The people who run Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), a national, pro-school-privatization organization with roots in Newark, can’t quite figure out what to do about an incoming national administration that promises to give the group just what it wants–billions for privatized public schools. Of course, the Trump administration also brings racism and white supremacy to the highest levels of government–a fact that can hardly escape the notice of DFER’s, president, an African-American law professor from Newark.
So DFER’s Shavar Jeffries, president of an organization that blames teacher unions for failure in urban schools, put out a statement that congratulates–yes, congratulates–the billionaire heiress Besty DeVos for her appointment as Donald Trump’s education secretary and, worse, Jeffries “applauds” her commitment to charter schools.
Then the statement goes on to hint, but only hint, what should be obvious–that the Trump administration will literally be about as friendly to people of color, the poor, and non-billionaire urban residents as the KKK is.
And Jeffries is not the only Newark personality that doesn’t have a problem with privatization. There’s Muhammad Akil, executive director of the pro-privatization Parent Coalition for Excellence in Education (PC2E), a New Jersey-based group–and even Newark Mayor Ras Baraka who came to office opposed to expanding charters and has flipped his position.
But, you know, when your making money on pushing snake oil, you got to make compromises. Hey, Professor Jeffries–you coming to Newark to run for mayor again–this time with Trump’s endorsement?
With friends like these, the people of New Jersey’s–and the nation’s–cities don’t need any more enemies.
Here’s the entire DFER statement:
New York, NY – In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos to the post of Secretary of Education, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) President Shavar Jeffries released the following statement:
“DFER congratulates Betsy DeVos on her appointment as Secretary of Education, and we applaud Mrs. DeVos’s commitment to growing the number of high-quality public charter schools.
“However, DFER remains deeply concerned by much of the President-elect’s education agenda, which proposes to cut money from Title I and to eliminate the federal role on accountability. These moves would undermine progress made under the Obama administration to ensure all children have access to good schools. In addition, our children are threatened by many of the President-elect’s proposals, such as kicking 20 million families off of healthcare, deporting millions of Dreamers, and accelerating stop-and-frisk practices. We hope that Mrs. Devos will be a voice that opposes policies that would harm our children, both in the schoolhouse and the families and communities in which our children live.
“Finally, regardless of one’s politics, Trump’s bigoted and offensive rhetoric has assaulted our racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, causing millions of American children to perceive that they are less than full members of our communities. We hope Mrs. DeVos will push the President-elect to disavow such rhetoric.”