'Has not lifted a finger': Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted for increasingly rocky tenure

  
By:  tessylo  •  4 weeks ago  •  77 comments

By:    Aarthi Swaminathan Yahoo Finance

'Has not lifted a finger': Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted for increasingly rocky tenure

U.S.








'Has not lifted a finger': Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted for increasingly rocky tenure



01f69fd0-de0a-11e9-afef-1a9c59702bcb   Aarthi Swaminathan   2 hours 41 minutes ago  















Betsy Devos had a rough year in Washington















Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has had a rough year — even relative to other remaining members of the Trump administration.

DeVos is facing troubles ranging from being fined  $100,000 for contempt of court  to dealing with  lawsuits  stemming from an ineffective Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called DeVos “ the worst Secretary of Education ” ever. A U.S. Magistrate in San Francisco slammed DeVos over “ gross negligence ” over the collection of debt payments from students of a defunct for-profit college. And a top student loan official chosen by DeVos recently quit over how “ broken ” the student loan system has become.

According to experts, the tenure of Secretary DeVos has a poor record so far — particularly when it comes to student loans.

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US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during the Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, July 15, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

“We've now had years of failed efforts to try and block accountability over student loan companies who have ripped off borrowers at every turn,” former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Ombudsman and current Executive Director of D.C.-based nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center Seth Frotman, who  resigned  from the CFPB in August 2018, told Yahoo Finance. “It's time to quit the political games and allow law enforcement officials at the federal level and the state level to demand justice for student loan borrowers. And the Department of Education, which clearly has no desire to do so, should get out of the way.”

D.C.-based consumer advocacy group Allied Progress Spokesman Jeremy Funk told Yahoo Finance that DeVos “has not lifted a finger to fix the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis. [She has] only helped her friends in the student loan servicer and for-college industries make it worse for their own benefit.”
Funk added: “She’s expedited this harmful agenda by hiring a slew of industry lobbyists to run her Department … But don’t expect DeVos to change her behavior because President Trump either doesn’t care or is pleased she is doing the bidding of industries that have pumped millions of dollars into Republican campaigns like his.”

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(Graphic: David Foster)

The failed PSLF program


One of the major issues that emerged this year was the ineffectiveness of the PSLF program.

Congress  designed  the program to reduce the student debt burden for thousands of borrowers who performed a decade of service in government or nonprofit jobs.

But the PSLF program has had a  dismal track record  with acceptance rates at a mere 1%. When Congress tried to fix it by funding a temporary expansion of the PSLF program, that too had a 1% approval rate, according to the  Government Accountability Office .

Frustrated by the lack of progress, one group has decided to  sue the DOE.

DOE Press Secretary Angela Morabito told Yahoo Finance that agency was working hard to improve the program, but the design of the program itself was flawed: “When PSLF was written more than a decade ago, the Department made Congress aware that only a tiny fraction of borrowers would qualify. It is important to note that the high denial rates in PSLF are by Congressional design, not by accident or failed implementation by the Department.”

Making life easier for for-profit schools


The other big issue has involved accreditation — a process where colleges, universities, and higher learning institutions get evaluated.

In October, DeVos  loosened accreditation standards .

Experts said this opened up the possibility for subpar colleges — particularly for-profits — to secure federal funding for their students.

74f47a30-fd9e-11e9-afff-e735429fa18a
A security guard inside Everest College keeps away a member of the media and a former student Gary Montano after the embattled for-profit Santa Ana school was shut down along with 28 others. (Photo: Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

“Among other measures, this proposal would further open the spigot of taxpayer money going to failed and closing schools, conceal information from the public about the accreditation oversight process, and diminish the value of accreditor standards,” Antoinette Flores, associate director for postsecondary education at D.C.-based think tank Center for American Progress, said in a statement. “The simple question to ask is: Whose interest is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos truly serving?”

In an Oct 31  statement , DeVos maintained that this move was necessary: “[W]e ended the stranglehold that a system designed when people traveled by horse and buggy continued to have on institutions. …. it is time to right size bureaucracy and allow institutions to redirect their resources to students and teaching.”

Revoking Obama-era rules protecting defrauded borrowers


This year also marked the instance when a federal judge fined DeVos $100,000.

After the largest for-profit college, Corinthian, had  closed in 2015 , the federal government had declared that former students were  eligible for loan forgiveness . In  2017 , a group of former students said that the DOE stopped discharging those loans and filed a lawsuit.

Yet the agency  didn’t stop collecting the loans . More than 3,000 made payments that they didn’t have to make, and 1,800 had their taxes seized or wages garnished.

6a7b8210-fd9e-11e9-9d7f-1f3bee403eb0
A student at the Boston Public Library on Sep. 14, 2017. She just started classes for a bachelor's degree. She is a victim of fraudulent practices by Everest Institute, where she took out large loans for a "worthless degree." (Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim in San Francisco chastised DeVos during a hearing in early October,  saying : "I am not sending anyone to jail yet, but it’s good to know that I have that ability.” Kim later  doled out the $100,000 fine  after finding that she had been in contempt of court. (But the DOE has said it has submitted a proposed motion for  reconsideration  for the fine.)

Meanwhile, the DeVos administration has  rolled back Obama-era rules  that allowed borrowers who were defrauded by their college to seek loan cancellation, called the “borrower defense.” Currently over  210,000 borrower defense claims  are pending.

She also rolled back another Obama-era rule called gainful employment.

Under the  2014 rule , schools would not receive federal funding if their students consistently left with high student debt. Under the regulation, a graduate’s estimated annual loan payment should not exceed 20% of their discretionary income, or 8% of their total earnings.

In June, DeVos rescinded the gainful employment rule — because it “ unfairly targeted for-profit colleges ” — as of July 1, 2020.

Yet in October, the DOE had given a whopping   $10.7 million in loans and grants  to students at for-profit schools, even though the schools weren’t yet accredited hence ineligible to receive the aid.

“How do we know Secretary DeVos is a lost cause? Not even a court order was enough to convince her to work on behalf of all student borrowers,” said Funk. “She’d apparently rather be held in contempt of court than doing something as fundamental to the Department’s mission as forgiving debt for defrauded students.”

