Does this mean, no more school visits together with Randi and Betsy?
Jack Roskopp at Detroit Metro Times reports that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "is taking a note from her boss by firing back at her critics on Twitter".
The AFT teacher's union sent out a tweet today saying "@BetsyDeVos says public $ should invest in indiv students. NO we should invest in a system of great public schools for all kids." This prompted DeVos to tweet back at the union with a series of tweets that don't exactly add up.
Hard to believe. They have made clear that they care more about the system than about individual students. (1/3) https://t.co/RHeU6aU5GQ— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 20, 2017
They are saying education is NOT an investment in individual students. And they are TOTALLY wrong. (2/3) https://t.co/w1IQbIia1Y— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 20, 2017
What, exactly, is education if not an investment in students? (3/3) https://t.co/8kWtItVA4s— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 20, 2017
AFT responds.This isn’t about school “systems.” This is about ind. students & families. Schools are at the service of students, not the other way around.— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 20, 2017
I admit, it's not much of a war. For those who have a hard time making any sense of this tweetspat, let me try and break it down. Under the direction of Betsy DeVos, the DOE has become little more than an engine for driving school privatization, religious fundamentalism, racism and gender discrimination. Trump's appointment of DeVos to oversee this country's public education system threatens a roll-back of every hard-won gain by the Civil Rights Movement in the past 70 years.Education isn't an individual privilege, it's a right for all. Public systems serve all, private vouchers serve few. https://t.co/YlEJSUKPLq— AFT (@AFTunion) July 20, 2017
DeVos and her new OCR chief, Candice Jackson are waving the "civil rights" banner as a rationale for private school vouchers, to "liberate" individual students from public ("government") schools.
DeVos claims she wants to focus on civil rights claims "individually" rather than on institutional racism and discrimination, thereby ignoring this country's legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial segregation and their impact on public education.
The AFT, as you might expect wants the OCR to maintain its focus on systemic violations of civil rights like it was under the Obama administration. Without getting into the issue of whether or not the previous administration actually took up the desegregation fight, in this battle, the union is right.