US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools

New York Times article

BOSTON — At the rightmost edge of the Christian conservative movement, there are those who dream of turning the United States into a Christian republic subject to “biblical laws.” In the unlikely figure of Donald J. Trump, they hope to have found their greatest champion yet. He wasn’t “our preferred candidate,” the Christian nationalist David Barton said in June, but he could be “God’s candidate.”

Consider the president-elect’s first move on public education. Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the nation, says that he was Mr. Trump’s first pick for secretary of education. Liberty University teaches creationism alongside evolution.

When Mr. Falwell declined, President-elect Trump offered the cabinet position to Betsy DeVos. In most news coverage, Ms. DeVos is depicted as a member of the Republican donor class and a leading advocate of school vouchers programs.

full article here

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Ministers’ school visits show ‘ideological obsession’ with academies

The education secretary has visited more than twice as many academies and free schools than maintained ones – and just one special school – in the first four months of his job.

Details of Damian Hinds’ visits were released to Schools Week as part of a Freedom of Information request.

Between January and the end of April, Hinds visited 13 mainstream academies and five maintained schools. He also visited one community special school and a pupil referral unit.

Schools Week story here

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Milton Road Primary School – meeting

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Doomed Perry Beeches academy trust had a £1.5 million deficit

The controversial Perry Beeches academy trust had a £1.5 million deficit in the year before it was wound up, it has been revealed.

According to its latest accounts, the now-defunct Birmingham trust managed to reduce the deficit across its schools from £2.5 million in August 2016, but still had a £1.5 million shortfall last summer.

Schools Week story here

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Collaborative Academies Trust will lose all but one of its schools

Eight of the nine schools run by the Essex-based Collaborative Academies Trust are to be moved to new sponsors.

In March, local media reported that the trust, set up by the American for-profit school improvement company Edison Learning, will walk away from five schools in Somerset this summer.

Now Schools Week has learned that the trust will also give up its flagship Willow Brook Primary School & Nursery in Essex, as well as two other primary schools –  Lumbertubs and Spring Lane – in Northamptonshire.

Willow Brook, which is rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, will transfer to The Kemnal Academies Trust, while ‘requires improvement’-rated Lumbertubs and ‘good’ Spring Lane will move to the Bourton Meadow Education Trust.

The trust will keep control of just one school, the ‘good’-rated Kingsthorpe College in Northants, currently the chain’s only secondary institution.

Schools Week story here

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