Trump’s Common Core Pick: Betsy DeVos   14 comments


Betsy DeVos, America’s newly appointed Secretary of Education, is quite adorable.  She interviews like America’s Sweetheart, her name sounds like Betsy Ross, and she says she’s opposed to the Common Core.

But the parents who began Stop Common Core in Michigan say DeVos used her Michigan big-funding machine to block, rather than to assist, the Stop Common Core parents’ nearly successful legislation that would have repealed the Common Core.

DeVos’ Greater Lakes Education Project (GLEP) sounds like the Michigan version of Utah’s Education First / Prosperity 2020.  Organizations like Michigan’s GLEP or Utah’s Education First are wealthy Common Core-promoters that give ear candy to, and then fund, any candidate who is willing to take their ear candy and campaign cash. Then they’re obliged to vote as the Common Core machine calls the shots.

DeVos, like Bill Gates, is on board with Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Educational Excellence (another huge Common Core promo tank.)  DeVos, like Gates, also wrote checks to the Clinton Foundation.

So where are Betsy DeVos’s loyalties?

As Jane Robbins recently noted, “It simply doesn’t make sense that DeVos would contribute boatloads of money to – and even lead — organizations that actively push a policy with which she disagrees. Would a pro-life philanthropist write checks to Planned Parenthood because the abortion mill provides the occasional Pap test?”

A true liberty lover would only do this if she, like so many Americans, doesn’t fully understand what the Common Core machine is doing. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.  I know a lot of good people who have only the vaguest idea what the Common Core machine is doing or will do.

So let’s clarify.

The Common Core machine loves money, not children. It clearly steals from children. It really is that simple.

I’d like to see DeVos speak out about the following:

The initiative has stolen academic freedom and privacy.  It is stealing social-emotional data without parental consent.  It is stealing what we used to call classical education.  It is stealing the local ability to make decisions about what will be on the test –and, by extension, what will be in the book and on the essay. It is stealing student dollars that could go elsewhere (to teachers, buses, field trips, desks, basketballs, glue sticks, pencils) and is diverting it to tech coffers: Pearson, Microsoft, etc.  No profit left behind.

Money, money, money –and comforting ear candy– make the machine’s operators feel great about being it’s operators.


Ever since Bill Gates openly courted American legislators in 2009 and identified as a “large, uniform base of customers” the sitting ducks (schools) waiting to be bankrolled, schools and legislative ed committees have become the hot market for businesses and philanthropic activists.  This power grab, away from parents and local school boards, toward the corporate-governmental partnerships, has been monumental.

Core pushers’ “ear candy” sells well.  They make it sound as if the machine’s primarily about ed tech progress –bringing new, good things to kids– but it’s primarily about adults who love money.

How many ed tech salesmen, governors, senators or representatives have really stopped to consider consequences –intentional or unintentional– of the standardizing of everything in education and in education governance?

They’ve pushed data mining without informed parental consent, pushed common, national ed data systems, pushed unvalidated tests and curriculum –on an entire nation of student guinea pigs.

It has been, and continues to be, a mad dash toward Gates’ vision of schools as the shiny, shiny, “uniform customer base”:

If you’ve seen the latest Disney movie: remember how the creepy bling-crab looks at Moana?  That’s how I picture Mr. Bill “Uniform Customer Base” Gates, the ed tech corporations, the government data miners, and the business-model charter pushers, looking at schools.

School dollars are so shiny!  It’s the money, not what’s best for children, that they see.



But as I watched DeVos’ interview in which she explained her vision of the school choice movement, I thought: she’s sincere in her belief.  She really buys the school choice line.

But has she (or most Americans) really thought it all the way through?

It’s as if we were buying a house.  We love the curb appeal and the front door of the School Choice idea. We take a step inside and shout, “Sold!”  But…  what about the rotted attic that no one checked?  What about the weird, moldy basement?  Is there a kitchen?  Are there enough bedrooms?

Why aren’t more people asking SERIOUS questions about School Choice and about the Common Core machine?  Because the words on the surface just sound good?  Because the entryway of the house looks fantastic?  (Who would be opposed to allowing disadvantaged kids in to better schools? Who wouldn’t like choice? That’s sweet ear candy, right?)

The notion of school choice is a false choice, because where government dollars are, government mandates are.

It’s like the old Ford ad:


Think about it.

Vouchers for school choice are not reimbursed cash; they’re government subsidies, and anything that the government subsidizes, it regulates.

