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Nancy Bailey checks in on Betsy DeVos and reports that she is still hating on the public schools that the overwhelming majority of American students attend. Moreover, she discovers that charter schools are taking advantage of the pandemic to market their class sizes. Wouldn’t every public school teacher like to have small class sizes? Of course. But it won’t happen without funding to make it possible.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, a public school teacher interviewed in a CNN reportmentions that she’s teaching 42 third-graders remotely. She’s uncomplaining, smiling, and forging forward positively.
It’s wrong to showcase charter schools as innovative due to class size when public school teachers across the country are juggling huge numbers of students under serious conditions to help them learn.
Where’s DeVos? Of course, never having been a teacher, she cannot understand what it’s like to manage 42 students remotely or in-person. It’s not in the job description she has been permitted to design for herself.
Nor does she care. DeVos’s goal is to privatize. The pandemic gives her a chance to falsely make the public think that charters, private, and religious schools are on the frontline of the disease, and real public schools and their teacher unions don’t have what it takes.
But the pandemic doesn’t discriminate between schools, and the charter school report is problematic. Lowering class size is hardly an innovative experiment. It’s a choice. Those in charge make those choices.