Rev Charles Foster Johnson, executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, opines in Baptist News Global that President-elect Joe Biden should appoint an education secretary “who actually believes in the American tradition of universal education, provided by the public, for all American children.”
The Baptist minister isn’t the only strong advocate for children who has welcomed the pending departure of US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whom many educators consider more an adversary, with her promotion of privatization efforts in public schools, than a friend.
The Network for Public Education, led by Carol Burris, once a principal in New York, has called on Mr Biden to keep his campaign promises, including the one to reject efforts to privatize public schools.
With so much to be done to rebuild our public schools when COVID subsides, our country cannot afford to subsidize private school tuition. The Biden Administration must oppose any Congressional attempts to institute tax credit programs designed to subsidize private and religious school tuition.
The Administration must keep its promise to make charter schools subject to the same transparency, accountability, and equity policies as public schools. It must fulfill its campaign promise of no federal assistance to charters that operate for profit or are managed by for-profit entities.
Charter schools are the favorite approach to privatization by Democrats, Mr Foster Johnson wrote; “vouchers are the privatization model of choice for Republicans (rural Republicans excepted).”
But both approaches siphon money away from public schools. Voxitatis reported that Mr Biden plans to stop federal funds from flowing to for-profit charters and hold all charters accountable to standards similar to those used for public schools.
“Corporate backers of privatization want to measure poor children rather than treasure them,” Mr Foster Johnson writes, referring to the standardized tests used to punish schools under the No Child Left Behind Law and turn them around under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
“Let’s take the billions we are squandering on burdensome and punitive assessment and re-channel that money back into athletic, musical, artistic, and vocational programs that have been so severely cut because of them in the first place.”