Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: Common Core is Dead at U.S. Department of Education…

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech Tuesday in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.”  Most media reporting outlines Mrs. DeVos presentation to state ‘the era of common core education is now dead“…

The full transcript of Secretary DeVos remarks is below:

[Transcript] “Thank you, Rick, for that kind introduction. Who would’ve thought that after we were last together on a panel in Grand Rapids a couple of years ago, I’d be here in this capacity today?

It’s an honor to be with all of you at an organization I have long appreciated.

AEI is now in its 80th year and in that near century, the Institute’s scholars have influenced and shaped the way Americans think about so many issues in the public square. AEI has been – and will continue to be – a treasured constant in this town of transition. And it should be noted that’s due in no small part to the leadership of Arthur Brooks, who brings a unique and compelling perspective. I’m grateful to call him a friend.

I’d like to especially thank Rick and Michael for putting this volume together and for hosting today’s important discussions. Both of you have contributed significantly to the policy debates in American education, and, importantly, you’ve put your distinct perspectives and experience to work with the goal of improving education for all. You both left the classroom out of frustration, and there are still far too many teachers who share that experience today.

My work over thirty years has revolved around time spent on the outside, looking in. Outside Washington. Outside the LBJ building. Outside “the system.” Some have questioned the presence of an outsider in the Department of Education, but, as it’s been said before, maybe what students need is someone who doesn’t yet know all the things you “can’t do.”

To a casual observer, a classroom today looks scarcely different than what one looked like when I entered the public policy debate thirty years ago. Worse, most classrooms today look remarkably similar to those of 1938 when AEI was founded. Take a look at this! These two operating rooms look starkly different, as does this general store and this website. But these two classrooms look almost identical.

The vast majority of learning environments have remained the same since the industrial revolution, because they were made in its image. Think of your own experience: sit down; don’t talk; eyes front. Wait for the bell. Walk to the next class. Repeat. Students were trained for the assembly line then, and they still are today.

Our societies and economies have moved beyond the industrial era. But the data tell us education hasn’t.

The most recent Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, report, with which you are all familiar, has the U.S. ranked 23rd in reading, 25th in science and 40th in math. And, you know this too: it’s not for a lack of funding. The fact is the United States spends more per pupil than most other developed countries, many of which perform better than us in the same surveys.

I know that hard truth touches a nerve for everyone in this room. It does so for educators who try to help their students realize their potential. For employers who seek prepared employees. And, most importantly, for parents who only want the best for their children.

Of course there have been many attempts to change the status quo. We’ve seen valiant efforts to improve education from Republicans and Democrats, liberals, conservatives and everyone in between.

That’s because everyone is aiming for the same result.

Everyone wants students to be prepared and to lead successful lives.

We can’t say that sort of public harmony exists in other policy arenas. Not everyone agrees about the outcome or goal of tax policy or energy policy or immigration policy.

Our unity of purpose here presents an opportunity.

But while we’ve changed some aspects of education, the results we all work for and desire haven’t been achieved.

The bottom line is simple: federal education reform efforts have not worked as hoped.

That’s not a point I make lightly or joyfully. Yes, there have been some minor improvements in a few areas. But we’re far from where we need to be. We need to be honest with ourselves. The purpose of today’s conversation is to look at the past with 20/20 hindsight, examine what we have done and where it has – or hasn’t – led us.

First, let me be clear that I’m not here to impugn anyone’s motives. Every one of us wants better for students. We want better for our own children. We want better for our communities and our country. We won’t solve any problems through finger-pointing.

I also don’t intend to criticize the goals of previous administrations’ education initiatives. In the end, every administration has tried to improve education for students and grow the number who are learning valuable skills.

We should hope – no, we should commit – that we as a country will not rest until every single child has equal access to the quality education they deserve. Secretary Spellings was right to ask “whose child do you want to leave behind?”

But the question remains: why, after all the good intentions, the worthwhile goals, the wealth of expertise mustered, and the billions and billions of dollars spent, are students still unprepared?

With No Child Left Behind, the general consensus among federal policymakers was that greater accountability would lead to better schools. Highlighting America’s education woes had become an American pastime, and, they thought, surely if schools were forced to answer for their failures, students would ultimately be better off.

President Bush, the “compassionate conservative,” and Senator Kennedy, the “liberal lion,” both worked together on the law. It said that schools had to meet ambitious goals… or else. Lawmakers mandated that 100 percent of students attain proficiency by 2014. This approach would keep schools accountable and ultimately graduate more and better-educated students, they believed.

Turns out, it didn’t. Indeed, as has been detailed today, NCLB did little to spark higher scores. Universal proficiency, touted at the law’s passage, was not achieved. As states and districts scrambled to avoid the law’s sanctions and maintain their federal funding, some resorted to focusing specifically on math and reading at the expense of other subjects. Others simply inflated scores or lowered standards.

The trend line remains troubling today. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress data, two-thirds of American fourth graders still can’t read at the level they should. And since 2013, our 8th grade reading scores have declined.

Where the Bush administration emphasized NCLB’s stick, the Obama administration focused on carrots. They recognized that states would not be able to legitimately meet the NCLB’s strict standards. Secretary Duncan testified that 82 percent of the nation’s schools would likely fail to meet the law’s requirements — thus subjecting them to crippling sanctions.

The Obama administration dangled billions of dollars through the “Race to the Top” competition, and the grant-making process not so subtly encouraged states to adopt the Common Core State Standards. With a price tag of nearly four and a half billion dollars, it was billed as the “largest-ever federal investment in school reform.” Later, the Department would give states a waiver from NCLB’s requirements so long as they adopted the Obama administration’s preferred policies — essentially making law while Congress negotiated the reauthorization of ESEA.

Unsurprisingly, nearly every state accepted Common Core standards and applied for hundreds of millions of dollars in “Race to the Top” funds. But despite this change, the United States’ PISA performance did not improve in reading and science, and it dropped in math from 2012 to 2015.

Then, rightly, came the public backlash to federally imposed tests and the Common Core. I agree – and have always agreed – with President Trump on this: “Common Core is a disaster.” And at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead.

On a parallel track, the Obama administration’s School Improvement Grants sought to fix targeted schools by injecting them with cash. The total cost of that effort was seven billion dollars.

One year ago this week, the Department’s Institute of Education Sciences released a report on what came of all that spending. It said: “Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any SIG-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.”

There we have it: billions of dollars directed at low-performing schools had no significant impact on student achievement.

These investments were meant to spark meaningful reforms. Schools were encouraged to significantly alter their teaching staffs, fire the principal or change the structure and model of the school. But most glossed over those recommendations. They simply took the federal money and ran the school the same old way.

So where does that leave us? We saw two presidents from different political parties and philosophies take two different approaches.

Federally mandated assessments. Federal money. Federal standards. All originated in Washington, and none solved the problem. Too many of America’s students are still unprepared.

Perhaps the lesson lies not in what made the approaches different, but in what made them the same: the federal government. Both approaches had the same Washington “experts” telling educators how to behave.

The lesson is in the false premise: that Washington knows what’s best for educators, parents and students.

Rick, you’ve rightly pointed out that the federal government is good at making states, districts, and schools do something, but it’s not good at making them do it well. Getting real results for students hinges on how that “something” is done.

That’s because when it comes to education – and any other issue in public life – those closest to the problem are always better able to solve it. Washington bureaucrats and self-styled education “experts” are about as far removed from students as you can get.

Yet under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Washington overextended itself time and time again.

Educators don’t need engineering from Washington. Parents don’t need prescriptions from Washington. Students don’t need standards from Washington.

Throughout both initiatives, the result was a further damaged classroom dynamic between teacher and student, as the focus shifted from comprehension to test-passing. This sadly has taken root, with the American Federation of Teachers recently finding that 60 percent of its teachers reported having moderate to no influence over the content and skills taught in their own classrooms.

Let that sink in. Most teachers feel they have little – if any — say in their own classrooms.

That statistic should shock even the most ardent sycophant of “the system.” It’s yet another reason why we should shift power over classrooms from Washington back to teachers who know their students well.

Federal mandates distort what education ought to be: a trusting relationship between teacher, parent and student.

Ideally, parent and teacher work together to help a child discover his or her potential and pursue his or her passions. When we seek to empower teachers, we must empower parents as well. Parents are too often powerless in deciding what’s best for their child. The state mandates where to send their child. It mandates what their child learns and how he or she learns it. In the same way, educators are constrained by state mandates. District mandates. Building mandates… all kinds of other mandates! Educators don’t need Washington mandating their teaching on top of everything else.

But during the years covered in your volume, the focus was the opposite: more federal government intrusion into relationships between teachers, parents and children.

The lessons of history should force us to admit that federal action has its limits.