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U.S. President Donald Trump and DeVos on March 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Consolidating power over student loans


Finally, some experts argue that DeVos has also consolidated oversight over student loans, demanding that only the federal government can hold servicers accountable over federal student loans.

Her office disagrees with that assessment.

“Secretary DeVos has lamented the government takeover of the student loan industry, and we are working within our authority and responsibilities set forth by Congress to oversee the Federal Student Aid portfolio,” DOE’s Morabito told Yahoo Finance.

The states seem to agree with the criticism: Citing federal inaction, many states are taking matters into their own hands — such as by enacting a  student loan bill of rights .

DeVos had previously asked states to  back off , arguing that companies hired by the DOE should only be under federal oversight.

This year, the DOE went one step further, with the case of the CFPB.

In April, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger said that she had  tried to fix the system  by attempting to monitor the servicers to make sure they’re complying with the law.

The DOE had declined to produce the information.

“[I]t’s up to Congress to ensure DeVos’ Department is accountable to student borrowers, not industries that exploit them,” Funk stated. “The more Members of Congress hear that message from their constituents, the more likely we will see legislation that forces DeVos do her job protecting student borrowers.”

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter   @aarthiswami .










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Tessylo
1  author  Tessylo    4 weeks ago

“We've now had years of failed efforts to try and block accountability over student loan companies who have ripped off borrowers at every turn,” former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Ombudsman and current Executive Director of D.C.-based nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center Seth Frotman, who    resigned    from the CFPB in August 2018, told Yahoo Finance. “It's time to quit the political games and allow law enforcement officials at the federal level and the state level to demand justice for student loan borrowers. And the Department of Education, which clearly has no desire to do so, should get out of the way.”

D.C.-based consumer advocacy group Allied Progress Spokesman Jeremy Funk told Yahoo Finance that DeVos “has not lifted a finger to fix the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis. [She has] only helped her friends in the student loan servicer and for-college industries make it worse for their own benefit.”
Funk added: “She’s expedited this harmful agenda by hiring a slew of industry lobbyists to run her Department … But don’t expect DeVos to change her behavior because President Trump either doesn’t care or is pleased she is doing the bidding of industries that have pumped millions of dollars into Republican campaigns like his.”

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @1    4 weeks ago

So DeVos hasn't helped people who refuse to pay back money they borrowed.

Boo hoo.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
1.1.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1    4 weeks ago

No shit. SMDH

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  author  Tessylo    4 weeks ago

Filthy rich bitch DeVos bought her position in the tRump administration.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @2    4 weeks ago

proof?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.1.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    4 weeks ago
proof?

You spelled jealous wrong................................

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

LMAO!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    4 weeks ago

proof?

Would you care to list her qualifications for the job?

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

Can't answer what I asked, so now you deflect. Typical.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.4    4 weeks ago

Can't answer what I asked, so now you deflect. Typical.

If she has no qualifications, just exactly how did she get the job without paying for it.  We all know a certain EU ambassador that paid a million dollars for his position, what makes you think she's any different?  Her qualifications???  If you believe that, please list them.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.5    4 weeks ago

So prove it then--which is what the fuck I asked to begin with.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
2.2  KDMichigan  replied to  Tessylo @2    4 weeks ago
in the tRump administration.  

256

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.2.1  Ozzwald  replied to  KDMichigan @2.2    4 weeks ago

The girl in the back is the liberal, the kid in front is the one trying to form a coherent right wing argument.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ozzwald @2.2.1    4 weeks ago

Look at how hard he's concentrating, too. If he's not careful, he's gonna dump a load in his pants

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.3  author  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.2    4 weeks ago

Would you all please mark KDMichigan off topic?  That is off topic.  He's not allowed to comment on my stuff anymore as of a few minutes ago, but this needs to go.  IT'S OFF TOPIC.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.4  author  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.2    4 weeks ago

That kid looks more like a constipated 'conservative'

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.3    4 weeks ago

I flagged them as "request moderator review" because the off topic is for author use only

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.6  author  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.5    4 weeks ago

Thanks, maybe I shouldn't be such a stickler, I've been told I get flagged A LOT but I noticed other posters are very flag happy, yet they complain about me.  

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.2.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.6    4 weeks ago

512

 
 
 
lady in black
3  lady in black    4 weeks ago

THIS explains why DeVos can't/won't do the job - she NEVER went to a public school, NEVER went to college, and OWNS businesses that make money from student loans.

DeVos works exclusively for Crooked donnie and the GOP - make no mistake about it. Public schools have traditionally pumped out more liberals and democrats, while private schools tend to graduate more republicans. She wants to defund public education, give more money to private education, work on behalf of for-profit schools by allowing them huge financial gains, and work for those institutions and companies who will contribute millions to future GOP campaigns. It's all one big money grab for the GOP and Crooked donnie.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
4  Paula Bartholomew    4 weeks ago

That bitch has no reason for being into anything associated with education.

 
 
 
cjcold
4.1  cjcold  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4    4 weeks ago

Trump only hires assholes who are willing to destroy the agencies that they were supposed to protect. 

The EPA/interior now destroys the environment instead of protecting it.

Education is now all about dumbing down the population in the name of far right fascism.

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.2  author  Tessylo  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4    4 weeks ago

Filthy rich know nothing bitch.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
5  It Is ME    4 weeks ago

I guess "Liberal Types" ALWAYS wait until a "Republican" is running something, to bitch about what has been going on in "un-Education" for decades ! jrSmiley_98_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.1  Texan1211  replied to  It Is ME @5    4 weeks ago

You know what is really funny?

American student test scores were better before we ever had a federal Department of Education.

Maybe people are right when they say the federal government could fuck up a good wet dream.

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1    4 weeks ago
Maybe people are right when they say the federal government could fuck up a good wet dream.

That's a Given.

Until "Big Buck Administration" Get's out of the way, Education will always suck. "Education" spending is never on actual education.

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.2  author  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @5.1.1    4 weeks ago

Who the fuck is the big buck administration?

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.1.3  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @5.1.2    4 weeks ago
Who the fuck is the big buck administration

I'm sure you've "read" jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif , Schools require folks to actually run the show. Believe it or not, they get paid too. And waaaaay more than Teachers. jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.4  author  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @5.1.3    4 weeks ago

Those folks who were supposed to 'run' the charter schools actually just lined their pockets and the schools closed down with nowhere for the kids to go.

