Shavar Jeffries--applauding Betsy De Vos's views on privatized public schools.
Shavar Jeffries–applauding Betsy De Vos’s views on privatized public schools.

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.

Muhammad Akil
Muhammad Akil

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.

Shavar Jeffries when he was running for Newark mayor-=-meeting with Cami Anderson who helped destroy Newark's public schools and is a great fan of privatization
Shavar Jeffries when he was running for Newark mayor–meeting with then city schools superintendent Cami Anderson who helped destroy Newark’s public schools and is a great fan of privatization

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.”


  1. It must be easy to overlook white supremacy in the highest levels of government when blinded by the glow of incoming billions of dollars to fund one’s charter school and voucher aspirations. I cannot wait until the return to the faux civil rights mantra. To call the DEFER position a travesty would serve as an understatement.

  2. These aren’t democrats. They are republicans in democrat’s clothing. Not that I relate anymore with any dems. They have lost their moral compass.

  3. And now David Petraeus is offering to work for Trump administration. Doesn’t he know that DJT is fussy about e-mail use?

  4. How does it feel to lose Mr. Akil?

  5. Real democrats do NOT support this. So stop perpetuating YOUR personal agenda with false information that you post on the internet. Step into a classroom and into a teacher’s shoes for a week. You wouldn’t last. Neither would Devos as she doesn’t have any education credentials.

  6. From Paul Krugman’s Twitter page: Something I haven’t been seeing: Trump’s Education pick is married to Amway heir; in 2011 Amway paid $150 million to settle fraud charges. That fits right in with the fraud that is Trump. Just what we don’t need, another far right wing ideologue in the administration of an unhinged billionaire demagogue. Trump’s administration seems to be Billionaires-R-Us. The war on the real public schools, their teachers and their unions will go into high gear.

  7. Muhhamed Akil’s lust for more of David Tripper’s (Tepper?) “FREE” Money. Someone ought to look into how Mr. Akil coordinated efforts under the guise of an IE during Jrsey City’s School Board Election Process! There’s plenty of illigal activities there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.