A Pre-College Education in the U.S. – 2018

                                                            By T’Jae Ellis, ARL Public Affairs

Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos has reversed many of the evolutionary steps put in place by the Obama administration. Her decisions have had a significant impact on a variety of students, and on education as a whole. Based on her actions, Secretary Devos’ strongly prefers charter, or “private” religious schools over public schools, though curiously, would prefer private schools were not regulated. (Private schools sound pretentious, so supporters changed the phrase to “charter” schools. )

Both DeVos and Trump have promoted private school choice on several occasions. In June of 2017, Secretary DeVos, under questioning, consistently refused to state she would require private schools to “not” discriminate against a student’s color, or religion, or handicapped students. (In a recent poll, charter/private schools have dropped significantly in popularity.) In October of 2017, the Department of Education dropped 72 policies that detailed rights of disabled children in schools.

DeVos has also chosen to rescind the Obama administrations guidance on transgender rights, and pulled back Title IX guidance dealing with sexual assault on campuses. On September, 20th, Betsy DeVos met with Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon. Two days later, DeVos rolled back Title IX. (Michigan State fired Larry Nassar for sexual misconduct in September.)

More recently, she has supported the idea of an online high school education. Not too surprisingly, it’s not working out very well. Pennsylvania tried it. The graduation rate of participating students is a depressing 48 percent. “None” of the virtual charter schools are meeting the Pennsylvania’s “passing” requirements. Home schooling falls under Pennsylvania’s virtual school system, making it popular with “a certain part of the population,” regardless of whether the student is passing the classes. And, remember, there are minimal regulations for “private schools/home schooling.” (The Turpin family – 13 captive, semi-starved children – home-schooled. No one ever checked on them.)

Hurricane Maria displaced a large number of students, and in some cases, simply stopped them from going to school. Some were brought the mainland of the U.S., while others simply lost the opportunity to attend school for half the school year. Also, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and wildfires have effected a large number of students. The effects of these school closures will be felt into the coming school year.

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Keith D. Foote

Keith is also a freelance writer. He has written an alternative physics book titled the Ultra-Space Field Theory, and 2 sci-fi novels. Keith has been following politics, and political promises, for the last forty years. He gave up his car, preferring to bicycle and use public transport. Keith enjoys yoga, mini adventures, spirituality, and chocolate ice cream.