The beauty of private schools has always been freedom.  Parents can pay the nuns to teach their Catholic children right out of the Bible.  What happens when a disadvantaged child from a Catholic family takes a government voucher to pay for private religious school tuition?

That particular money can destroy that particular school.

By putting vouchers into private schools, we turn those private schools into government-regulated schools (aka public schools) and those private schools will not longer be free to teach –things like religion or morality.  Nor will those private schools be free to continue to protect data privacy of teachers or students; human data is always one of the items that federal monies trade schools for, in exchange for cash.  Read that paragraph again.

“He who pays the piper calls the tune” means that if the feds pay then the private schools, as pipers, have to play what they’ve been paid to play.  And that’s the music of the Common March.

The beauty of (some) charter schools has been the illusion that parents had more say in what went on (almost like a private school).  But under Common Core, that’s changing.  Many charter schools now have businesses running them, not elected board members running them. Where’s the local control in that? This gets rid of voters’ voices, parents’ voices.  With the Great Commonizing, even legitimate, good differences between public schools and charter schools seem very temporary.

Under the Common Core machine– with its federally approved schoolrooms,  nationalized “truths” that trump local academic freedom, federally urged data mining, disregard for parental consent to data mine, disregard for teaching autonomy –what’s any real, lasting difference between what a child in a charter will experience and what a child in a public school or (eventually) even a private school would ultimately experience?  The Common march means there will be no real differences permitted at length.

I am guessing that DeVos doesn’t know that the Common Core machine is building a socialistic, factory model of education according to the vision of the Tucker-Clinton conspiracy.  I’m guessing, too, that she hasn’t heard (or dismisses) what whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt has been saying for years:

“The goal of school choice… is the takeover of the public and private school sectors through partnerships with the corporate sector in order to implement socialist work force training… Carnegie Corporation, in its little blue book entitled “Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies” 1934, called for using the schools to change our nation’s free market economy to a planned economy.”  Hmm– a planned, centralized economy– that means, no local control.  I don’t believe that’s what DeVos really hopes to build.  I don’t think she, or Heritage Foundation, or FreedomWorks, have really thought this all the way through while wearing their Constitution-framed glasses.

In her Florida interview, DeVos said (minute 7:40-8:09) that she wanted people to rethink the public school “system that was brought to us 200 years ago by the Prussians, very much an industrial, factory model of education… Technology has brought so many new opportunities… we need to allow people who are innovative and creative to come and help us think differently about how we can do education”.

I don’t think she understands that the factory model’s exactly where the school choice movement eventually leads:  First, it leads there because vouchers can strip private schools of religious, moral and academic freedom, and second, because if we move away from the elected-board-run public schools to business-owned, no-elected-board charter models, we have erased our own voices and votes even in public education.



While you’re folding laundry or jogging later today, listen to Constitution-defending lawyer KrisAnne Hall as she explains the trouble with DeVoss, vouchers and school choice in this podcast.

Hall notes that Americans are confused about their desire for limited government and local control versus their desire for big socialist programs: “Amongst our conservative circles… we want limited government –unless we want government to define marriage.  We want limited government –unless we want government to control our consumption of plants.  We want limited government –unless it has to do with education.”

She also notes that while Trump wants to give $20 billion in federal grants to poor children— not to all children.  The middle and upper classes are not invited to the school choice party.

Have the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks considered that?

Trump said:

As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty.  If we can put a man on the moon… we can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America…”

If you remember nothing else from this blog post, remember this:

  1. School choice and vouchers are not for all American children; they are for those whom the federal government will designate as recipients.  It’s favoritism and it’s socialism and it’s legal  plunder:  A pays for B to go to the school of B’s choice.  If A doesn’t pay, A goes to jail.
  2. Whether B goes to this school or that one is only a partial liberty because all the schools receiving money from government school vouchers must abide by federal regulations:  data mining kids, removing religious and academic liberty from private schools, and controlling teachers.




A Related P.S.


On January 5, 2017, there will be a new public hearing in Chicago, where unit record identifiers and Public Law 114-140 will be discussed. The federal Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking (CEP)’s boiled-down purpose seems to be to cater to the federal/corporate desire for  more student “evidence,” in the form of school-gleaned personal data, minus student/parental rights of privacy/ informed consent; but, to do it with the “public input” box checked off.  So let’s comment.  If you can go to Chicago, go.  If not, submit written comment to CEP.

