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Betsy DeVos statement on historically black colleges and universities

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Replies to: Betsy DeVos statement on historically black colleges and universities

  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 1,804 Senior Member
    @postmodern, I get that some people are upset with DeVos because of her position on school choice, etc. But I don't understand the specific complaint about the specific quote from the original post on the thread. I think there can be a very productive debate about the role of public-private vouchers, magnet schools, etc that is completely independent of the apparently offending quote. I also believe we should have a conversation about whether every student needs to be college tracked, or whether the decision to pull things like shop classes from higih school curricula was a mistake.

    And yes, many of you have used this thread as a launching point to discuss some of those issues. But I am not sure how that explains the point or answers my question. I also find the overarching theme less persuasive when it begins from a muddled premise. That's why I asked if someone could kind of anchor the four pages of criticism to the topic of the thread.

    Speaking of jazz, I actually prefer this quote: "I don't always play the wrong notes, but when I do, I call it jazz."
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 1,804 Senior Member
    edited March 1
    @hanna, yes, I read your post criticizing the language "the system wasn't working". I guess I just disagree with that. I think the system (meaning our constitutional form of government) was actually not working at the time that people were denied access to colleges based on skin color (or sex for that matter). Certainly such wouold be a reasonable and rational interpretation of the statement, no? And even if the criticism is that she said "the system wasn't working" when the intent of the policies in place at the time was to discriminate - which I believe is your point - that seems a pretty small point overall, don't you agree? I assume you have no actual issue with the remainder of the factual statements in the quote, right?
    No Betsy, the founding of HBCUs was certainly not a choice made out of opportunity.

    But @lakewashington, that is not at all what she said. Words have meaning, and should be interpreted in a normal and rational way. So I struggle with the idea of building an argument based on what is manifestly an incorrect assertion. And how starting from that false assertion advances the argument contra her position on school choice is beyond me.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 10,152 Senior Member
    edited March 1
    @juillet -- thanks for your comment. I think it's interesting that generally on CC people don't question the value of all-women schools -- yet might question the value of HBCU's... even though both offer the same benefits. Namely, extraordinary level of support, mentorship and opportunities to traditionally disadvantaged populations. Hypocritical, much?
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 13,822 Senior Member
    "yes, I read your post criticizing the language "the system wasn't working"

    And as for describing violently enforced apartheid as "absence of opportunity"?
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 1,804 Senior Member
    So the argument is what, she wasn't muscular enough in her language? She should have turned her speech into a statement condemning Bull Conner? I just don't get it. She obviously didn't intend to and wasn't addressing segregation per se. She was directly and obviously lauding HBCUs. What she said was factually accurate and relevant to the topic at hand. Maybe I am nuts but I just don't see how this level of projection is either persuasive or helpful.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 1,943 Senior Member
    I just don't get it. She obviously didn't intend to and wasn't addressing segregation per se. She was directly and obviously lauding HBCUs. What she said was factually accurate and relevant to the topic at hand. Maybe I am nuts but I just don't see how this level of projection is either persuasive or helpful.

    It is pretty obvious that DeVos was not talking about public schools like FAMU which was created by the state to promote a flawed "separate but equal" reading of the law. Instead, she is talking about private schools like Bethune-Cookman which were created and nurtured by people who were not happy with the state alternatives provided at the time. It is these types of private schools that she is trying to promote on a high school level.

    But of course, there is a crowd that believes everything DeVos says is evil and must shut down at every opportunity.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 10,152 Senior Member
    edited March 1
    Maybe that's because she hasn't said anything to make us think she knows what she's talking about? Because she's made it clear she's hostile to the basic values in public education? Because she's the education sector's equivalent of Scott Pruitt, head of the the EPA, which he's vowed to abolish?
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    edited March 1
    @cobrat

    Then, you completely missed marvin100's point. He was equating academic tracking to a dual class system. He wasn't talking about race or even directly class.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 10,152 Senior Member
    Really well said, @crimsonmom2019
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 1,804 Senior Member
    @crimsonmom2019, I appreciate the thoughtful comments. And I think I get your points. But I just try and shy away from assuming someone doesn't know what they are talking about or is somehow nefarious because I might disagree with their policy ideas.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 8,940 Senior Member
    Ohiodad51 wrote:
    But I just try and shy away from assuming someone doesn't know what they are talking about or is somehow nefarious because I might disagree with their policy ideas.

    That's a good policy to hold, but in this case, DeVos has repeatedly demonstrated that she has no real expertise in education, a lack of qualification also evident in her resume. Here are some articles detailing her ignorance on some very basic pedagogical concepts:
    https://news.vice.com/story/betsy-devos-is-confused-by-basic-questions-about-education-policy
    https://mic.com/articles/165783/betsy-de-vos-has-no-idea-what-the-difference-between-proficiency-and-growth-is#.Un2txah8Z
    http://www.vox.com/2017/1/17/14304692/devos-confirmation-hearing-education
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 10,152 Senior Member
    edited March 1
    Even De Vos' first official stop at a public school ended badly - after a short visit, she came to some rather shocking conclusions:
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Education-Secretary-DeVos-criticized-teachers-at-10942721.php
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