The federal-first approach did not start with No Child Left Behind. The push for higher national standards was present in the Clinton administration’s “Goals 2000” initiative. Before that, we had President George H.W. Bush’s “America 2000,” also calling for higher national standards. These followed the Reagan administration’s “Nation at Risk” report, released in 1983.

That report gave dire warnings about the country’s track if education was not reformed. “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today,” the report warned, “we might well have viewed it as an act of war.” That came after President Carter’s giant nod to union bosses: the establishment of the Department of Education, with the ironic charge to “prohibit federal control of education.”

The trend is evident. Politicians from both parties just can’t help themselves. They have talked about painting education in new colors and even broader strokes. But each time, reform has not fundamentally changed “the system.” Each attempt has really just been a new coat of paint on the same old wall.

When we try the same thing over and over again, yet expect different results, that’s not reform – that’s insanity.

We will not reach our goal of helping every child achieve his or her fullest potential until we truly change. Let me offer three ways we can move forward in that pursuit.

First, we need to recognize that the federal government’s appropriate role is not to be the nation’s school board. My role is not to be the national superintendent nor the country’s “choice chief” – regardless of what the union’s “Chicken Littles” may say! Federal investments in education, after all, are less than 10 percent of total K-12 expenditures, but the burdens created by federal regulations in education amount to a much, much larger percentage.

The Every Student Succeeds Act charted a path in a new direction. ESSA takes important steps to return power where it belongs by recognizing states – not Washington — should shape education policy around their own people. But state lawmakers should also resist the urge to centrally plan education. “Leave it to the states” may be a compelling campaign-season slogan, but state capitols aren’t exactly close to every family either. That’s why states should empower teachers and parents and provide the same flexibility ESSA allows states.

But let’s recognize that many states are now struggling with what comes next. State ESSA plans aren’t the finish line. Those words on paper mean very little if state and local leaders don’t seize the opportunity to truly transform education. They must move past a mindset of compliance and embrace individual empowerment.

Under ESSA, school leaders, educators and parents have the latitude and freedom to try new approaches to serve individual students.

My message to them is simple: do it!

Embrace the imperative to do something truly bold… to challenge the status quo… to break the mold.

One important way to start this process is to make sure that parents get the information they want and need about the performance of their children’s schools and teachers. ESSA encourages states to be transparent about how money is spent, down to the school-building level.

Some states have developed information that is truly useful for parents and teachers. Others have worked just as hard to obfuscate what is really going on at their schools. To empower parents, policymakers and teachers, we can’t let “the system” hide behind complexity to escape accountability.

We must always push for better.

ESSA is a good step in the right direction. But it’s just that – a step. We still find ourselves boxed in a “system,” one where we are in a constant battle to move the ball between the 40-yard lines of a football field. Nobody scores, and nobody wins. Students are left bored in the bleachers, and many leave, never to return.

So why don’t we consider whether we need a new playbook?

That brings me to point number two. And, to finish the analogy… let’s call a new play: empowering parents.

Parents have the greatest stake in the outcome of their child’s education. Accordingly, they should also have the power to make sure their child is getting the right education.

As Deven Carlson points out, there is little constituency in America for the top-down reforms that have been tried time and again. In order for any reform to truly work, it must attract and maintain the support of the people.

I have seen such support for parental empowerment. The more parents exercise it, the more they like it. This growing support is why states are responding to that demand one by one. It’s also why sycophants entrenched in and defending the status quo are terrified. They recoil from relinquishing power and control to teachers, parents and students.

Well, I’m not one bit afraid of losing power. Because I trust parents and teachers, and I believe in students.

Equal access to a quality education should be a right for every American and every parent should have the right to choose how their child is educated. Government exists to protect those rights, not usurp them.

So let’s face it: the opponents of parents could repeal every voucher law, close every charter school, and defund every choice program across the country.

But school choice still wouldn’t go away. There would still be school choices… for the affluent and the powerful.

Let’s empower the forgotten parents to decide where their children go to school. Let’s show some humility and trust all parents to know their kids’ needs better than we do.

Let’s trust teachers, too. Let’s encourage them to innovate, to create new options for students. Not just with public charter schools or magnet schools or private schools, but within the traditional “system” and with new approaches yet to be explored.

What we’ve been doing isn’t serving all kids well. Let’s unleash teachers to help solve the problem.

You know, I’ve never heard it claimed that giving parents more options is bad for mom and dad. Or for the child. What you hear is that it’s bad for “the system” – for the school building, the school system, the funding stream.

That argument speaks volumes about where Chicken Little’s priorities lie.

Our children deserve better than the 19th century assembly-line approach. They deserve learning environments that are agile, relevant, exciting. Every student deserves a customized, self-paced, and challenging life-long learning journey. Schools should be open to all students – no matter where they’re growing up or how much their parents make.

That means no more discrimination based upon zip code or socio-economic status. All means all.

It’s about educational freedom! Freedom from Washington mandates. Freedom from centralized control. Freedom from a one-size-fits-all mentality. Freedom from “the system.”

Choice in education is not when a student picks a different classroom in this building or that building, uses this voucher or that tax-credit scholarship. Choice in education is bigger than that. Those are just mechanisms.

It’s about freedom to learn. Freedom to learn differently. Freedom to explore. Freedom to fail, to learn from falling and to get back up and try again. It’s freedom to find the best way to learn and grow… to find the exciting and engaging combination that unlocks individual potential.

Which leads to my final point: if America’s students are to be prepared, we must rethink school.

What I propose is not another top-down, federal government policy that promises to be a silver bullet. No. We need a paradigm shift, a fundamental reorientation… a rethink.

“Rethink” means we question everything to ensure nothing limits a student from pursuing his or her passion, and achieving his or her potential. So each student is prepared at every turn for what comes next.

It’s past time to ask some of the questions that often get labeled as “non-negotiable” or just don’t get asked at all:

Why do we group students by age?
Why do schools close for the summer?
Why must the school day start with the rise of the sun?
Why are schools assigned by your address?
Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?
Why is choice only available to those who can buy their way out? Or buy their way in?
Why can’t a student learn at his or her own pace?
Why isn’t technology more widely embraced in schools?
Why do we limit what a student can learn based upon the faculty and facilities available?


We must answer these questions. We must acknowledge what is and what is not working for students.

Now, I don’t have all the answers or policy prescriptions. No one person does. But people do know how to help their neighbors. People do know how they can help a dozen students here or 100 there. Because they know the students. They know their home lives. They know their communities. They know their parents. They know each other.

That means learning can, should, and will look different for each unique child. And we should celebrate that, not fear it!

I’m well aware that change — the unknown – can be scary. That talk of fundamentally rethinking our approach to education seems impossible, insurmountable.

But not changing is scarier. Stagnation creates risks of its own. The reality is…

we should be horrified of not changing.

Our children don’t fear their futures. Think of a newborn, born into hope — not fear. They begin life with a clean slate. With a fresh set of eyes to see things we don’t currently see. That’s how students begin their lifelong learning journeys… with unlimited potential… yet with limited time.

Their dreams, their hopes, their aspirations, their futures can’t wait, while another wave of lawmakers puts yet another coat of paint on the broken “system.” One year may not seem like much to an adult, but it’s much too long for the child who still can’t read “Goodnight Moon.”

We, the public, can’t wait either. Education is good for the public.

Everything else – our health, our economy, our continued security as a nation — depends on what we do today for the leaders of tomorrow. It follows, then, that any educator in any learning environment serves the public good. If the purpose of public education is to educate the public, then it should… not… matter what word comes before school.

What matters are the students the school serves. What matters are their futures. We’ve been entrusted with their futures not because we asked to be, but because it’s a duty to destiny – theirs… and ours. It all depends on what we do now.

When our grandchildren tell their children about this moment in history, let them say we were the ones who finally put students first.

Thank you, and I look forward to this conversation.

[Transcript Link]

More Winning !!

Meanwhile… the fake news media are cats chasing Trump’s dancing laser pointer…

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220 Responses to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: Common Core is Dead at U.S. Department of Education…

  1. mopar2016 says:

    “Common Corpse” is dead.
    Tooooooooo Funny!


    Liked by 6 people

  2. TheLastDemocrat says:

    If you don’t say, “Amen,” you at least gotta say “Ouch.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. freq says:

    common core dead… a common death… good…

    Liked by 2 people

    • mike says:

      Commune Kore maybe dead, but what about getting a good education with 50 years’ accretion of liberal teachers’ BS Ed and their brainwashing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • sato422 says:

        So, I read a lot of words that sound good. Now, how are we going to take it a step further and get education in action. Left to liberals, Teach for America, and burned out teachers, and others who have no idea what to do in a classroom, where does that leave us.
        What is she saying we are going to do and who is going to do it? I agree that schools need to change but as a veteran teacher and administration of 43 years experience, I’m very confused. At this point it seems they can all opt for another school, but what about when the seats run out? There is only so many seats in private institutions.

