Are We a More Perfect Union  I Don’t think so...

I seriously doubt that and I see a trend not befitting who we were and who we are today.  We are always being told by those we chose to represent us, the politicians whom remind us how exceptional we and our children are.   

Thats just not true.  Thats like the Plebes of Rome being told how great things were and they could watch the slaves get eaten by lions or killed by professional killers called “gladiators” trained for entertainment.  

Our exceptional children are dumbed down by useless learning systems, FCAT, No Child Left Behind and once again when Politics enter the classroom, or anything else lately there is failure.  We do not teach history and what has been our past and how it affects our future. 

Ten years ago we led the world in learning in math and science and today we are in the middle of the  pack being beaten by countries you never heard of or couldn’t even spell their countries name.

How do US students compare with their peers around the world?  Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicate that US students continue to rank around the middle of the pack, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.

One of the biggest cross-national tests is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the US an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.

Younger American students fare somewhat better on a similar cross-national assessment, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. That study, known as TIMSS, has tested students in grades four and eight every four years since 1995. In the most recent tests, from 2015, 10 countries (out of 48 total) had statistically higher average fourth-grade math scores than the U.S., while seven countries had higher average science scores. In the eighth-grade tests, seven out of 37 countries had statistically higher average math scores than the US, and seven had higher science scores.

I help mentor several middle graders on science projects,  and am amazed about how much knowledge they had about their project, but who knew little or nothing about World history, the American government and how it runs, yet we tell them they are exceptional what.  three of the children were from other countries, refugees from China and India and they were brilliant for their age, well supervised by their parents and extremely computer literate and interested in worldly affairs.

In one classroom,  I asked several whom did we fight in the second world war and they did not know.  They are taught math and science to pass the tests, as an evaluation of the teacher.  Our entire education system is going down the toilet and TRUMP picked the worst possible looser to run the educational program in this country.   

Not knowing history, she never attended any public schools,  only allows us to make the same mistake over and over again.  Putting her in the drivers seat  will ruin what little hope we have for a future resurgence in education.  She like TRUMP is in the 1% and does not care about the 99% of children who need public schools.

NEW YORK ― When Betsy DeVos was named education secretary last February, she become public education’s No. 1 enemy. After all, the billionaire is notorious for her desire to expand private school choice programs which include many religious private schools that teach Christian fundamentalist doctrine.

One year into her tenure, educators have turned this opposition into action. 

•   As in so many industries and among Democrats at large, there has been a wave of activism in response to President Donald Trump in the past year. In education, this activism has manifested as a renewed rallying around traditional public schools. 

•  The Network for Public Education, an advocacy group, has seen membership shoot up to 330,000 members, compared to 22,000 members before DeVos was nominated. The previous year, membership had increased by only a fraction of that amount. And in states like Kentucky, more teachers than ever are running for office. 

•   Polls have shown a decline in support for some of DeVos’ favorite types of schools. One poll from August showed that public enthusiasm for charter schools ― a type of public school that is privately operated and often has support from both parties ― is dropping. 

•   Another poll, from American Federation for Children, the education reform group DeVos used to head, found that overall support for the concept of “school choice” has been dropping too, although it remains high. (The AFC poll defines school choice as giving “parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs.”) 

•   DeVos “was a wake-up call to everyone who was concerned about the future of public education,” Diane Ravitch, a former U.S. assistant secretary of education and founder of the Network for Public Education, said over breakfast in a Brooklyn neighborhood in January. “I’m actually glad [Trump] chose her.”  

•  When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, our first thought  was that the country was in some major trouble.  Not just because Trump is such an offensive human being, but because the people he was going to bring onto the team to make the big choices about keeping America safe, fed, healthy, and educated didn’t seemed concerned with making sure that anyone who wasn’t  White, Heterosexual, Christian, and Already Rich got any of those things. 

It’s hard to pick just one Worst Team Trump Player, but right now, it feels like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos might be the worst bad apple in the whole rotten bunch.  Everything she’s done so far has done nothing to fix the actual problems with our education system and what students have to deal with every day. 

•  On Tuesday, DeVos unravelled all of the hard-won progress for transgender students that happened under the Obama administration. The Trump administration overall has been rolling back protections for transgender students under Title IX, but DeVos hadn’t been super specific about how her department would interpret it. 

•  It would certainly be nice if Betsy DeVos understood what gender identity actually meant and could advocate for some of our most at-risk youth, the ones we should be doing everything we can to protect and keep safe. We know too much about what bullying, discrimination, and forcibly prescribing identity does to a child to not be outraged by this. But DeVos is stone cold — and it’s not the only abhorrent attribute she’s brought to her role.

•   She cut student loan aid this week.  On Monday, she released a budget proposal that would make paying back our student loans a whole lot harder. She wants to consolidate the income-based repayment plans so that the period of time to repayment is shorter but raises the bill to 12.5 percent of a person’a income. 

•   She also wants to stop paying interest for lower-income students and get rid of the program that forgives loans for public servants. This will, according to the Washington Post, raise the cost of college by $200 billion within the next ten years. This means that millions of people will have to make a choice between a higher education or not going into debilitating debt. And if they do decide to borrow, they can just live in almost poverty like the majority of millennials already do. 

•   She is so corrupt, and she also has financial ties to the companies that she wants to collect these predatory loans, because of course she does. The worst part is that she doesn’t even try to hide this fact.

•   She promotes this school “choice” thing. DeVos calls her policy “school choice,” but it’s really a system to further segregate schools and ensure that wealthy, able children get services and can go to private schools and those that need them the most don’t have access.  She heads up our public education system and has called it a “dead end” and a “monopoly,” which is just outrageous. 

•   How can you be fundamentally opposed to the thing you’re supposed to manage?   Research is mixed when it comes to voucher programs, but most education experts (and not DeVos, who just knows the private, Christian schools she attended growing up) content that they don’t serve everyone, which is what a federal education department is supposed to do.

•   She is not on the side of teachers.  Two of the heads of the biggest teacher unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — two, mind you — went to the headquarters to bring DeVos 80,000 “report cards” from teachers who wrote their assessment of her suggested budgets and policies as a protest, but also a real sit down meeting with the head of the public education system. But they locked the doors! Protests are a right in pretty much all forms, but this was the most civilized way to “storm” the building we can think of.
“They don’t even have the respect to actually take the petitions, and the comments, and what people have said in a respectful way and deliver it to the secretary,” Randi Weingarten, the head of the AFT told the Washington Post.

•   She thinks God belongs in schools.  DeVos has said that she wants to “advance God’s kingdom” through our school districts. “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom,” she once said, according to Mother Jones.
We don’t really know what that means either, but it sounds like it’s forcing one idea of religion onto what is supposed to be a place separate from the church.

•   She also she comes from a family that thinks Creationism should be taught in schools, doesn’t mind abstinence-only sex ed, and believes in conversion therapy. She’s distanced herself from those positions since getting on board the Trump train, but we’re not buying that she’s had a change of heart considering her own statements about religion in schools.

•   She’s not the most familiar with public education.  She has never attended a public school, or sent her children to one, so how can she possibly have any real idea how amazing they can be and how to come up with innovative ways to make our system better? 

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