The Senate has approved the appointment of Betsy DeVos to become Secretary of the Department of Education. A long-time advocate of vouchers for students and for charter schools, she was opposed by all 48 Democrats and 2 renegade Republican women Senators. Vice President Mike Pence voted in her favor to break the tie.
During my lifetime the public schools have morphed from places where you "learned or left" to places today designed to warehouse preadults in an overwhelmingly politically correct manner, learning optional where it's even possible. Parents who wish their children to learn have reacted by sending their children to schools which, as much as the law allows, require children to learn or leave. These are normally charter or private schools.
Public school teachers and their unions - the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers - are entirely opposed to charter schools and to spending public money in private schools. I get it, the traditional public schools are their "rice bowl," their meal ticket.
Charter and private schools threaten public school teachers' otherwise-guaranteed-for-life employment. Tenure does not protect against layoff in the event there are too few pupils to teach.
Alternative schools also change the pupil mix as they siphon off the children of parents who proactively wish their children to learn. The toxic residue are the children of people who know little and care less,, plus those pupils so damaged and dysfunctional as to be unteachable.
I wish DeVos well, as should we all. Perhaps she can begin moving the public schools back in the direction of being primarily places of learning, as they were when I attended all those decades ago.