        I think Betsy means well, but she is not a realists. Trump better start looking for some help with this boondoggle of a Secretary of Education. If we dump the Federal program, those at the bottom aren’t ready to do much else except Common Core.


        • MVW says:

          “So, I read a lot of words that sound good.”
          That is an understatement. It is also my first thought.
          Educators are good at filling up a book with words. Perhaps it is time to remove education out of the reach of Gruberment Propaganda Machines. Choice always seems to mean more bureaucrat run programs.


        • Aunt Geek says:

          Teachers and parents take charge! Now is your chance! Dust off your old sensible lesson plans! Use and teach critical thinking again! I was an IT Specialist for a school district; teachers I spoke with all wanted the feds outta their classrooms!


        • Aunt Geek says:

          Teachers and parents take charge! Now is your chance! Dust off your old sensible lesson plans! Use and teach critical thinking again! I was an IT Specialist for a school district; teachers I spoke with all wanted the feds outta their classrooms!


      • Harry says:

        Call it what it is: Communist Core. They don’t need to track students from Kindergarten through College. This is an intrusive scheme to meddle in our children’s lives. Let’s put the last nails in the coffin, and drop it into the grave. My kids have 95 to 98 percent averages on everything but the damned Common Core Math. Just like every other student they go to School with, the Math is the problem. Fix it, so they can go back to real Math, and real education.


      • freq says:

        the stem kids do it… they can’t be bothered with he nonsense…


  4. missilemom says:

    Why do we group students by age?
    Why do schools close for the summer?
    Why must the school day start with the rise of the sun?
    Why are schools assigned by your address?
    Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?
    Why is choice only available to those who can buy their way out? Or buy their way in?
    Why can’t a student learn at his or her own pace?
    Why isn’t technology more widely embraced in schools?
    Why do we limit what a student can learn based upon the faculty and facilities available?

    A new dawn is coming. Amazing and courageous speech.

    Liked by 12 people

    • All very interesting questions millilemom.

      Liked by 1 person

    • trapper says:

      There are perfectly valid answers to every question she asks, and all she had to do to get the answers is ask a teacher.

      Good that Common Core is dead. But in her next breath she asks all these questions that just indicate another fed who doesn’t know anything, wanting to mess with our schools. Common Core is dead. Good. Now abolish the Department of Education. We don’t need a Washington bureaucrat now trying to change everyone’s school year, blend ages, abolish classrooms, abolish attendance lines, and mandate internet based classes. Your job is done. go home.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mongoose says:

        I would normally agree with you on most topics Trapper, at least I presume I would. However, with education, at all levels, the infestation of leftist/socialist scum buckets and ideas is in need of serious reform. There is need for leadership at a higher level and just leaving things to the states at this point is a questionable approach in my mind. Certainly, there are states that have a good handle on things but many others need help by choking off Fed funds, fighting unions, etc. in order to assist local populations regain control of “their” systems. The job is not done yet. But I agree, the plan should include a final step which would include dissolution of the DoED.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chgonana539 says:

          How about kids walking to their local school. No more putting 5 year olds on buses before the sun comes up. Save on buses, fuel, and insurance. We used to buy a house near a quality school. Now are ‘safe neighborhoods’ must bus in the children from the gang infested communities. While I feel for those parents it’s up to them to get their lives together and move on up. Agree this all sounds like a lot of words. Our PDJT should allow input from common sense parents and educators. Number 1 problem in classroom is lack of discipline. Then we bring in 20 yr old immigrants and put them in with 7th graders. Do you think he is aware that this is happening. Sorry for the rant.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Tegan says:

        Understand your point, trapper, but just off the top of my head I can see the reason for a Dept of Ed (albeit, much reduced). IMO, there needs to be a conduit of information, of sharing successful (or not) programs. Example, if a elementary school math program is highly successful in Eastern Oregon, how would a teacher in SC know about it? Perhaps that highly successful math teacher can do a conference via Skype to others… but someone has to set it up, paid for it and facilitate it….and then write, print and distribute the materials. Get the point? IMO, the Dept can be a facilitator and not the Federal School Board, as she said. The old saying…don’t throw out the baby with the bath water might be true here.


      • Bendix says:

        “Another fed who doesn’t know anything, wanting to mess with our schools.”
        BTW, those internet based classes are merely an electronic form of the self-paced learning workbooks that have been around for ages.
        Somehow people seem to think a glowing screen (which is bad for developing brains) will contain some new, higher form of 21st century knowledge that is only available in cyberspace.
        Changing classrooms and tinkering with the length of the school day are old ideas.


    • grandmaintexas says:

      Many districts tried year round schooling. Doesn’t seem to work so well. But other than that the questions were awesome.


    • NCMOM says:

      These are excellent questions! I just finished a book called Rethinking School: How To Take Charge of Your Child’s Education by Susan Wise Bauer — I highly recommend it and Bauer addresses many of these questions. As an educator and now a mom, I am SO HAPPY that the days of No Child Left Behind and Common Core are over under Devos!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rejuvenated says:

        It might be dead at the DOE, but how long before the states abandon it? How many more years before this decision rolls through to our level and we start seeing results? I currently homeschool because of the nightmare where I live but I want/need to go back to work and my state/Devos’ state makes “school of choice” impossible for parents with their disingenuous stipulations that contradict the whole point and make it a farce.

        I think equal blame belongs at the state level because they enabled federal control with their greedy outreached hands for funding and they aren’t going to abandon Common Core unless they get more $$$ to replace it. I also think the suppliers of textbooks need to be scrutinized because that’s where the liberal agenda has taken full control and changing school programs will make no difference in the world if all the textbooks promote white privilege, liberalism, globalism and global warming in every subject.

        I hope it changes, I really do, but I’m not holding my breath on results any time soon 😕


    • covfefe999 says:

      I would ask this question: Why did all of the things you mention work just fine in earlier decades? My schools were not fancy. My grade school in particular was very stripped down. We focused on basics. My parents helped by taking me to the public library so often I loved being there and when old enough I would go on my own. We also had tons of books in the house, a set of encyclopedias, math and science books, classic novels, and more. We also had every kind of music. All of us kids went to college and have had successful careers. I had a very low-tech upbringing but have done well in IT. Home-schooled kids tend to do extremely well despite lack of fancy facilities.

      Liked by 3 people

      • sat0422 says:

        I agree with you but do realize that the skills sets needed by students today requires them to understand more…more of everything. The real issue is what to do with the bottom 40% who aren’t going to college. The upper crust still looks down their nose at vocational training. Everyone, including the college crowd needs a vocational skill set. Mine back in 1969 was typing – now called keyboarding that is now taught by osmosis. I also had a strong HS Economics teacher.
        Today we expect seven years olds to be able to write stories and put them together on a keyboard. We expect them do do algebra by third grade. Heck, their brains are still developing at that point.
        Solving the problems of education will take more than a 45 minute speech.


        • sat0422 says:

          And I don’t want to forget that today we don’t teach script writing. Script writing is a skill set that lazy teachers don’t have time to teach or they are too lazy to work with students. Script writing causes a kid to have to think and perform a skill. It takes time but the philosophy is that with everything being done on a computer, why in the world would we waste our time teaching an outdated skill? I know some very good school administrators who are against teaching that skill set.
          Kids who can script take notes better and can understand an older teacher who writes on the board using script. My last 8th grade class looked me and said, “we can’t read what you are writing.” That is my reason….they have been dumbed down.


          • KBR says:

            If US people cannot read script they cannot read the original founding documents of the USA.

            They also cannot read many other original documents, letters, bills, for centuries of history.

            They cannot even read the letters written by their ancestors, or even their own grandparents. The names in many family bibles will be illegible.

            Thus history and founding documents can more easily be faked, if only “academia” can read and interpret them according to their particular desires/political goals.

            I believe this was the purpose, and the ONLY purpose of stopping the teaching of script or “cursive writing.” NWO garbage.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Rob1 says:

              This is a solid reason for needing to at least be able to read script/cursive.

              Most of the reasons I hear given sound a lot to me like bemoaning people’s lack of interest in a lost art. Script writing just isn’t as useful as it used to be. Typing is, without a doubt, a more useful skill in everyday life. Of course it doesn’t have to be a choice between one or the other. But humans have limited time and it’s entirely reasonable to spend your time learning the skills with the biggest benefit.

              KBR, thanks for that comment. It has given me something to think about.


            • Harry says:

              This is exactly why I person teach my children script writing. It is essential to master a pen, and pencil, to write in print, and script, for the very reasons you cite. Writing is the oldest form of long distance communication, as well as how knowledge was kept in manuscripts, and letters. They need to know how to operate a computer, and type on the keyboard, but that does not take priority over the handwritten word. Penmanship is essential.