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.1.5  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @5.1.4    4 weeks ago
Those folks who were supposed to 'run' the charter schools actually just lined their pockets

"Public" school "Officials" have been doing that decades before "Charter" schools.

Difference between "Public" and "Charter", "Public has the unlimited funding Treasury. Thus, they can stay fucked up for as long as they want. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.6  author  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @5.1.5    4 weeks ago

You make no sense as usual.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.1.7  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @5.1.6    4 weeks ago
You make no sense as usual.  

The typical "go-to" when one is Truly "Stumped" for a response. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2  author  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @5    4 weeks ago

The only thing republicans have been doing regarding running anything for the last several years, is running any agencies into the ground.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @5.2    4 weeks ago
The only thing republicans have been doing regarding running anything for the last several years, is running any agencies into the ground.

Like getting rid of "Repetition type" Agencies ? jrSmiley_97_smiley_image.gif

OMG......the Gaul of them trying to "Save" the lowly U.S. Taxpayers money. jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2.2  author  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @5.2.1    4 weeks ago

They're not trying to save U.S. taxpayers money, they're lining their pockets as fast as they can, they're raping, pillaging, and looting the treasury as fast as they can while this shitstain of a a 'president' is still 'president'

The most corrupt 'president' and administration FUCKING EVER.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
5.2.3  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @5.2.2    4 weeks ago
they're lining their pockets as fast as they can, they're raping, pillaging, and looting the treasury as fast as they can while this shitstain of a a 'president' is still 'president'

You didn't get a tax break.....did you. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ronin2
5.2.4  Ronin2  replied to  Tessylo @5.2    4 weeks ago

According the chart the article uses the problems really began in 2006 and continue from then on all the way through the Obama administration.

But Trruuummmmppppp!!!!!!

This would be funny if the left didn't believe their own BS.

 
 
 
bugsy
5.2.5  bugsy  replied to  It Is ME @5.2.3    4 weeks ago
You didn't get a tax break.....did you

I think you have to actually have a job to get one of those. Many liberals do not qualify.

 
 
 
Ender
6  Ender    4 weeks ago

She was also held in contempt of court by ignoring court orders.

 
 
 
MrFrost
6.1  MrFrost  replied to  Ender @6    4 weeks ago

She was also held in contempt of court by ignoring court orders.

Saw that bouncing around Twitter this morning, I didn't get a firm number on how many times but I believe it was over 3,000 violations and she was fined 100,000k for contempt. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

I guess pigs really CAN fly, because I actually agree with Tessylo on something, in this case that DeVos is not doing the kind of job that would be expected of her.  She is continuing to permit the federal funding of the many universities where antisemitism prevails to such an extent that Jewish students are continually harassed, pro-Israel speakers are shouted down or not even allowed on campuses, antisemitic vandalism such as swastikas and other antisemitic and Israel-bashing graffiti is rampant, and even the teaching staff and administration are going along with it, etc.

 
 
 
bbl-1
7.1  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7    4 weeks ago

Suppose so.  But where is the anti-Semitism most prevalent?  'Proud Boys' and such, right?  And of course we all know the Nazis, Ku Kluxers, White Nationalists and the like have degrees and are professors in our colleges and universities.  Would the Jim Jones U count? 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @7.1    4 weeks ago

Antisemitism is antisemitism wherever, whenever and by whomever.  Are you denying that most American universities are liberal-oriented?

 
 
 
bbl-1
7.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1.1    4 weeks ago

No.  I just deny your premise and inherent-unjustified slander as a false protection for ( something---what ever that is ) which is phantom-undeserving of it.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @7.1.2    4 weeks ago

Sorry but I can't understand your convoluted comment.  Who have I slandered? DeVos?  American universities?  You?  Please explain. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
7.1.4  Greg Jones  replied to  bbl-1 @7.1    4 weeks ago
Totally wrong...either making shyt up, intentionally ignorant, or misinformed...
Anti-Semitism is alive and well at many universities. A conservative or right wing professor is a rare bird at just about any university or college, public or private. Liberals run the "education" systems in this country and have done so for decades.

 
 
 
bbl-1
7.1.5  bbl-1  replied to  Greg Jones @7.1.4    4 weeks ago

And a conservative 'right wing professor' would be at the heart and root of anti-Semitism.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.6  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1.1    4 weeks ago
Antisemitism is antisemitism wherever, whenever and by whomever.

I think there should be a clear definable difference between those who are simply critical of the State of Israel's handling and treatment of Palestinians or even those who might go so far as to call for a boycott, and those who march in the streets chanting "Jews will not replace us!" or right wing extremists shooting up Jewish temples. Sadly, it seems some on the right want to blur those lines and claim any criticism of Israel should be considered "anti-Semitic" while they downplay and minimize the role that historically brazen anti-Semites like the KKK and Nazi's now play within the Republican party and Trumps base.

Perhaps many of those on the right just have so much in common they can't help but embrace each other.

Many Conservative Republicans really dislike liberals, progressives, gays, atheists, undocumented immigrants, Muslims and what they loosely define as socialists, and they want to maintain what they see as a "Christian nation" patriarchy.

The KKK, Nazi's and most white supremacists absolutely despise liberals, progressives, gays, atheists, undocumented immigrants, Muslims, blacks, Jews and minorities in general, and they want to maintain what they see as a "white Christian nation" patriarchy.

It's really no wonder they were drawn to each other, right wing extremists are just members of the right who were radicalized by something or someone and leaned in to their already existing right wing dislikes, which then soured into disgust and eventually became full blown hate of anyone "different" than themselves that they can blame for all their own failures in life.

So while "antisemitism is antisemitism", let's lay the charge where it truly belongs, on those viscously attacking Jews simply because they happen to be of Jewish heritage. Labeling those simply critical of the State of Israel's actions because of the actions the State has taken that some disagree with isn't antisemitism. Marching in the street waving swastikas and confederate flags while chanting "Jews will not replace us!", painting swastikas on Jewish neighbors homes and property or shooting at Jewish temples and those going to worship there is pretty much the definition of antisemitism. The current President said there were "fine people" among that crowd because he knew the crowd was primarily made up of his own supporters, but I have to wonder why anyone else would defend them if they didn't actually share their beliefs.

