Why read this blog?

Or if you prefer, the subtitle of this post: How an old millennial missed the social media movement, still clings to the blog as a viable format and why Betsy DeVos should be given a chance.

To continue in the same introductory manner as the first blog post, let me be concise in justifying the existence of this blog among the proliferation of outlets where you can get your politics (assuming I continue writing).

  • Shows on TV too often rely on guests who represent the opposition, or supply the same conservative view albeit in a different perspective. Here, I use research to support my views. You will not be treated to unsupported drivel.
  • Speaking of drivel, this will never be a Facebook post. There will not be rants or emotional diatribes.
  • No hashtags (except to sort and organize) or attempts at joining drive-by trends by using hot buzzwords. Analyses only, though this doesn’t preclude analyses of these drive-by trends.
  • This is not a podcast, so no need to commit. This is not a collection of pictures or memes – those are best left to other mediums. I reserve the right to post ones I like though, on Meme Mondays. In short, this is not social media. I write to engage in political discussion, not to collect likes.
  • I am right leaning, but that doesn’t mean I eschew the views of the left. This blog is for free speech, except when it’s inflammatory, disrespectful or hateful.

With that said, let’s discuss Betsy DeVos. I don’t know much about this Cabinet pick, except that she is for school choice and may be bad for public education. I have done the most research into this pick by watching her confirmation hearing (though full disclosure: not to completion) and looking into whether studies have shown whether school choice works.

It has, at least in Michigan. CREDO, a research outfit affiliated with Stanford University, conducted a series of studies reported in an EducationNext article that showed:

Three separate reports using three separate methodologies all reached the same conclusion: Detroit’s charter schools outperform the city’s district schools. Now, that’s not to say that Detroit’s charters are very good. They are just much better than Detroit’s district schools, which as Robin Lake has noted, is a very low bar. Most schools in Detroit leave much to be desired. But if the question is whether Detroit’s charter schools are a significant improvement over the status quo, the results are unequivocal.

Knowing that it can work, it wouldn’t be surprising if DeVos used her position to give charter schools preferential treatment. But it’s interesting that she has stated in a USNews article that it is the states’ job to handle education, not the federal government:

But it’s clear she’s determined not to grow the federal role in education, perhaps even in the area of school choice – which she has championed in the past.

“This will be about empowering the states, not another federal program,” she told Townhall. “We don’t need another federal program.”

I like the idea of letting the states handle education since I’m for smaller federal government, but I am also concerned that varying measures of success by state will produce mismatched opportunities that create an educated Massachusetts, for example, while leaving Alabama behind. I hope to return to this subject when I have more research.

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