              • Mongoose says:

                Correct Harry. The 3R’s and a few other skills are what is the foundation. But sadly, it is proven in many test scores that many kids entering college don’t have a handle on these basics. Oh sure, they can text and take selfies, but how many truly understand how the technology they use works? And, what will they do when an EMP happens? What Will They Do? Especially if they can spell, print and write.


          • G. Willikers says:

            I’d like to see the look on these kid’s faces when they get older and are asked to sign a check or legal document and they don’t know cursive/script. I guess we’ll start seeing thumb prints and big X’s on those signature lines.


            • Harry says:

              Each one of those children could honestly say that they did not get a complete education. Do you know how many teenagers, and 20 somethings at Cash Registers cannot write in script? It’s pathetic.


          • Truthfilter says:

            Really irks me when commenters say that some topic or skill isn’t being taught because teachers are “too lazy.” It is the state and federal government that determines what is –and isn’t–taught. Teachers have no choice in these matters and if you had read the speech, Mrs. DeVos emphasized this point very clearly.

            I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been for me to have my high school students complain that they couldn’t read/copy my notes on the board bc they couldn’t understand/read my “cursive” (script) writing. To be honest, half of them couldn’t read print either and the other half just wanted an excuse for doing nothing at all. Mrs. DeVos didn’t mention the biggest problem in public education: A society who expects everything to be free, easy, fast, and ego-stroking.


      • Bendix says:

        I read a book by one of the Kennedy children, and he sent one of his kids to a very expensive private school that provided exactly the same kind of education covfefe sites.
        The parents had the means to send their children to any school at all.
        Ms. DeVos doesn’t know what she’s talking about, she illustrates the problem with the top-down education model herself.


    • MVW says:

      Take the money away, give it to a bureaucrat to do something… What could go wrong?

      Liked by 1 person

    • MAJA says:

      I agree. This was a great speech. Get the feds out. The education system has been telling parents for decades that the dept of ed knows what’s best for their children, in fact, that the system is the true parent and makes parenting decisions. I think the plan has been to undermine the family unit and have children rely on the system rather than their parents.


  5. The Devilbat says:

    Communist core is dead !!! Good riddance to it. Lets hope that the rest of the Karl Marx clubs agenda falls on its face.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Gil says:

    Common core needs the full dracula treament: staking, beheading, quartering, burning, and scattering its ashes. This gives me some relief at the federal level, but she did point out “sycophants entrenched in and defending the status quo are terrified (and)
    Others have worked just as hard to obfuscate what is really going on at their schools.” Thats the Californian politicians again. I so hope that this will embolden districts in CA to get rid of CC.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The240report says:

    O_O Like to give Betsy my common core….:-)


  8. drawfortruth says:

    Recently I read an article that said part of the reason why students do not do as well now as they did in the past is because in the past there were fewer occupations for smart women to enter–so many of them became teachers. Good, smart teachers produce better students. When other areas opened up for women–many of the smart women entered those areas (engineering, medicine, etc.), which resulted in less smart teachers. It was something I had not considered before–but it does many sense.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bendix says:

      The smart women also had the old-fashioned teacher’s desire to instill a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge in her pupils.
      I think that’s probably part of it, the old-school teacher is a thing of the past.
      Ironically, Ms. DeVos seems to have scorn for those days.
      BTW, how do you teach anything in a classroom where the students aren’t “staring straight ahead”? When I take a class, I face the instructor and pay attention.
      Raising the pay for the profession to attract the best and brightest doesn’t seem to help though.
      Just last night I had a conversation with someone who was telling me about a woman who was in teaching for the pay and benefits, but does not actually enjoy teaching or even like children.


  9. Abdul Abulbul Amir says:

    Marvelous article. Sounds like common sense has finally returned.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Carrie2 says:

    Having been a student with nuns that said you can do it and you better do it good enough to get As and I did and went to high school and my first university on scholarships. That teaching made me want to be get out of poverty (large family, small income with my father working even weekends), and move on up. I did and I continue even now. I did not like the teachers’ union so I quit working n public schools and am pleased to say my degree in Education taught me how to command a class also – my smallest 42 students and at one school 100 students, and they taught us how to manage a class of many students as well and I got a life time certificate (don’t give them any more) so teachers must take up to 7 yrs. to qualify for almost anything, do not learn classroom control, and many are have sex with a student, so what happened to morals and ethics. Yes, parents must be involved and not use in some group club on a certain night. We hire the teachers and we want to see what is going to be taught and how it will be taught and by a teacher who knows how to teach and problem children not allowed in a normal classroom to distract and interrupt the other students being taught, and so much more. Finally Common Core killed! What a horrible way to teach (truly doubtful that it taught anything about math) math when you read a long paragraph in poor grammar and confusing words just to find out that the answer can be anything, altho math has always been static from time immemorial! Was beginning to worry about DeVos and getting actions going, so now things are moving in the right direction. I graduated grade school at 12, high school at 16 and college in 3 yrs. because I was not held back but encouraged to use my faculties and abilities and nuns set hard rules and lines about what we needed to learn all of which I am thankful to them for being real teachers and encouragers.

    Liked by 5 people

    • elize says:

      I had a mix of public school then Catholic school, then we moved the summer after my junior year of high school and I entered my senior year in a public school. I had all my graduation requirements so I was taking college prep courses my senior year. Same with my younger sister, she graduated early and headed to college.

      I had to work full time and attended college as I could afford it, but a college degree was my desire. In the same way other girls desired to marry and have families, I wanted my degree. A double BSBA major and a 2nd degree in IT many years later, all paid, no student debt and I thank God I accomplished it. And I give more credit to the nuns, because to this day I remember their names and involvement more than any other instructor.

      I remember one public school elementary math teacher responding to this question from me…
      He had set up free time, extra math work “folders.” I asked, “what extra work do I do after I finish the math ones?” He said, “pfff, no one can do all of those in a school year,” Hah, proved him wrong! 🙂


    • CirclingTheDrain says:

      I’m really sorry but it needs to be said – if your post is anything like what you teach your students, no school reform is going to improve matters. How about being an example – punctuation, grammar, paragraphs, coherent thought rather than run-on sentences.

      Be a model of the best, not an example of why schools are failing kids.


  11. Turranos says:

    I was not expecting this any time soon. I am absolutely thrilled. More winning for all of us. Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. rashamon says:

    She asks good questions and, if it weren’t so late, I’d add a few that parents in my community have been asking for many a year. Ms. Vos needs to get the federal government out of education while inviting parents and the community into the process. She seems to be on that path. If she overcomes the pressures of the teachers’ and janitors’ unions, not to mention the “preferred providers” of food service to textbooks and tests (and everything in between), she deserves The Medal of Freedom.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. prenanny says:

    Step number one: Get unions out of the classroom.
    You will be surprised how easy it is to “fix” the educational system once that is done.

    Liked by 14 people

    • YvonneMarie says:

      Bingo ! Govt unions are ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tegan says:

        Absolutely, Yvonne…what in the H*!! do unions do except benefit the teachers and bankrupt the states? Have a family member who paid over $100,000 as a high school teacher in NJ and still makes close to that much retired, plus full health benefits.


  14. Secretary of Education DeVos,

    Please REFOCUS the Federal role on “Elevating K-12 Education” by INFORMING CHOICE, not controlling decisions.

    As you know best, the Federal Government cannot and therefore should not try to control education:
    • Education control rests in a diverse myriad of State and Local hands.
    • State-planned economies have proved Command-and-Control Governance evolves to failure and misery.
    • Federal efforts to “control” education have consistently failed under death-by-a-thousand-cuts that multiplies complexity and massively squanders resources.

    The fastest sustainable way for the DoE to “Elevate K-12 Education” is to create INFORMED CHOICE that multiplies competition, accelerates transfers to schools with better outcomes, and channels more-inspired students to prepare for careers that make most sense for them!
    • The DoE should BENCHMARK School Performance to (1) inform parents for school choice and (2) motivate educator commitments to prepare students to contribute economically.
    • The DoE should SPOTLIGHT Student Opportunities to (1) inform students for curriculum choice and (2) motivate student commitments to excellence.