And the antisemitism displayed in Universities often mirrors the antisemitism being found in society at large, so finding it in schools during the same time we have the KKK, Nazi's and white supremacists marching in our streets repeating openly anti-Semitic chants shouldn't really surprise us.

"The Nation of Islam, or far-right extremists denying the existence of the Holocaust , for example, may not have had their geneses at universities, but their speakers and advertisements have found fertile ground there . As students form their sense of self at college and seek a niche in the world, some are especially vulnerable to hatemongers who either stir their developing political passions or couch bigotry in academic terms designed to appeal to their intellectual curiosity. Controversial speech is often welcomed at universities more than in other venues; students see their campuses as havens of free expression, with the right to speak near sacred.

Racists and demagogues have ably exploited schools' commitment to free speech, cloaking their propaganda in the guise of academic freedom . They have two objectives: hooking the country's future leaders on the ideas they preach, and generating mainstream media coverage through the controversy that inevitably erupts over particularly incendiary events."

"While a growing number of university presidents have responded strongly to the importation of bigotry to their campus, many others, regrettably, have not used their platforms to forcefully counter the hatemonger . Some college presidents have issued anemic and generic responses to naked anti-Semitism, using the shield of free expression as an excuse not to condemn extremism at their schools. Responses are often delayed, and then come only as a reaction to pressure from students, alumni, faculty and the surrounding community. Some college heads seem to believe that a response from the president will only fan the flames and keep an unwelcome incident in the public eye."

" Anti-Semitism on the college campus in some ways mirrors the rest of society in terms of types of incidents and trends of increase or decrease. Incidents of personal harassment, including threats and assault, outnumber incidents of property destruction and vandalism on campus, as they do in the country generally."

" Just as anti-Semitism on campuses cloaked itself as anti-Zionism in the 1970s and 1980s, Holocaust denial now serves as a campus vehicle for spreading hatred of Jews . By presenting their thesis as an academic question deserving debate, the deniers have found fertile ground among campus newspaper editors eager to demonstrate their commitment to free speech and the airing of controversial ideas. And through the student editors, Holocaust deniers have found an inexpensive method of reaching thousands of impressionable young adults who often have limited knowledge of the Holocaust and are in the process of forming their perceptions of world history."

https://www.adl.org/resources/reports/schooled-in-hate-anti-semitism-on-campus

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.6    4 weeks ago
Sadly, it seems some on the right want to blur those lines and claim any criticism of Israel should be considered "anti-Semitic"

That would make me an anti-Semite, which is rather ridiculous, don't you think?  It has been clearly stated in the IHRA definition of antisemitism adopted by the USA State Department and most civilized nations of the world, and the Ottawa Protocol as well, that criticism that puts Israel to a double standard is antisemitism, and FAIR criticism is not.  I have been critical of the Israeli government, Netanyahu, the IDF, the Israeli judiciary, the settlers and the ultra-Orthodox both on NV and this site, but I am not an anti-Semite. Anyone who DOES "blur those lines" is ignorant of the truth.

"...the State of Israel's handling and treatment of Palestinians..."

I have posted here over the years articles and comments by Israeli Muslims/Arabs who argue that they are NOT mistreated, and unless one is totally won over by Palestinian propaganda they would be aware that the Arabs/Muslims that are in Israel are treated NO DIFFERENTLY that any Jewish Israeli.  They have all the same rights as Jewish Israelis.  They vote for their political parties that are members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), serve as judges, mayors, government officials, are business owners and partners, employees in many Jewish-owned companies, are professionals such as lawyers, journalists, doctors and nurses in Jewish hospitals (which I know from personal experience - they even take over those hospitals entirely during Jewish high holidays).  Only dedicated anti-Semites would call Israel an apartheid nation.  

"Controversial speech is often welcomed at universities more than in other venues; students see their campuses as havens of free expression, with the right to speak near sacred."

LOL.  As long as it isn't pro-Israel, in so many campuses (INCLUDING IN CANADA I'm sorry to say).

One thing I can say about China, there is virtually NO antisemitism here, and in fact the Chinese people almost revere Jews and their knowledge of business, and knowing how to make money.  Many books have been published here about that, how to emulate their business prowess. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.8  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1.7    4 weeks ago
That would make me an anti-Semite, which is rather ridiculous, don't you think? 

There are many religious conservatives and Republicans who claim Jewish Democrats are "disloyal", claiming they're somehow traitors to their heritage. So while I do think it's pretty ridiculous to call a Jewish person an anti-Semite, it's par for the course for the right wing who often claims to support Jews but viciously attack the over 70% in America who vote Democrat.

"the Chinese people almost revere Jews and their knowledge of business, and knowing how to make money.  Many books have been published here about that, how to emulate their business prowess"

So you're praising China for believing in racist stereotypes? Do you also believe Chinese people are somehow inherently good at math?

I'm not sure if being "pro-Semitism", as you seem to be claiming about China, is any better than being anti-Semitic if both are basing their beliefs on tired false racial stereotypes.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.8    4 weeks ago

I'm not of the same opinion as you, in that I do NOT believe that there is anything wrong in appreciating a race or a religion because there is something about them that is BETTER.  I would respect that, not disparage it. 

Yes, I also feel that Jews who have turned their backs on Israel are disloyal to their religion. "Should I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

 
 
 
Tessylo
7.2  author  Tessylo  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7    4 weeks ago

[deleted OFF TOPIC.]  

 
 
 
Greg Jones
7.2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Tessylo @7.2    4 weeks ago

When someone posts misinformation on your threads, expect comments that might not agree with it.

His response it certainly not off topic. Talk to Perrie for clarification.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Greg Jones @7.2.1    4 weeks ago

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
7.2.3  author  Tessylo  replied to  Tessylo @7.2    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
bbl-1
8  bbl-1    4 weeks ago

Many of these 'private for profit schools' went bankrupt or did not deliver the product they advertised.  The bad thing about them is all of them were funded by taxpayer dollars---leaving those seeking to better themselves holding the financial bag.  These were fraud schemes perpetuated on the tax payers and the students.

