Education Reform Trump Vouchers

DeVos Will Visit Christian School Today

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Politico Education reports that Betsy DeVos will visit a Christian school today.

DEVOS TO VISIT PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN D.C. THIS MORNING: The Trump administration’s campaign to promote D.C.’s voucher program continues this morning as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits Cornerstone, a private school that says on its website it provides a “Christ-centered” education. President Donald Trump on Wednesday touted the program at an event with DeVos and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump said it makes an “extraordinary difference” to students in the nation’s capital, though a recent study found that it had a negative impact on children’s reading and math scores.

Valerie Strauss wrote about Trump’s remarks to a group of D.C. students, in which he told flat-out whoppers to them.

President Trump on Wednesday surprised a group of young D.C. students who were at the White House to meet the vice president and education secretary, and he touted the “winning” federally funded school voucher program in Washington. He failed to mention a new Education Department study that found that students in the program get lower standardized test scores than those in what he called “failing” public schools.

Trump called the event, scheduled during National Charter Schools Week, “beautiful” and “very exciting.” Students from public and private schools and family members were there to meet Vice President Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Both DeVos and Trump have criticized traditional public schools while praising alternatives, including charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, and voucher/voucher-like programs that allow public money to be used for private and religious school. Their support for the latter is in contrast with the Obama administration, which backed charters but not vouchers.

Trump’s schedule did not include a stop in the Roosevelt Room, where the event was being held, but he joked that when he heard DeVos was there, he thought he would come to interrupt her, and “maybe I’ll be allowed to say a few words.”

In his remarks, he took the opportunity to slam D.C. public schools while talking up the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the only federally funded school voucher program in the country. He said to the kids, according to a White House transcript:

So yesterday I said that our spending bill was a win for the American people, which is exactly what it was — an amazing day. And this is what winning for young children and kids from all over the country looks like. The Opportunity Scholarship program that we’re funding allows families in the inner city of our nation’s capital to leave failing public schools and attend a private school, making an extraordinary difference in these incredible young lives. You’re so lucky. Great. You’re happy about it? Huh? That’s great.

The results speak for themselves. Ninety-eight percent of scholarship recipients represent their high school diplomas, and they’re really very, very special. They go into tremendous successes. So I think you’re going to all be very, very successful. You have a big start, right? Great start.

No study has ever found a 98% graduation rate from voucher schools. The latest study showed students in D.C. voucher schools losing ground.

Boasting comes naturally to him, it seems, even to little children. They didn’t have to hear any negative remarks, but they didn’t need to hear flat-out lies.

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