    Benchmark School Performance:

    School Performance for “ALUMNI AVERAGE COMPENSATION” should be COMPARED for each Class-Year at 5-year intervals for a period of 10-20 years (over which time the School’s preparation makes the most difference).
    • For All Students who had been Enrolled in each Class Year
    • For Graduates
    • For Non-Graduates

    School Performance should be BENCHMARKED over time.
    • Percentile Ranking against in-state schools
    • Percentile Ranking against schools nationally

    Spotlight Student Opportunities:

    Student Performance should be COMPARED across Graduating Class Years.
    • What percentage of Graduates went into each Profession.
    – What Fields of Study were required to enter each Profession
    – What GPA was required to enter each Profession
    • What was the ALUMNI AVERAGE COMPENSATION at 5-year intervals for each Profession.
    – For the School
    – For the State
    – Nationally

    Students should receive an annual “CAREER OPPORTUNITIES SCORECARD” that SPOTLIGHTS their Future Prospects, informs Curriculum Choice and motivates Student Achievement.
    • Based on their GPA for their Curriculum at their School
    • Identifying their % Probability of Careers by Profession
    • Identifying their Likely Compensation by Profession at 5-year intervals

    Liked by 3 people

    • sat0422 says:

      Education had an original purpose of educating everyone and those who couldn’t learn went back home and worked on the farm. What in the world are we going to do with the 30-40% who won’t ever be successful in school? That is “the most” important question.


    • Chgonana539 says:

      Wasn’t state tracking tried but then people (teachers and administrators) cheated.


      • We seem to have a new sheriff in town…


      • SOLUTION: Teacher Teams QUALIFY Students annually for PROMOTION
        Empower the full Teacher Team for each grade level to annually decide which students are “FULLY QUALIFIED” to be promoted to that grade level.

        • Pre-assign each Students to a Teacher who then Tests & Reviews Qualifications.
        – Students can be Disqualified for Disciplinary Problems.
        – Students can be Disqualified for failing to master their current grade-level.
        • Assigned Teachers then advise the Committee who they Accept as Qualified.
        • Alternative Teachers can elect to Re-Test & Review Disqualified Students.
        • Disqualified Students who are not Accepted by any Teacher get held back.


      • Students have an incentive to prepare and behave.

        The Teacher Team at the Current Grade Level “owns Accountability” for all students who fail to master that grade’s material or who became Disciplinary Problems.

        The Teacher Team at the Next Grade Level “owns Accountability” for all students they Accept.


  15. Secretary of Education DeVos,

    Student-Debt Default Solution:
    CHARGE the COLLEGES for Student Debt Defaults.

    When Colleges own the debt they generate, they’ll take their game to an entirely new and fully-accountable level.

    The Colleges are in complete control over students and outcomes.
    • No one else can change who they admit with the aptitude and drive to repay their debts.
    • No one else can approve what students study and how much schools charge.
    • No one else can change how students are educated and what they learn.
    • No one else can change who the Colleges hire to teach, what they’re paid or whether they’re replaced for underperformance.

    They’ve “undereducated and underprepared” the students to pay off the debts that the Colleges Qualified and Registered the students to incur, for the Curriculums they were approved to pursue, to get hired for Jobs-in-Demand, that would compensate student graduates enough to repay their debt.

    So CHARGE the COLLEGES for ALL Student Debt Defaults. Colleges without the resources to repay Student Debt Defaults can take out Debt-Default INSURANCE. 
    • The worst will fail. 
    • The best will thrive.
    • All will educate only the capable, steer them to what they’ll do well, instill the work ethic to succeed, and help with transitions between jobs, not to mention taking their faculty and methods to a new level and getting students through college with 3-4 years of debt rather than 5-6.

    Every student in America will vote for it!
    • So will everyone who works for a living.
    • So will all retirees.

    Liked by 8 people

    • yucki says:

      CHARGE the COLLEGES for Student Debt Defaults.
      I love it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • yucki says:

      Charge them DOUBLE for cencentrations in Cultural Marxism.
      Pay FORWARD the cost to our society of the SJWs they matriculate.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bendix says:

      Decide which schools price-gouged, and make them eat the debt. A few years ago, I got a few dollars as part of a class action suit, because I had purchased a couple CDs.
      I didn’t fully understand it, but they had run afoul of some government regulation or other.
      Well, if record companies and gas stations can be prosecuted for overcharging, why not colleges?
      The students who fully paid back the loans would get refunds, and those caught in the debtors hell would have the debt substantially reduced, and maybe something like no interest to pay it back.
      I would like to see the student loan scam studied and a remedy applied. The schools and the Uniparty have been in collusion against us for too long.
      We have enough good minds to study this and come up with a reasonable solution.
      What I’d really like to see is some of the politicians who enabled this face censure, but that’s not gonna happen.


  16. Unravelled says:


    In the 70’s, I learned by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica set, cover to cover. Spending hours every day at the library reading periodicals, garbage picking text books from the High School dumpster. I learned nothing at school, but was lucky to have teachers that mentored me in learning far beyond what was discussed in the boring class room.

    Now, the internet puts information at our finger tips. As a former grad student, former college professor, and current high tech business leader, I think I am qualified to say:


    Liked by 7 people

    • nancy grayson says:

      To all the Professors/ HS teachers that went beyond their way , you Rock

      1973- Dr. Baker brought analysis of fearful commie times/prewar/during hard times. Architecture of he fine things Europe, and the rise of Hitler in cinematography. Goebbels We know how that ended.

      Goebbels is an animal. The time has come for the real documentary. Unravelled not PC
      We will get it done. By the Grace god.


  17. ditzee58 says:

    Now, how does CC die on the local level? We have my daughter’s generation, mid twenties, who have known nothing but the Feds intervening in education. Even people my age and say 10 years younger were convinced that CC was the be all and end all. They ate up the garbage that the Feds spewed. The Democrats entrenched on schoolboards, in school admins, and in the classrooms, not to mention the unions, will say they have the books and its too expensive to buy new ones. The government doesn’t have a theme such as NCLB, or CC. A lot of the automatons won’t know which way to turn as far as textbooks and learning materials. “This does not compute.” The change will be up to the parents. Communities had better hope that there are enough parents who don’t like CC enough to make a difference and are willing to take this on.

    All that said, my daughter’s friend graduated with a degree in education last year. She was disappointed with the ways teachers were forbidden to interact with the kids. Praying there are enough like her who will be thrilled that teachers will be given back power in the classroom to teach. That no longer will teachers have mountains of paperwork to prove they are in compliance. Praying too that young men and women will see that they can be challeneged to try new ways to get information to students and that these challenges will attract best and brightest to this field.

    Liked by 2 people

    • prenanny says:

      The cost of textbooks is indefensible and I question the need for requiring newer versions of most of them. The ONLY reasons textbooks have been “updated” is to include a bunch of lib agenda crap like johnny has two moms or islam is just like Christianity.
      Personally I think the cost of texts has also gone up to entice school boards to switch to a computer based method of teaching which I do not think is going to end well.
      Children need to DO things not just watch them being done.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Blacksmith8 says:

        Oh it’s worse than that. For 3 years now I have paid for over priced ‘texts’ that are only digital. I don’t mean pdf. I mean my children get to sign in to an internet site to access the ‘text’. On top of that, one of those ‘texts’ is over $150 per year.

        I have another child who took the same courses 6 years earlier. Funny, same book, older edition, and it wasn’t digital. Hey guess what? NOTHING WAS NEW! It’s just computer based now and so it must be better and it must cost more and the teachers are just so much cooler.

        Sound familiar?

        The problem is the parents, then the school, then the school board and state board.

        Get the fed out, give us a chance at putting it back together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • greenmakescents says:

        Digital school can be altered easily, and family involvement is not encouraged. A text book is like written word and can’t be altered. You know and are aware of what your child is being taught. You are sitting at the table with your child reading the same text. If you don’t agree with the text and lesson, you can show them an alternative way to complete the problem, or another opinion if it is a point you don’t agree with. If they are on the computer, less parental supervision which is a win for common core. One of the best books I have read for an in-depth look at the insidious common core is “The Story Killers, A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core by Terrence O. Moore, and The Cult of Common Core by Brad McQueen. For anyone with children or grandchildren in school it will wake you up.


  18. old45model says:

    What about teachers that really do know how to teach? To open their students’ minds – to take those students on a journey of amazing discoveries and endless possibilities. I think back to long ago when so many teachers parroted the text from the prescribed text books – but they really were not teaching. It shouldn’t just be about the ‘brightest and best’ in the class and ‘who cares about the other 75%?’ I’ve been so fortunate in my life to have had a few exceptional teachers (not always in a school) – plus people who recognised my abilities and made sure I used them – even though I didn’t know I had such abilities.
    For the most part, in Oz, my schooling consisted of being put down more than being raised up.
    The other thing I might mention is that I probably showed contempt (not intentionally) for teachers telling me I was wrong when I had life experience telling me I was right – you sort of got that way after WWII and your father dying before you had reached your 5th birthday. Times were pretty tough and we really had to grow up fast – and work from a very young age.
    Tough times – naive for some things and also wise beyond our years for other things.
    However, it was all to make me the person I am today – for which I remain thankful.
    Also has something to do with why I rather like your President – and Sundance!

