Donald Trump Chooses Pro-Common Core School Choice Advocate Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education

November, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump, who had promised to "drain the swamp," "stop Common Core," "make education local," and greatly scale back the US Department of Education  has chosen Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to be his education secretary.  The decision is receiving wide praise by those that support Common Core, such as former Governor Jeb Bush and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.  

Grassroots parent groups that wanted a Common Core foe like Dr. Bill Evers, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Dr. Larry Arnn, or Dr. William Jeynes are far less happy. Joy Pullmann, managing editor at The Federalist had written in Conservative Review just before the announcement:

His transition team reported Trump's "discussion with Ms. Betsy DeVos was focused on the Common Core mission, and setting higher national standards and promoting the growth of school choice across the nation." See that "setting higher national standards"? That's an education establishment euphemism for Common Core. National standards are what Common Core was designed to be. Pursuing them is how we got Common Core.

Setting "high standards" is the job of parents and local communities, not the U.S. education nanny. Tying "high standards" to school choice is also troubling, because this is again bureaucrat-speak for "requiring all private schools to teach Common Core using the control mechanism of tests."

When DeVos touts "school choice," she's pushing an education agenda that includes requiring all the schools that take voucher money to use state-determined curriculum, like Common Core. This is how she has used her millions of dollars in the past. If she's education secretary, we have every reason to believe it's how she'd use even more power.

Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project said in a statement released just a few hours ahead of the announcement:

"President-elect Trump rightly slammed Governor Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core on the campaign trail. Betsy DeVos would be a very Jeb-like pick, and the idea that Trump would appoint a Common Core apologist as Secretary of Education seems unlikely. We remain hopeful that Trump will pick a Secretary of Education who will return control over education to parents and local school districts someone like Bill Evers, Sandra Stotsky, or Larry Arnn and not someone who will simply rebrand and repackage the failed Common Core standards that were so thoroughly rejected by voters in both the GOP primary and in the November election."
Here is Dr. Effrem's statment as quoted in the Sunshine State News: 

"The special interests reigned over the interests of parents..."She's pro-Common core despite what she says on her website," Effrem told SSN.  "It is a betrayal of the promise that Donald Trump made to get rid of Common Core, make education local and listen to the forgotten men and women of the United States, particularly parents."
More analysis will be forthcoming.

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