As far as DeVos.  When Trump said he'd only hire, "The best and the brightest," he was just joking.  I mean, "When you're a star--you can do anything," pretty much covers it all, doesn't it?

 
 
 
Tessylo
8.1  author  Tessylo  replied to  bbl-1 @8    4 weeks ago

Yup filthy rich bitch DeVos is big on the charter schools and sucking up our tax payer dollars.   

Betsy DeVos Wants to Use America’s Schools to Build “God’s Kingdom”

Trump’s education secretary pick has spent a lifetime working to end public education as we know it.

KRISTINA RIZGA MAR/APR 2017 ISSUE

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Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/ZUM

It’s Christmastime in   Holland, Michigan, and the northerly winds off Lake Macatawa bring a merciless chill to the small city covered in deep snow. The sparkling lights hanging on trees in downtown storefronts illuminate seasonal delicacies from the Netherlands, as well as photos and paintings of windmills and tulips, wooden shoes, and signs that read “Welkom Vrienden” ( Welcome, Friends ).

More than 150 years ago, Dutch immigrants from a conservative Protestant sect chose western Michigan as the setting for this idealized replica of Holland, in part because of its isolation. They wanted to keep American influences away from their orthodox community.   Until recently , Holland restaurants couldn’t sell alcohol on Sundays. Residents are still not allowed to yell or whistle between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. If city officials decide that a fence or a shed signals decay, they can tear it down and mail the owner a bill. Grass clippings longer than eight inches have to be removed and composted, and snow must be shoveled soon after it lands on the streets. Most locals say rules like these help keep Holland prosperous, with low unemployment, little crime, good city services, and Republicans at almost every government post. It’s also where President Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, grew up.

Sitting in his spacious downtown office suite, Arlyn Lanting is eager to talk about his longtime friend, who entered her Senate committee vote Tuesday on track to become the nation’s top-ranking education official—despite a contentious hearing marked by her stiff, underwhelming responses to pointed questions from Senate Democrats. DeVos, who is married to Amway scion Dick DeVos ( Forbes   says   his father, Richard, is worth more than $5 billion), was seen as a controversial choice because of the   family’s history of heavy spending on right-wing causes—at least $200 million since the 1970s to think tanks, media outlets, political committees, and advocacy groups. And then there’s the DeVoses’   long support of vouchers   for private, religious schools; conservative Christian groups like the   Foundation for Traditional Values , which has pushed to soften the separation of church and state; and organizations like Michigan’s   Mackinac Center for Public Policy , which has championed the privatization of the education system.

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Tim O’Brien

But Lanting, a tall, 75-year-old businessman, investor, and local philanthropist, is quick to wave off the notion that DeVos has it in for traditional public schools. “Betsy is not against public schools,” he says. “She does believe that teachers in charter and private schools are much more likely to lead the way toward better education—the kind that will actually prepare students for our current times and move us away from standardization and testing. But Dick and Betsy have given money to public schools, too.”

Lanting is a warm and generous host who’s eager to point out his favorite Bible verse, painted right there on his wall: “‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth’ (3 John 4).” He and Betsy DeVos were both raised in the tradition of the Christian Reformed Church—a little-known, conservative Dutch Calvinist denomination whose roots reach back to the city’s founders. They went to the same grade school in the city’s private school system, the Holland Christian Schools, which was established by members of the church. Like many people I met in Holland, Lanting wasn’t a Trump supporter initially—he voted for Ben Carson in the primaries—but he couldn’t bring himself to cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton, whom he calls “a professional spin doctor.” “Trump is much more likely,” Lanting says, “to bring Christ into the world.”

“Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom.”

For deeply devout people like Lanting and DeVos, education plays a key role in that mission. Since her nomination, DeVos hasn’t had much to say about her faith—or whether she plans to defend the separation of church and state in public schools. (DeVos declined   Mother Jones ‘ request for an interview, but a Trump transition team spokeswoman replied in an email, “Mrs. DeVos believes in the legal doctrine of the separation of church and state.”) However, in a   2001 interview   for The Gathering, a group focused on advancing Christian faith through philanthropy, she and her husband offered a rare public glimpse of their views. Asked whether Christian schools should continue to rely on giving—rather than pushing for taxpayer money through vouchers—Betsy DeVos replied, “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.”

Added Dick DeVos: “As we look at many communities in our country, the church has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity…[I]t is certainly our hope that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education.”

Indeed, critics argue the DeVoses are attempting to expand the definition of “school choice”—typically understood as giving parents the ability to pick any traditional public school or charter school in a district—to allow taxpayer money to follow students to any private school via vouchers. Some critics of school choice argue that charters, which are publicly funded but governed by appointed boards and often run by private companies with varying degrees of state oversight, can skim high-performing students from traditional public schools, leaving them with more high-needs kids and less money. But the push for so-called “universal school choice” could take that a step further by eventually leading to a radical redirection of funds from traditional public schools to private schools, many of which are Christian: Trump’s signature   education proposal   calls for dedicating $20 billion in federal money to help families move away from what he has called our “failing government schools” and instead choose charter, private, or religious schools.

Although the DeVoses have rarely commented on how their religious views affect their philanthropy and political activism, their spending speaks volumes.   Mother Jones   has analyzed the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation’s tax filings from 2000 to 2014, as well as the 2001 to 2014 filings from her parents’ charitable organization, the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation. (Betsy DeVos was listed as a vice president of the Prince Foundation during those years, though she claimed at her confirmation hearing that this was “a clerical error.”) During that period, the DeVoses spent nearly $100 million in philanthropic giving, and the Princes spent $70 million. While Dick and Betsy DeVos have donated large amounts to hospitals, health research, and arts organizations, these records show an overwhelming emphasis on funding Christian schools, evangelical missions, and conservative, free-market think tanks like the Acton Institute and the Mackinac Center that want to shrink the public sector in every sphere, including education.

