Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
President-elect Donald Trump has selected Michigan billionaire; Republican mega-donor, and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education. The corporate, big government Republican establishment, such as Jeb Bush, his Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, as well as groups that have received her large contributions, are thrilled with her appointment. Key education freedom leaders like Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project who called her a "very Jeb-like pick"; Joy Pullman, managing editor of The Federalist; and grassroots parent anti-Common Core groups in Michigan, Oklahoma, we here in Florida, and around the nation are justifiably concerned.Understanding her future boss' promise to get rid of Common Core, as well as how fatal it was to the presidential campaigns of her friend and fellow FEE board member, Jeb Bush, whom she supported, and others that Donald Trump beat, she put out a hastily constructed statement on Twitter and her website the day she was appointed, alleging her opposition to Common Core, stating that she is "not a supporter-period," because it had turned into a "federalized boondoggle":Here are several important things to know about DeVos based on her rhetoric quoted above; her record as documented by the Stop Common Core in Michigan parents who have experienced her brand of education reform firsthand, and other sources.1) DeVos used Jeb Bush's "high standards" euphemism for Common Core Her mention of "high standards" in her website statement and the report of having discussed "higher national standards" in the Trump Transition Team readout of her November 19th meeting with the president-elect, are identical to Jeb Bush's efforts to deflect criticism of his Common Core support before and during his failed presidential campaign right down to the "Period.": Education Next: You have been a steadfast Read more
We thank The Pulse 2016 for publishing Dr. Effrem's latest article on the role of education in the presidential election. This article has to do with businessman Donald Trump's answer to a a question about the roles of the federal government. Here is an excerpt: However, Trump added to his long string of contradictions and dizzyingly rapid position changes during last Tuesday's presidential town hall on CNN. A combat veteran asked, "In your opinion, what are the top three functions of the United States government?" The tycoon responded that after security, the top functions of the federal government were education and health care. He then added housing. Here is the video of the exchange:
As is his pattern when questioned, Trump tried to walk his statement on education back a moment later, which turned into this steaming pile of incoherence: ANDERSON COOPER: Aren't you against the federal government's involvement in education? Don't you want it to devolve to states?DONALD TRUMP: I want it to go to state, yes. Absolutely. I want right now...
But then when Cooper followed up again: COOPER: So that's not part of what the federal government's --TRUMP: The federal government, but the concept of the country is the concept that we have to have education within the country, and we have to get rid of Common Core, and it should be brought to the state level.
Despite this, as with his idea to expand libel laws to go after journalists that say negative things about him, Mr. Trump again displayed his frightening lack of constitutional understanding. Obviously, government control of education, health care and housing are exactly the big government establishment solutions parents fighting Common Core and Fed Ed, conservatives, and Republicans all oppose. That philosophy is much closer to the positions of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on all three......For parents who have been fighting the battles against the Common Core -- and who have been bringing to Read more
Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Rand Paul (KY) earned the best grades of A- while not surprisingly, former Governor Jeb Bush and current Ohio Governor John Kasich received failing grades for their positions and actions on Common Core. The graded review of 16 Republican candidates was done by the American Principles in Action group. The full report card is available HERE.The report was based on how well candidates by their statements and actions have answered three questions: 1.) Have they spoken out and acted against Common Core?Statements opposing Common Core must acknowledge that the standards are of low-quality, fail to meet the expectations of high-performing countries, and contain language that controls the curriculum and instructional methods used in the classroom. Recognition of these deficiencies is central in determining whether a candidate's actions have been a sincere effort to replace the Common Core with high standards or to simply rebrand it under another name.2.) Do they understand and have they made a specific commitment to protect state and local control of education from further federal intrusion?In particular, we are looking for candidates who understand how the federal government intrudes onto state decision-making and who advocate for structural changes to prevent such intrusions. Moreover, the candidate must understand that the intended division of power between the federal government and the state is meant to ensure that people can shape state and local policies. He must understand how the breakdown of that division destroyed the safeguards that could have, and likely would have, prevented Common Core.3.) What efforts has the candidate made to protect student and family privacy interests against the rising demands of industry and central planners for more personal student data?Such interests include the right of parents to control what type of information is collected (e.g., social and emotional information, behavioral history, Read more