To learn about the last such hearing, click here and here.

CEP information:

Submit your request to participate to no later than Sunday, December 18, 2016

Include in your request the following information:

  • Name and Professional Affiliation (if applicable)
  • 2-3 Sentence Abstract
  • Written Statement (preferably in .pdf format)

Commission staff will inform you of your assigned speaking time and logistical details no later than December 23, 2016.

Visit closer to the event date for webcast and caption details.

Additional Upcoming Meetings & Hearings:

  • December 12, 2016, Washington, DC (National Press Club) – Federal Models for Evidence – Building
  • January 13, 2017, Washington, DC (National Academy of Sciences) – State and International Models for Evidence- Building
  • February 9, 2017, San Francisco, CA – Public Hearing

I would absolutely love to see Betsey DeVos at that CEP Chicago hearing next month.  I would love to see her fight for students’ data privacy rights against the federal Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking (CEP).  I want to see her true colors.

I so hope that I’ve read her completely wrong;  I so hope she’s truly opposed to what the Common Core Initiative has wrought.

14 responses to “Trump’s Common Core Pick: Betsy DeVos

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  1. DeVos notes that Florida is furtherest along. Does she mention that Florida also has one of the largest number of Gulen Charter Schools? Her own state of Michigan has 80% FOR PROFIT Charters. These schools are left to run out of control without any over sight. I believe Charters and Vouchers are dangerous and I believe DeVos is a danger for education. We are now back to square one and our fight over the past 4 years has been lost with this appointment. So we start again but this time it will be harder. So many parents are being deceived by the glitter of some silver. Just like the states were deceived by the glitter of RTTT silver.

  2. Let give her a chance. I think you all are powerful enough to unite and stop her, if she goes the wrong way. Just my thought.

    • You are way too naive to think we can stop her. We have been fighting this since the early 90’s and as evidenced by this nomination we have not influence much except educating a bunch of people that refuse to get up off their butts and pull their kids out of the system. When they won’t listen it is time to stand up and take action but we have brainwashed several generations to be obedient slaves.

  3. Betsy DeVos said nothing about Common Core, the federal education program forcing states to accept & utilize this federal education program or lose federal funds in that state refusing Common Core. Common Core in spite of the educrats defines and controls curriculum since all testing now is based on what is taught in Common Core. This means the feds now control what is being taught even in choice, voucher, private and public schools IF any of them receive federal $$. Trump promised he would remove Common Core. Will this happen under Betsy DeVos’ leadership? I personally doubt it will given Betsy’s past involvement in No Child Left Behind and her org.s opposition to the Stop Common Core in MI where she hails from. I hope I’m wrong and wish Betsy well as we need to follow the founding fathers concept of a Republic and the States rights to control local K-12 education.

  4. Weren’t all options available before the government got involved? Why aren’t we just getting rid of the Dept of Ed and keep the government out of it.

    Do you notice how we need so many new schools because we’re taking in so many millions of immigrants (legal and illegal) and we’re building those schools where the real estate is cheapest: on highways. So kids can’t walk to school, or go anywhere after school – they are like prisoners sitting on highways until rides show up to get them out of there.

    Did you see on the Bill Gates video above: $350 million stimulus will be spent on creating tests for curriculum to be aligned with. The current PAARC testing contract went to a friend of Obama’s” he made $108 Billion the first year: they charge $40/student for the test that the parents and kids don’t want. And did anyone see anything about that go out for competitive bidding? If it did, they could have gotten that worthless test contracted for $1/kid and still made a killing.

    Mr. Trump: I’m glad you beat out Hitlery, but don’t give in to the pressure of this sort of BS – send education back to the states! And, set up a task team of educators to create a recommended – non-partison – curriculum that schools can adopt if needed, but not required, so that when they ditch the Common Core Crap 1000’s of schools around our nation don’t have to re-invent the wheel: give them a wheel, developed by trained educators, not business people and lawyers, that they can build off of as they see fit. If they choose.

  5. Lynn, yes to everything on your list except the request for another “recommended” curriculum. Please!! That’s what we’ve been fighting to be free of. Local educators, overseen by responsible parents, are quite capable of finding good material out there. If they aren’t they should be replaced! We don’t need to be bamboozled by “experts”, who claim that education today is so complex that we need them to make decisions for us. They have shown how useless they are! Let’s have confidence in common sense, instead of common curricula.