The couple’s philanthropic record makes clear that they view choice and competition as the best mechanisms to improve America’s education system. Overall, their foundation gave $5.2 million from 1999 to 2014 to charter schools. Some $4.8 million went to a small charter high school they founded, the   West Michigan Aviation Academy . (Flying is one of Dick’s passions.) Their next biggest beneficiary, New Urban Learning—an operator that dropped its charter school after teachers began to unionize—received $350,000.

But the DeVoses’ foundation giving shows the couple’s clearest preference is for Christian private schools. In a 2013   interview   with   Philanthropy   magazine, Betsy DeVos said that while charters are “a very valid choice,” they “take a while to start up and get operating. Meanwhile, there are very good non-public schools, hanging on by a shoestring, that can begin taking students today.” From 1999 to 2014, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gave out $2.39 million to the Grand Rapids Christian High School Association, $652,000 to the Ada Christian School, and $458,000 to Holland Christian Schools. All told, their foundation contributed $8.6 million to private religious schools—a reflection of the DeVoses’ lifelong dedication to building “God’s kingdom” through education.

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Most people I   meet in Holland tell me that it’s hard to understand the DeVos and Prince families without learning about the history of Dutch Americans in western Michigan. In the mid-1800s, a group of mostly poor farmers known as the “Seceders” rebelled against the Dutch government when it tried to modernize the state Calvinist church, including by changing the songbooks used during worship and ending discriminatory laws against Catholics and Jews. In 1846, an intensely devout Calvinist clergyman named A.C. van Raalte led several hundred settlers from the Netherlands to the United States.

While the Seceders accounted for just 2 percent of the Dutch population at the time, they made up nearly half the country’s immigrants to the United States before 1850. Those who ended up in western Michigan overcame hunger and disease to clear thickly wooded, swampy land and endured much colder winters and deeper snow than in their native Netherlands. In the city of Holland, they re-created their Dutch villages. And just like back home, their church was essentially their government, influencing almost every part of farmers’ lives.

Eleven years after the first Seceders came to Holland, one-third of the Dutch community broke off from the Reformed Church in America and created the Christian Reformed Church. What really solidified this split were disagreements over education, according to James D. Bratt, a professor emeritus at Calvin College and the author of   Dutch Calvinism in Modern America . Members who stayed in the Reformed Church in America supported public schools; Christian Reformed Church members believed education was solely the responsibility of families—and explicitly not the government—­and sent their kids to religious schools. Many church members became staunch opponents of unions by the time New Deal-era legislation protected the right to strike and allowed for collective bargaining, which they viewed as socialist intrusions that diminished the authority of the church and contributed to bigger government.

Betsy and Dick DeVos have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations seeking to privatize education and blur the separation of church and state.

Along with opening   Holland Christian Schools , the church and its faithful established   Calvin College   in nearby Grand Rapids. Betsy DeVos, 59, is an alum of both and was raised during the 1960s and 1970s in the Christian Reformed tradition. (Her brother,   Erik Prince , is the founder of Blackwater, the private security contractor accused of overbilling and human rights abuses during the Iraq War, and he now advises Trump on intelligence and defense, according to the Intercept.) During those years, that often meant growing up in a home that forbade dancing, movies, drinking, working on Sundays, or even participating in the city’s May tulip festival. Holland Christian Schools’ ban on teaching evolution wasn’t lifted until 1991, according to Larry ten Harmsel, the author of   Dutch in Michigan .

When the 1960s cultural revolution rocked the nation, many members of the Christian Reformed Church—including Betsy DeVos’ parents, who would become one of the richest couples in Michigan thanks to Edgar Prince’s automotive parts company—allied themselves with the evangelical movement. The Princes would go on to contribute to some of the country’s most powerful far-right religious groups, like the Family Research Council. Betsy and Dick DeVos, who are now members of the Mars Hill Bible Church, a well-known mega-church outside Grand Rapids, eventually focused on funding education reform groups and think tanks that push for vouchers, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations seeking to privatize education and blur the separation of church and state. These include:

  Acton Institute   for the Study of Religion & Liberty:   Betsy DeVos once served on the board of this Grand Rapids-based think tank, which endorses a blend of religious conservatism and unrestrained capitalism. It is headed by a Catholic priest, Robert Sirico, who   has argued   that welfare programs should be replaced by religious charities. In a   paper   titled “America’s Public Schools: Crisis and Cure,” a former Acton advisory board member named Ronald Nash   wrote , “No real progress towards improving American education can occur as long as 90 percent of American children are being taught in government schools that ignore moral and religious beliefs.” In November, Acton came under fire for an essay on its website whose original title was “Bring Back Child Labor.” (The title was quickly changed.) The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation contributed $1.28 million from 2000 to 2014, and the Prince Foundation donated at least $550,000.

• The Foundation for Traditional Values:   Led by James Muffett, the organization is the education arm of   Citizens for Traditional Values , a political action group whose mission is to preserve “the influence of faith and family as the great foundation of American freedom embodied in our Judeo-Christian heritage.” On the   website   dedicated to Muffett’s seminars, a page devoted to a lecture titled “The Greatest Story Never Told”   states , “There was a time when schoolchildren were taught the truth about the Christian influence in our foundations—but no longer.” The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation contributed $232,390 from 1999 to 2010.

• Focus on the Family:   Both the DeVoses and the Princes have been key supporters of Focus on the Family, which was founded by the influential evangelical leader   James Dobson . In a 2002 radio broadcast, Dobson   suggested   that parents in some states pull their kids out of public schools, calling the curriculum “godless and immoral” and arguing that Christian teachers should also leave public schools: “I couldn’t be in an organization that’s supporting that kind of anti-Christian nonsense.” Dobson has also   distributed   a set of history lessons claiming that “separating Christianity from government is virtually impossible and would result in unthinkable damage to the nation and its people.” The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gave $275,000 to Focus on the Family from 1999 to 2001 but hasn’t donated since; it gave an additional $30,760 to related groups in Michigan from 1999 to 2010. The Prince Foundation donated $5.2 million to Focus on the Family and $275,000 to its Michigan affiliate from 2001 to 2013. (It also gave $6.2 million to the Dobson-founded Family Research Council, a former division of Focus on the Family that became an independent nonprofit in 1992. The FRC has fought against same-sex marriage and anti-bullying programs—and is listed as an “ anti-LGBT hate group ” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

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Additionally, the DeVoses have given millions of dollars to the   Willow Creek Association , a group for church leaders “who hold to a historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity” in more than 90 countries. WCA made headlines in 2011 when Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz canceled an appearance at an event sponsored by the association after a Change.org petition called it anti-gay (a claim WCA vehemently denied). And both the DeVoses and the Princes have been major benefactors of the   Haggai Institute , an Atlanta-area organization that trains professionals abroad to become Christian missionaries in their home countries because, as the director of its Brazilian bureau   explained   to   Christianity Today   in 2013, foreign governments don’t mind “allowing their people to be part of leadership training, whereas they would never allow their people to be in an evangelistic seminar.”