    Liked by 4 people

    • prenanny says:

      Teachers that do not know how to teach will have to find OTHER careers.
      ZERO taxpayer money should go to teaching them how to do their jobs.


      • nimrodman says:

        “Teachers that do not know how to teach will have to find OTHER careers.”

        Ya think?

        Education can’t really advance until the schools are truly used for education instead of a make-work jobs program to warehouse incompetent adults, exacerbated by the usual diversity-hire horrorshow misplaced priorities:

        “… results of a competency test given to applicants for teaching positions in Pinellas County, Florida (which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater), cited in Time, June 16, 1980.

        To pass this grueling examination, an applicant had to be able to read at the tenth-grade level and do arithmetic at the eighth-grade level.

        Though they all held B.A.’s, 25 percent of the whites and 79 percent of the blacks failed.

        Similar statistics exist for other places.

        Walter Williams, Catholics, the Projects, and Schooling for Blacks: Something is Wrong Somewhere – Fred on Everything

        Liked by 2 people

        • grandmaintexas says:

          The teaching colleges are PC indoctrination schools. My daughter in law quit after three years because she couldn’t take the crap anymore. She moved into a different major. She comes from a very liberal family but like many in their 20s she is not buying what the libs are selling.

          Liked by 2 people

    • maiingankwe says:

      I read the transcript rather than watch the video. I took away from it that Devos wants all children to succeed in the capacity that’s best suited for them. If it means working with their hands and becoming a well paid mechanic, electrician or plumber, than it’s up to the teachers, parents, and the students to teach and reach this goal for each individual.

      We all know not all children will score the highest in reading and math, but may be brilliant in other subjects, which they are interested in. DeVos wants these children included, so they can succeed. She seems to understand that not all students are university bound and she doesn’t want that. She sees students being able to succeed just as well in a technical college or other avenues. We just have to figure how to get them there, and having the parents and teachers involved will be the success for all students, not just the book smart ones.

      It sounds to me you had the right people around and at the right times in your life to help you, whereas so many others have slipped through the cracks. It didn’t sound easy though, not by a long shot. It just sounded to me like you were aware of what was going on around you, more perceptive than others and grabbed onto those who you knew could teach you something valuable.

      In reading your personal experience, it has led me to believe it’s not just parents, teachers and students that need to be sought for answers, but students such as yourself. Many of us, like you, who were once students also know from our experiences what works and what doesn’t.

      OT: You love in a beautiful country, it’s breathtaking. I hope and pray your people will find a leader like ours and work hard to make it better again.
      Be well,

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Bone Fish says:

    Not dead until funding for it is cut off and their commie curriculum eliminated.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. deh3k says:

    Lots of room for thought in this article. I agree that excellent education relies on empowered teachers, parents and students. Invasive fed and state standards have killed that – it has all been
    “teaching to the test”. Plus so much money for federal and state bureaucracy, stifling regulations, and very little to teachers and students.


  21. kltk1 says:

    Having seen the YouTube videos of parents raging about how their children are being taught math, I was aware but it never quite hits home until………. It does. While with my grandchildren last summer I asked my 8-year-old grandson to multiply 95×5. The hoops he jumped through to get to the answer was astonishing. If you have young kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, whatever, have them show you how they’re being taught math. It’s eye-opening, really. Disturbingly so.

    Liked by 4 people

    • jeb71 says:

      I was shocked when my 13 yr old granddaughter couldn’t read my cursive signature. So we had fun writing the alphabet. I encouraged her to, at least, practice her cursive signature because it is part of who she is. Hopefully, the new system will get back to the basics that truly work for our country’s salvation.

      Liked by 3 people

    • jeb71 says:

      I was shocked when my 13 yr old granddaughter couldn’t read my cursive signature. So we had fun writing the alphabet. I encouraged her to, at least, practice her cursive signature because it is part of who she is. Hopefully, the new system will get back to the basics that truly work for our country’s salvation.


    • ditzee58 says:

      My husband taught Algebra and Calculus at the local university for a while. One evening, he was stumped by a 4th grade Math homework problem. Took a few hours but I figured out how to work the problem and then how to explain it to our daughter. After that experience, I called the publishing companies and ordered copies of all of our daughter’s textbooks and teacher edition workbooks. We had to reteach all of the subjects she had in school just about every day. I felt like the school should be paying us salaries. Our daughter had mild ADD but she also had excellent testing scores. Go figure.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Sylvia Avery says:

    This is going to anger the libtards. I kept shaking my head and mumbling as I read DeVos’ speech. I finally had to explain myself to the family. I thought it was a pretty bold speech and a great place to begin.

    As a poster above said, BURN IT DOWN! Like many of you have commented, my educational experience in grade school and high school was kind of spotty depending a lot on whether my teachers were any good or not. Some were amazing! Some were really, really awful. Most were….meh.

    I’m not sure I would have learned much at all if my parents hadn’t taught me to read and to love to read before I ever went to school. Loving to read meant I did an awful lot of self learning through the years despite my school, curriculum, or the quality of my teachers.

    I’d love to see the whole Dept of Ed shuttered at the end of PDJT’s second term. Done. Finis.

    Liked by 5 people

    • yucki says:

      Bad enough kids don’t learn the 3-Rs.

      Lessons instead focus on normalizing perversion and communism. Textbooks revise history, denigrate our Judeo-Christian foundational principles. Civics has been replaced by shaming us for being Americans.

      Homeschoolling is the only option for parents who can’t afford private tuition.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sylvia Avery says:

        Absolutely. And any more, I’m not so sure about private schools, either.

        Public schools are the absolute worst thing. I can’t imagine sending my child off to a public school. Shudder.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Founding Fathers Fan says:

        Actually, children are being taught the new 3-Rs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • elize says:

        I’ve never birthed, but my first husband and I adopted a child who was abandoned by a druggie mother. We got her the day she was left…dirty, lice infected, but so full of hope. After cleaning up and getting her first new clothing in life, I met with her then 3rd grade teacher. She said, the girl failed a grade, can’t read, can’t write, should realistically be in kindergarten and when she did come to school was filthy, but I wish you good luck.

        We immediately put her into a private Christian school associated with our church. We interacted with the teachers, they never treated her badly and they encouraged her. I bought piles of work books, books to read and a ton of lined paper. We spent endless hours working through the workbooks and creating fun worksheets for her and she caught up. And as projects were completed we did fun things outside as reward/time off, like camping, fishing, etc. So I know for a fact that given the right support kids will thrive and suck up the knowledge we wish to give to them.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Blacksmith8 says:

      I am for shutting down EVERY government agency started since the EPA in 1970.

      Seriously, none of the new dept, agencies, bureaus do anything NEW. It’s like arranging chairs on the Titanic. It won’t make a difference if they stay or go, the job is the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. yakmaster2 says:

    I am impressed by Betsy Devos’ thinking.
    Imagine putting students and their needs first! I don’t give a whit about teacher unions whining on behalf of themselves. Nor do I care about school bureaucracies that are top heavy with “administrators.”
    And I particularly don’t give a damn about Liberals whose open border policies have strained the already failing “system” we have by forcing public schools to teach English as a second language, thereby slowing down the process of learning math, reading, writing, etc. for English speaking students!!
    You go Madam Devos!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. A.D. Everard says:

    What a fantastic speech. Made me want to be a student again and start school all over – something I’ve never felt in my entire life. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. John says:

    Another Obama mistake undone by President Trump! Yet another one of his campaign promises kept. God Bless him for keeping his word and I will definitely be voting for him in 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pam says:

    Great speech by Mrs. Devos. Another important thing to add here is that throwing more money at government programs doesn’t make smarter children or better schools. I wish Betsy Devos had been over the DOE back when I was in the public school system.


  27. All those liberal tears, and right in the middle of a cold snap. Don’t forget to salt your pathways tomorrow. People are going to be slipping all over the place.

    And remember, turning around policy is a slow process. The kids today are going to have to correct much of this themselves, with the help of their elders. Who this truly helps in the long run are the infants and the unborn. Those yet to speak, who literally have no voice. Those dependent on us to provide for them a comprehensive education in life. Trump and Betsy have been their voice.

    This is the sort of stuff that makes me well up. MAGA.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. IfThenElse says:

    Just a speech.
    There won’t be any change until the schools actually apply the theory that they learned in college.
    Readiness (don’t teach a subject until student is ready)
    Learning style incorporated (don’t force kinesthetic learner to sit still etc.)
    Better late than early data (don’t push those not ready to read at early age)
    Account for the move from concrete to abstract thinking (don’t teach abstract math until student has moved into)
    Throw the damn tests away for younger students especially
    Give teachers power to maintain order in their classrooms – tied in to smaller class size
    Just a few


  29. The elephant in the room concerning the lack of student achievement, even after all the money spent, is that over the course of 30+ years there has been a significant increase in immigrants (legal and illegal) who can’t speak or write English flooding American schools and also an increase in single parent households. If you want to want to improve overall achievement, you need to address these issues first.


