Most of us define K-12 public schools as the civic institutions where, by law and through the democratic process, society can best protect the rights and serve the educational needs of 50 million of our children. Public schools are owned, governed, and funded by the public. They are also required to be accessible for all. Most of us believe society ought to strive to operate excellent public schools as a public responsibility.
But, according to a new profile by Washington Post reporter Moriah Balingit, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is intent on redefining public education. Balingit quotes DeVos: “The definition of public education should be to educate the public. That’s why we should fight less about the word that comes before ‘school.'” Here are the words DeVos believes we ought to ignore: public school, charter school, voucher school, religious school, private school.
Most of us understand the federal…
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