Meanwhile, the DeVos clan is perhaps best known for hard-nosed political activism against organized labor. In 2007, coming off Dick DeVos’ unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in their home state of Michigan, the DeVoses focused their advocacy and philanthropy on controversial right-to-work legislation that would outlaw contracts requiring all employees in unionized workplaces to pay dues for union representation. Back in 2007, such a proposal in a union-heavy state like Michigan was considered a   “right-wing fantasy ,” but thanks to the DeVoses’ funding and insider knowledge—Betsy was once the state GOP chair—the bill became law by 2012.

Right-to-work laws, now on the books in 27 states, have been a major blow to the labor movement—including teachers’ unions, the most powerful lobby for traditional public schools and against charter schools (whose instructors often aren’t unionized). But that hasn’t kept Betsy DeVos from trying to further weaken unions. In January 2016, when Detroit educators demanded a forensic audit of their district’s murky finances and protested classrooms plagued by mold, roaches, and rodents, they used sick days to make their point—Michigan’s public-sector workers have long been barred from striking. A month later, DeVos wrote a Detroit News op-ed arguing that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to stage sick-outs, either.

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President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos at a January rally in Grand Rapids.   Michigan Paul Sancya/AP

Which brings us   back to the blurring lines among “school choice,” charter schools, and vouchers. Betsy DeVos has spent at least two decades pushing taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools to the center of the Republican Party’s education agenda, thanks in large part to Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

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Mackinac Center for Public Policy

In the mid-’90s, Mackinac leadership suggested a long-term strategy on how to make unpopular voucher policies more palatable for mainstream America. Its then-senior vice president,   Joseph Overton , developed what became known as the   Overton Window , a theory of how a policy that’s initially considered extreme might over time be normalized through gradual shifts in public opinion. Education policies were placed on a liberal-conservative   continuum , with the far left representing “Compulsory indoctrination in government schools” and the far right representing “No government schools.”

Charter schools, then, became a Trojan horse for voucher advocates: Once public school supporters got used to the idea of charters, activists would attempt to nudge public opinion closer to supporting tax credits to pay for private schools. In Michigan, Detroit has been at the heart of the charter push, which began when Gov. John Engler signed charter schools into law in 1993. Three years later, then- Detroit Metro Times   reporter Curt Guyette   showed   how the Prince Foundation, as well as the foundation run by Dick DeVos’ parents, funded a carefully orchestrated campaign to label Detroit’s public schools as failing—and pushed for charters and “universal educational choice” as a better alternative. Betsy DeVos has since written about the need to “retire” and “replace” Detroit’s public school system and pressed for expanding charter schools and vouchers.

Trump’s education proposal calls for $20 billion to help families leave “failing government schools” for charter, private, or religious schools.

In 2000, she and her husband helped underwrite a ballot initiative to introduce vouchers in Michigan. Though the couple poured millions of dollars into the effort, 69 percent of voters rejected it. The following year, Betsy DeVos focused on a new strategy: Instead of appealing directly to voters, she created a political action committee, the   Great Lakes Education Project   (GLEP), to channel funding toward nonprofits and legislators pushing school reform policies. By 2002, GLEP had more money than Michigan’s biggest teachers’ union, the United Auto Workers, or any Democratic-affiliated PAC in the state,   according   to   Politico .

Michigan now serves as one of the most prominent examples of what aggressive, DeVos-style school choice policies look like on the ground, especially when it comes to expanding charters. About   80 percent   of the state’s charter schools are run by for-profit companies—a much higher share than anywhere else in the country—with little oversight from the state. In 2011, DeVos   fought   against legislation to stop low-performing charter schools from expanding, and later she and her husband funded legislators who opposed a proposal to add new oversight for Detroit’s charters.

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Detroit, in particular, provides a cautionary tale of what happens when the ideology of market-driven “school choice” trumps the focus on student outcomes. The city’s schools—where 83 percent of students are black and 74 percent are poor—have been in steady decline since charter schools started proliferating: Public school test scores in math and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have remained the   worst   among large cities since 2009. In June, the   New York Times   published a scathing   investigation   of the city’s school district, which has the second-biggest share of students in charters in America. (New Orleans is No. 1.) Reporter Kate Zernike concluded that lax oversight by the state and insufficiently regulated growth—including too many agencies that are allowed to open new charter schools—contributed to a chaotic system marked by “lots of choice, with no good choice.”

A 2015   study   from   Michigan State University’s Education Policy Center   found that a high percentage of charter schools also had a devastating impact on the finances of poor Michigan school districts like Detroit. Researchers reported that, under the state’s school choice and finance laws, it was hard for districts to keep traditional public schools afloat when charters reached 20 percent or more of enrollment. While per-student public funding follows kids to charters or other districts, traditional public schools still have fixed costs to cover, like building expenses and faculty salaries. Charter growth also increased the share of special-needs students left behind in traditional public schools, and the extra costs for educating such students weren’t adequately reimbursed by the state.

Charter schools and school choice are now   accepted   by nearly two-thirds of Americans, but almost 70 percent still   oppose   using public funding for private schools. With most states under wholly Republican leadership, though, and big-name charter advocates like former DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee now in support of sending public dollars to religious schools, the stage is set for a new effort to both lift state caps on charter schools (22 states have some kind of cap limiting the number of charters) and expand vouchers (14 states and the District of Columbia have active programs).

It’s hard to tell how many more charter advocates will support (or simply overlook) the inclusion of vouchers for private schools in choice policies, but one thing is clear: The prospects for an aggressive policy push for “universal choice”—including funding more religious schools with taxpayer money—have never been better.