    • PaulM says:

      I couldn’t agree more about the single family housholds problem. When I was in elementary school, we already knew what “sit down and be quiet meant”. I recall a teacher named Mrs Koski who would start the school year by telling us her name, walk over and prop open the classroom door and say “I’m here to teach, anyone who is not here to learn, get out now!” That was our first warning. When a kid would test her, she had no hesitation in grabbing them by the ear and literally pulling them to the principals office. When she returned without them, class resumed. I still have one ear lobe that is longer than the other. Now, with a slimey lawyer under every rock, that simple solution is politically unacceptable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • elize says:

        Thanks for the chuckle. I remember the nuns would make the boys that misbehaved during class stand in the hallway during class. I think they decided sitting was better than standing alone outside!


  30. Jim in TN says:

    You can’t fix problems without identifying them. Claiming everyone has good intentions leaves major forces in place that either don’t care about the children, unions and administrations, or that have explicit bad intent towards the children, a complete education system designed to turn out socialist zombies, not industrial workers.

    She may be trying to avoid making enemies that will rise up to stop her progress. Good luck with that, she is one of the most demonized cabinet members, starting with her nomination.

    Also, she is not attacking one of the biggest problems that hurt our children. It is out of the scope of our educational system. A welfare system designed to tear apart and impoverish families, leaving children trapped in government sponsored gang warfare with drug abuse, sex, and criminality as the cultural values taught by influences inside and outside that culture.

    No amount of choice will be exercised by children dads with a future rotating between gangs and prison, using government to feed, clothe, and raise the children of their equally young, unchoosing, addicted, baby mommas.

    Left in place, these forces will fight and undermine all the good the Secretary intends for our children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TreeClimber says:

      You must be speaking of the parents in the ghettos, who see school as a convenient baby-sitting service.


    • MAJA says:

      This may be simplistic, but i believe solving the illegal immigration problem will allow focus to be put on every other major issue we have to address. Jobs, healthcare, education, welfare, housing, crime, addiction. Burdening every system by requiring every system to conform and fund their needs and demands removes our ability to make meaningful progress in every area.


  31. Chuck says:

    Ok. Now lets get the federal government completely out of education.


  32. oldsarg says:

    Folks, be careful what you praise. . . She is describing “Mass Customized Learning”. Basically, your child will sit behind a computer screen and take online coursework. Interaction with other students while learning will be extremely limited or go away. A teacher is no longer a teacher but a “facilitator”. If a child doesn’t want to sit behind a computer and do the prescribed work they will be punished. Schools will become nonexistent for the middle and lower income.

    If you think this is the way to teach cultural and social values to our future you are mistaken. The Air Force has tried this years ago with their Computer Based Training as well and they have failed. Mass Customized Learning is not “learning”. It is programming.


    • prenanny says:

      Totally agree Sarg. The Nanny state just won the day if that is the future of “education”.
      When the time comes for these childrenbots to go out in public they won’t even need Mommy or Daddy to drive them to school they can get into their AI autos.


    • Blacksmith8 says:

      Nope, you’re wrong and you’re pushing a conjecture. you say ” she is describing…”
      and then you push your own strawman/booogeyman false argument.

      Years ago AF cbt is nothing compared to what I use on a daily basis today. It’s like the difference between windows for workgroups and Ubuntu.

      btw: You shouldn’t use a computer or network in the next 30 years because each and every certified admin and engineer has learned, rehearsed, and competed for tests to demonstrate competence for a flimsy piece of paper that keeps them employed. That’s who’s running ‘the net’.

      All that aside, I would jump and down and sing if the schools would get rid of every ‘keyboarding’ class. It’s just a tool people. It’s no better or worse than a calculator, compass, protractor, vise, or foundry pit.

      /end of rant

      Liked by 1 person

      • oldsarg says:

        Blacksmith8, I’ve been fighting the Constructivism/Discovery/Common Core/Mass Customized Learning programs for years. I am not wrong about her proposals. I know of which I speak. . .

        Those in leadership positions today, whether it be in the DoE of your local school district are all clamoring for an easier way of “teaching”. Teaching is not easy and never has been. There are no shortcuts. Those in the leadership positions are pushing these programs as if some “new” magic will make things different. It doesn’t happen. This is exactly why you have seen student performance drop year after year for the last several decades.


  33. TreeClimber says:

    It’s a start.


  34. skeinster says:

    Parents are the designated educators of their children. They can entrust the job to others, but it’s their responsibility.
    About 70% of the kids at our church are home-schooled. Their parents use a variety of resoucrces for the teens: online courses, our home-school co-op that offers in class courses in higher subjects, community college programs.
    We live in one of the best states for homeschooling, though. Others, to protect “the system” are very hostile to it. Not to downplay the disaster of Feds in education, but it’s not all them.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Charlotte says:

    Chinese Communists Infiltrating U.S. Universities

    Who is going to stop this?
    And how?
    Bad enough we have Commie professors indoctrinating American students


  36. Grad says:

    The key is (as with everything else) transparency. Give the parents oversight. Cameras in every classroom, a youtube channel for every school, so that parents can review whatever they want to, just by searching their kids classes and watching what exactly is taught (or not). And this would help the kids too. Imagine if you didn’t “get” it during the day, but you had homework on it. Parents or kids could fast forward to that lesson and review it. No more cumbersome notes needed, lol.


  37. I wish it were dead, but unfortunately, in the classroom, it is still being used. All of the textbooks currently being used and all of the teaching techniques being forced down the teachers’ throats is 100% Common Core.


  38. digleigh says:

    I do not want to be negative because I agree with much of the speech…. I did send info. to the Trump folks during the campaign, etc… I was a public school whistleblower who ended up studying over 500 hours on education, and fought the system for over 6 years! School Choice was not born out of conservatism….(Look at the history and who was involved, etc..) When the public combines with the private to produce goods or services equals SOCIALISM.. Vouchers, etc.. as obamacare almost did, will eventually run private schools out of business..Once you subsidize something, the govt. is picking winners and losers…and An example::ones who do not want the free slot ( as in pre-K because of their liberal curricula) have a had time competing with FREE pre-K slots utilized by the competing daycare who can lower their prices… PPP’s are not good for health care nor education! I also do not want big business dictating to schools how many slots they want of a certain skill ( that is the communist system and central planning).. According to the book (liberal), The Coming Revolution in Education ,”In the communist ideology, the function of universal education is clear, and easily understood. Universal education fits neatly into the authoritarian state. Education is tied directly to jobs-control of the job being the critical control point in an authoritarian state.”” When I had a young family member apply for a PRIVATE business job, and they had to go get APPROVAL from the govt. Dept. of Labor, then we are losing our freedom in jobs and free enterprise…. I would encourage those to read Marc Tucker’s Dear Hillary letter ( group on education and the economy) and look at the history of the charter school movement, and Bill Gates (promotion of muslim Turkish charters schools ) paid for by our tax dollars, etc… If Devos plans on promoting the somewhat unaccountable charter school/choice/voucher system ( socialist){I have no problem with choice WITHIN the tax dollar/public system!} and the School to Work plan(Bush/Clinton Plans) , where big business dictates, then I am not all in!! I applaud removal of Common Core (part of the big plan) but I prefer TRUE LOCAL CONTROL( no commissions,councils==politburo system) but elected boards ( which you have the power to vote in or out)maintained… The grants(private, state, federal, etc.) is where much of the junk ed. came in with lots of money attached ! The boards eat up the money without researching these things! The taxpayers should clean up their own schools ( I found cowardice in the community, I found officials lying about video shown, curricula, books available(saying none available while 3 sat on another desk, lol!), trying to charge large sums for copies of public materials(FOIA) and teachers had to meet me secretly with documents for fear of loss of jobs!(PITIFUL).. We will see…….


  39. Wayne Robinson says:

    Im a retired union member on pension . I think the teachers union should be done away with . It is my opinion the teacher union is behind the terrible education in America . Incompetence is not even frowned upon . The entire department of education needs to be revamped and pay scale should be based on quality of work with a sliding pay scale no tenor crap .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wayne Robinson says:

      Until you get politics out of education you will have problems it has always been the way of Marxist and socialist to take control of education and destroy from within . It is a mess and den of snakes

      Liked by 1 person

  40. digleigh says:

    Also, I am not so sure I trust A.E.I.(American Enterprise Institute)as they were the impetus and sponsor of the “take down Trump” meeting of the Sea Island 27(gp article)!! Attending was Bill Krystol, Paul Ryan, Cory Gardner, Sasse(big mouth neverTrumper), Rob Portman, Apple (Tim Cook) , Google ( Larry Page/Google Schmidt paid 100 million to Crowdstrike ) and Democrat John Delaney, and Sulzberger ( publisher of NYT)among others!!