    • I understand and agree except all states didn’t have good curriculum before – some were really substandard. And for every state to reinvent new curriculums would be a rather heavy burden I think. My recommendation was to create an optional curriculum that is strong and competitive that states/schools can choose to use or bench mark off of – or not: no requirements.

      I spoke to a friend today who quit his teaching job this fall: the kids are out of control, as are the parents, and no support or backing for the teachers from the school system. What a shame – I know he really cared. That’s the impact of the CCC – the good teachers are leaving. That’s what they want: all along I said this was going to knock out the middle class job of teachers to replace them with technicians to play media delivered programming.

      • MA before CC had a wonderful curriculum-it was approved by the Fordham Institute -it’s students were gaining a lot of ground and scores going up. SC was just on the spectrum of going this way until we were bombarded with CC training for teachers,etc.A group was formed to get the CC standards out of SC-we did and then a new Superintendent (Democrat turned Republican) just tweeked these new CC standards-so all our work went no where.Incidental at this time-Fordham was enticed by money to go over to the CC side. Now we are here with Betsy and President Trump-where I have only heard of dismissing the CC standards 3 times at and post inauguaration . We have to be tough & Unified to fight this-should this insidious & indoctrination of our children continue!!!

        • Common Core are standards NOT curriculum. Common Core is a set of one size FITS ALL NATIONAL standards. Two different things entirely. This country educated the greatest minds in the history of world without Common Core NATIONAL standards. It is NOT the job of the federal government or another state to dictate education to the states. Our founders knew well that when we had the federal government controlling education they would also control how our children think and behave. The failure of the states that did not have good standards is the failure of the citizens to engage. There were many states that had great standards. But did the Governors of the lower performing state ever go looking for guidance from the strong academic states??? No they did not. Did the public demand it? No they did not. Most of the problems we have in our society today is a direst result of a lazy, complacent public that thinks all they have to do is vote and their job is done. After they vote their job is just beginning. It is our civic duty as citizens to hold our elected accountable. When they fail us we are to vote them out not reward their bad behavior by continuing to elect them time and time again. If I passed a law that said ALL 40 year old males had to weigh 150 lbs. you would think me nuts. RIGHT? You would say that is crazy. Not all 40 year old males are alike, they are not all built the same, they are not all the same height. BUT you have no problem accepting that all children learn the same at the same pace. National standards set a standard for all children regardless of mental and emotional maturity, much like setting a standard for that 40 yr. old male. Children ARE NOT small adults. Also, think about ranking states academic achievement. If we have a list of 50 states there is going to be 1 state at the top and 1 state at the bottom. That cannot be avoided but does that really mean the state at the bottom is doing a poor job. No. It just means they are at the bottom of the list. If you look at the point variation between states in the NAEP you will see that VERY little separates the states at the top and states at the bottom. Remember they can use data for evil purposes as well as for good purposes. They can use data to manipulate the truth to push forward their agenda and they do and they have been since the day A NATION AT RISK came out.

  6. Pingback: Trump’s Common Core Pick: Betsy DeVos | Peace For Eternity

  7. Thank you for this wonderful research. It clears up many of my concerns.
    I am not a Mr. Gates – Fan -nore – Government Run Schools – this word they picked for what is already been done for years, slowly.
    Concerns our autonomy, I do not want a (Reorientation) if they would say reintroduce real history any word except this (reorientation).

    #NoAgenda21, #NoDapl

  8. Ms. S:

    As usual, your research is spot on and your fears are based on recent history and original source materials.

    As the founder of Utah’s only private educational psychology/trauma center it is now my responsibility to guide and plan for the growth of the clinic. In this capacity, I am not given the liberty of placing the future of 30 Doctors-Therapists and Educators employed in 2 States on the basis of “wishes” and hope;

    It is what it is, and objective facts will guide our future, not advocacy or politics.

    Trump? Secretary Betsy? Utah State Office
    of Education? Governor Herbert? Utah
    lawmakers and their influential education
    lobby? Utah parents unusually high-culture based trust in leaders? ESEA reforms passed in federal law last year? Relaxed privacy laws and the soon to be Trillion dollar industry associated with data mining our kids Psychological information? Etc? Etc?

    Our own independent analysis of the above issues, along with your notes and documented concerns have resulted in one logical conclusion and subsequent action:

    We have revised our long term, 3 year clinical-business plan….Early Life will triple in size within 3 years.


  9. Pingback: DeVos hearing leaves Democrats frustrated - Western Free Press

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