's it. Nothing to talk about. Objective down to Earth evidence means nothing when confronting the self-certainty of DeVos brand of religious zealotry.
Americans, it's your move. Got it in ya? Can ya stand up to their dogma based bullying? Better do something, or get steamrollered. Democracy, live it or lose it!
Today, president-elect Donald Trump tapped Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education in his administration.
DeVos, though, has all the wrong credentials to serve as Education Secretary. An Education Secretary should be devoted to promoting and improving public education, but she has devoted her career to dismantling it. Indeed, she’s the leader of the crusade to create private school vouchers, heading up American Federation for Children and giving huge sums of money to enact voucher programs across the country.
Knowing the troubling stance Trump has taken on education, this is no real surprise. Trump has said he wants to create an expensive, nationwide school voucher program at a staggering price tag of $20 billion. His plan would divert that money from existing federal programs for new “choice” block grants to states, which will fund private, charter, and home schools. That means there will be $20 billion taken away from existing programs that often serve our neighborhood public schools. DeVos, no doubt, will lead the charge.
But private school vouchers are terrible education policy. Voucher programs have proven ineffective, lack accountability to taxpayers, and deprive students of rights provided to public school students. They also divert desperately needed resources away from public schools, which serve all children, to fund the education of a few, select voucher students.
And, of course, vouchers, which primarily fund religious schools, also violate the fundamental guarantee of religious freedom. First, taxpayers should never have to fund religious education. Second, vouchers threaten the autonomy of religious schools by opening them up to government audits, control and interference.
Trump has made the dubious claim that vouchers promote civil rights, but vouchers actually undermine them. Private schools don’t provide the same fundamental civil rights protections – including those found in our laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender and gender identity, national origin and disability – that our public schools do.
A critical function of the U.S. Department of Education is to ensure that all our children have real, meaningful educational opportunities by enforcing critical federal civil rights laws. Over the past eight years, the Department has made great strides in protecting the nation’s schoolchildren against bullying and harassment based on race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.
This important work is at risk. For example, DeVos and her family have given millions of dollars to organizations opposed to LGBTQ equality.
Americans United has fought voucher schemes for years – in Congress, in legislatures, and in court. They violate our nation’s fundamental guarantee of religious freedom and stand in the way of equality. Looks like we’ll have to redouble our efforts under a DeVos-led Department of Education.
Trump Pick To Run Education Department Has Long Focused On Transferring Taxpayer Money From Public Schools To Private Ones
Nov 23, 2016
President-elect Donald J. Trump has named Betsy DeVos, chair of the Alliance for School Choice, a group that promotes private school vouchers, to serve as Secretary of Education. Having the Department of Education run by a secretary who has devoted her career to privatizing public education is greatly troubling, says Americans United.
Private school vouchers divert desperately needed resources away from the public school system to fund the education of a few students. In addition, voucher programs have proven ineffective, lack accountability to taxpayers, deprive students of rights provided to public school students and threaten religious liberty.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement:
“The appointment of Betsy DeVos to oversee the U.S. Department of Education is an insult to public education. DeVos is a divisive figure who has spent much of her career working to privatize public education. She has fought to divert resources away from public schools into private, mostly religious institutions. She is the leader of the crusade to create school vouchers across the country.
“Ninety percent of American children rely on public schools for an education. The country deserves an Education Secretary who will advocate for those children and their families and represent their interests. Instead, we have an ideologue who favors privatizing education.
“Private school vouchers violate the fundamental principle of religious freedom because they fund religious education with taxpayer dollars. This is indeed a dark day for public education in America.”
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
For Separation of Church and State
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
Americans United, or AU, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, Americans United works in the courts, in Congress and state legislatures, at the White House and in the arena of public opinion.
We address an array of pressing issues. We encourage you to learn about our projects, lawsuits and out-of-court successes. For a detailed account of AU activities in the past year, check our Annual Report. You may also want to read our Form 990. These documents are also available here.
If you share our commitment to church-state separation, please join with us today. We welcome your support in this important cause.
Michigan Multi-Millionaire Betsy DeVos Is A Four-Star General In A Deceptive Behind-The-Scenes War On Public Schools And Church-State Separation
By Rob Boston | September 2010
In March 2010, a Michigan multi-millionaire named Betsy DeVos announced the formation of a new national group to fight for voucher subsidies for religious schools and other forms of “school choice.”
“Political gamesmanship and special interests should never stand in the way of providing children with access to great schools,” DeVos fulminated in a press release announcing the creation of the American Federation for Children. “We know that it takes smart public policy – and political backbone – to bring about the types of school choice programs that provide families with better educational opportunities. That is why we have created the American Federation for Children.”
But on closer inspection, it turned out that this Washington, D.C.-based organization wasn’t so new after all. As the press release mentioned, the American Federation for Children was just a rebranding effort for a group previously known as Advocates for School Choice.
Why the name change? DeVos, a fundamentalist Christian and far-right political activist, probably wanted to jump-start the pro-voucher drive with at least the appearance of something new. At the same time, the revised moniker was a slap at the American Federation of Teachers, a teachers’ union much loathed by DeVos and her allies.
The real news in the release was the growing prominence of DeVos as a linchpin in the voucher movement. Although hardly a household name, if Betsy DeVos has her way, every American could feel her reach: DeVos’ goal is nothing short of a radical re-creation of education in the United States, with tax-supported religious and other private schools replacing the traditional public school system.
DeVos rarely states it that bluntly. Instead, she crouches behind the euphemism of “school choice” and pretends to be a kindly advocate for downtrodden youngsters trapped in public schools described as “failing.”
Driven by a relentless faith in ultra-conservative religion and the privatization of public services, DeVos and her husband, Dick, who is best known as the former president of Amway, are pouring millions from their personal fortune into a nationwide voucher push.
They’ll be bringing plenty of anti-public school allies along for the ride – chief among them the Walton Family Foundation, an entity operated by the heirs of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart.
Publicly available documents tell an interesting story of interlocking organizations linked by an ambitious political agenda aimed right at the heart of public education. It’s an alarming tale in which Betsy DeVos poses as a benign benefactor of poor children
– all while spearheading a billion-dollar store chain’s crusade to crush unions and privatize a public school system that serves 90 percent of American youngsters.
A key component of the plot is DeVos’ American Federation for Children, a group that shares a street address with another of her organizations, the Alliance for School Choice (ASC). The ASC has since 2007 spent nearly $13.5 million on its pro-voucher crusade – and much of that money came from DeVos.
For Separation of Church and State
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