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On my last   day in Holland, a retired public school teacher named Cathy Boote gives me a tour of the city she has called home for 37 years. Dressed in a black cashmere sweater and a white winter jacket, Boote is a self-described moderate Republican who was raised a Calvinist and went to public schools before later teaching art in a nearby district. In her close to four decades of working in public schools, she saw how the decline of the automotive industry and the hollowing out of the middle class affected poor and working-class kids she taught. “When parents have to work longer hours and more jobs and get paid less, there is more stress at home,” Boote reflected. “That means less time to read and do homework, and more time spent watching TV and online rather than learning.”

“Betsy’s father, Edgar Prince, is considered the patron saint of Holland,” Boote says as our truck rolls over   heated asphalt —a unique underground grid of tubes that circulates hot water beneath a small section of the city’s downtown and melts snowflakes just as they touch down. It was Prince who helped bring this innovative system here, suggesting the heated streets in 1988 and forking over $250,000 to cover nearly a quarter of the cost. Like Boote, most Hollanders I talked to credit Prince’s vision for the city’s transformation into a tourist destination.

“Most people here feel that you build your own family. You don’t need a union to build a competing family.”

Prince’s mix of business acumen and his desire to protect “our people” put him on the trajectory that made him one of the wealthiest men in Michigan. In 1965, he left his job as chief engineer at Buss Machine Works after workers decided to unionize. He opened his own company that eventually specialized in auto-parts manufacturing and became one of the biggest employers in Holland. When Prince Corp. was sold for $1.35 billion in 1997, two years after his death, some 4,500 former employees received a combined $80 million in bonuses. “Most people here feel that you build your own family. You don’t need a union to build a competing family,” Boote explains, adjusting her glasses. “You treat your employees well and they don’t need to complain. Complaining, protesting, is bad. You work hard and you don’t complain.”

Boote’s truck takes a sharp turn into the predominantly Latino section of town, with large Victorian cottages, fenceless yards, and mature trees. Most kids in this neighborhood go to public schools. In the two decades since school choice was implemented in Michigan, white student enrollment in Holland’s public schools has plummeted 60 percent, with a nearby charter school becoming their top destination, according to an   investigation   by the Ann Arbor-based   Bridge Magazine . Latino students are now the face of the system, and 70 percent of all its students are poor, more than double the district’s poverty rate when school choice began. Bridge Magazine found a similar pattern across Michigan: White parents tended to use the choice system to move their kids into even whiter districts, while black parents gravitated to charter schools made up mostly of students of color. Meanwhile, the Holland Christian Schools are predominantly white.

We leave downtown and drive along Lake Macatawa for about three miles before parking in front of a huge, castlelike mansion. This is Betsy and Dick DeVos’ summer home—a three-story, 22,000-square-foot estate that has eight dishwashers, 10 bathrooms, and 13 porches.

As we look out at the stone-and-shingle house, Boote reflects on how most people around here—her family, Betsy DeVos’ family—grew up hearing about their proud Dutch immigrant ancestors who overcame deep poverty. DeVos went on to attend a small, elite, mostly white private religious school and a college with similar demographics. She married into a rich dynasty.

“‘Look at us. God has given to us. I can fix this. All you have to do is be like me.’ You can understand how you might think that way, if you grew up here,” Boote says later, as we take one final glance at the mansion over its tall, iron gate. “If you come from the small, sheltered, privileged environment of Holland, you are most likely going to have a very limited worldview—including how to fix education.”

 
 
 
bbl-1
8.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Tessylo @8.1    4 weeks ago

christian dominionism is real.  The christian taliban are here.  Lucifer has nurtured them.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
8.1.2  KDMichigan  replied to  Tessylo @8.1    4 weeks ago

I'm sure you read nothing but the headline. A article by some socialist bitch crying about what other people do with their money. Envy.

 
 
 
Tessylo
8.1.3  author  Tessylo  replied to  KDMichigan @8.1.2    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
It Is ME
8.1.4  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @8.1.3    4 weeks ago
I'm sure you don't know dick.

RUMP is tastier....huh ! jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
8.1.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Tessylo @8.1.3    4 weeks ago

Short fellow, bald, and spits when excited?

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
8.1.6  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.1.5    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
KDMichigan
8.1.7  KDMichigan  replied to  Tessylo @8.1.3    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
8.1.9  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @8.1.6    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
8.1.10  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  KDMichigan @8.1.7    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
KDMichigan
8.1.11  KDMichigan  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @8.1.10    4 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
8.1.12  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  KDMichigan @8.1.11    4 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
8.1.13  sandy-2021492  replied to  Tessylo @8.1    4 weeks ago

Tessy and KDMichigan,

Since every conversation devolves into a slap fight, no replying to each other for 90 days.

 
 
 
Tessylo
8.1.14  author  Tessylo  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.1.13    4 weeks ago

Now if you could get him to stop with the off topic memes like the one below mocking Michelle Obama that would be fantastic!

Could you remove it please!

 
 
 
MrFrost
9  MrFrost    4 weeks ago
Betsy DeVos

Worthless Bitch. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
9.1  author  Tessylo  replied to  MrFrost @9    4 weeks ago

She's a feckless cunt.  

 
 
 
KDMichigan
9.1.1  KDMichigan  replied to  Tessylo @9.1    4 weeks ago
She's a feckless cunt.  

[Deleted]

 
 
 
PJ
10  PJ    4 weeks ago

Betsy DeVos is the worst type of woman.  She advances the agenda of men.  A witless puppet. 

 
 
 
MUVA
10.1  MUVA  replied to  PJ @10    4 weeks ago

So what you are saying is men are the worse type of people?

 
 
 
PJ
10.1.1  PJ  replied to  MUVA @10.1    4 weeks ago

No, I'm saying women who advance men's agenda at the cost of other people are the problem.  She's a religious freak who believes in her "place".  Who told her where her place was?  Apparently her God whose good book was written by ............ men!

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
11  Jeremy Retired in NC    4 weeks ago
'Has Not Lifted A Finger

She's working like a Democrat.  You'd think they would love her with that kind of work ethic.

 
 
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