  41. CirclingTheDrain says:

    In my experience, fixing education is VERY simple. You can boil it down into just a few things:
    1- Close down the Dept of Ed. Remove all existing Federal education statutes/laws.
    2- Mandate 2 curriculum items:
    — all reading will be taught via phonics first. It is THE only proven, infallible way to learn to read, in every language other than Chinese and Japanese. English is NOT a pictograph language, and shouldn’t be taught as such. Mandate this in Education degree courses. There’s a reason the Commies don’t teach phonics, and it’s not because they want your kids to be independent thinkers.
    — mandate that math facts will be learned/memorized (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division) to 4th grade, along with the normal math curriculum from, say, 1950.
    3. NO CHILD gets out of 4th grade until they are proficient in both those items, at a 4th grade or better level. Hell, they teach Down’s Syndrome kids to read using phonics – are all the rest of kids in the US less capable ??? (no slight to Down’s kids, just using a known comparison)

    Once a child can read at a 4th grade level, using phonics, plus understands math facts, the sky and the kid’s own determination is the limit on what they can learn either in a classroom or by themselves (autodidact).

    Oh and lastly – get the damn drugs – Ritalin, Adderal – out of education. Period. No child should be diagnosed ADD just because they hate being trapped in a classroom for 7 hours a day.


  42. CirclingTheDrain says:

    Oh and regarding curriculum – we could easily pick up a curriculum from 1950 and use that across all grades in K-12. Tell me – what has changed about algebra principles since 1950 ? Nothing. Hell, we could go back to schoolbooks from 1890 and be better off than we are today with “modern” textbooks. And it would be a lot cheaper.


  43. Jenny R. says:

    As a teacher, here are some of my suggestions:
    1. make “gifted” classes a reality again — and let them be open to everyone who shows high achievement in an academic area (some of the schools in my area have them, but they are limited to kids who have taken special programs outside of school…just as band membership is only now for children who have taken private classes outside of school, sports team same way….how is this in line with the concept of a public school?)
    2. make remedial classes a reality again — there is no shame in remedial classes, it’s known as getting people up to standard
    3. raise the standards in the regular classes
    4. no more “boutique” buffet style classroom choice in secondary (or primary) education: just a straight ticket: English, math, sciences, history/social studies, PE (yeah, bring back PE everyday and actual PE), arts and that’s it — which, does cover everything a student needs to know to be a productive, educated citizen ready for undergraduate level college or a trade school.
    5. Allow schools to fail kids (and discipline them, such as kicking them out) — that’s half of the problem, and its causing good teachers to quit…the kids (and a lot of the parents) are just monsters…no amount of money is going to keep somebody there for long
    6. Don’t teach religion in a public school — before people REEEE: that means no yoga (Hindu) and no Islam, let’s just make this completely fair….OR: we start teaching the histories of ALL religions (in a respectful fashion) in a history class…still think it’s a bad idea: leave that to actual religions or religious schools, if you want that, then do it at home or send your kids there
    7. revamp the sex ed. class…it’s anti-science and just terrible; for starters, get PP out of the schools — teach it as a part of health and don’t be afraid to enumerate the risks of sexual activity of a prolifigate type; I’d say get rid of it altogether, but some kids really aren’t getting any help on this from home because their parents are afraid to talk about it, aren’t smart enough to talk about it, or are so far out there that they’ll encourage their kids to be freaks — just present the health facts and be done with it and hopefully most kids listen…that is part of the thing people aren’t realizing: schools don’t really have that much influence on your kids UNLESS you are aiding and abetting their influence at home…parents, back to you


  44. “On a parallel track, the Obama administration’s School Improvement Grants sought to fix targeted schools by injecting them with cash. The total cost of that effort was seven billion dollars”
    Obama was a shithole president very good at spending and wasting our tax dollars! Giving it away like its his own! A thief!


  45. clodfobble says:

    Good to hear. When are they going to STOP “teaching” common core in schools?


  46. MIKE says:

    Almost all of you Treepers are wicked smart. I’m willing to bet that you all had at least one or two teachers/instructors that were so good, they inspired you to embrace the learning process instead of resisting it like me. We had, in my senior year, a lady teacher who was assigned most of my fellow misfits in one split-lunch class. On the first day it was apparent this was just the baby-sitting class. Most of us did not return to class after lunch. Early on this fine lady took us misfits to the side and told us she cared not one Iota about what we did outside of the classroom. She showed us we could be ourselves, and still learn because she, if we would give her the opportunity, would show us it could be a lot of fun, all of it, from mechanical grammar to Shakespeare.
    Long story short, she ended up leaving in the spring before the year was out, I think her husband was starting a new career in CO. But before she left, she gave an identical comprehensive exam to all her classes. And she showed us the unexpected results. Our split lunch misfit class, who began coming back from lunch early to ask subject matter questions while she ate her lunch,at her desk, ended up scoring the highest.
    When she left, she was pregnant with twins. The Misfit class, who didn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves prior to experiencing tutelage under a REAL teacher, pitched in and bought her a high-end well-researched tandem baby stroller and other departing gifts. She almost did not stop crying.
    I don’t think one day has passed where lessons learned in her class have not influenced me in some way or the other. And I’m not talking Shakespeare.
    God bless you, Mrs. Paula R. wherever you are.
    These instructors/tutors are exactly what our educational system needs.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. KBR says:

    So many problems with schools and the leftization thereof.
    But deVos says “common core is dead,” now we are abdicating all responsibility for correcting the errors of past federal governments.
    We are going to leave this mess for states.

    Which means that the politicalization of schools will remain leftist in blue states and RINO states.
    Probably in all states, in fact:
    How much easier to keep things the same than to make changes: how much $ can state politicians pocket by doing very little while pretending to do a lot?

    Common core was bad. But it is not all that was bad.

    Personally, the phrase “rats deserting a sinking ship” comes to mind. Leaving children to the sharks.


    • MAJA says:

      Your comment assumes that there aren’t hordes of educated, committed people ready, willing and able (parents) to take back the control that the dept of education ripped from their hands. The education system does not want parent input. Parents are annoyances. While it is true that mistakes will be made and that there are parents who don’t care, but I don’t think the results for that group will be much different than what it is now.

      The system is set up to allow people to have children without taking responsibility. Why are there free breakfasts and lunches offered at school? This is such a basic parental responsibility. Why are public schools becoming social services hubs? Why is there such a push to enroll toddlers in public preschool? Many say that basic services are offered because a child can’t learn if they’re hungry, and I agree, but clearly having the public school system be responsible to bandaid all problems outside of their core purpose doesn’t make sense.


      • KBR says:

        I sure hope you are right.

        And I hope today’s parents are not too brainwashed by their own experiences with dumbed-down education to realize that much better results come from top-drawer education with an insistence that teachers inspire learning, and insist upon it…
        and that students either learn or they fail.

        With encouragement and help with “how to learn” and “I know you can learn this” most kids will do just fine.

        The ones who simply cannot learn need special classes with other students at their own learning level, IMO. Otherwise the teacher must slow down or dumb down the entire class to match the slowest learners: there is only so much time in a teaching day.

        Spending a lot of extra time for the slow primary school learner is taking time away from the average to fast learner. The fastest learners get bored and then they quit trying themselves: what’s the use when the dumbest kid in the room gets more praise and attention than the smart ones? The message they get is its better to be dumb.

        If the slow learner fails a grade, perhaps they might end up being the fastest learner next year, since they are getting a second chance at the same subjects.

        Kids need to understand that learning the material is absolutely required to pass.

        Passing grades given to failing students does NOT “help their poor little self esteem.”
        Next year they will just feel dumber and dumber as they fall further and further behind their classmates, since most subjects must build on the info learned last year. If they didn’t learn last year they start out way behind. That is a lot less “fair” and a lot more damaging to overall self-esteem and success than being held back a grade in primary school.


  48. now…go a step further and SHUT DOWN the dept. of education


  49. missycaulk says:

    The Dept of Education was started by Carter as a thank you to teachers unions. It was new and Reagan was suppose to get rid of it but couldn’t. Once a beaucracy is started it is very hard to do, think Obama Care. My husband was a high school teacher so I saw it all played out for years. Even though joining the teachers unions was “optional” in Michigan, the pressure to join was unbelievable. Local control is always the best solution not federally mandated curriculums. True American History must be brought back and Civic’s. This is one reason we see the youth thinking socialism is great…they have not been taught American exceptionalism at all or the Founding Fathers documents.

    Liked by 1 person

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