My Advice to Betsy DeVos | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Local Blogs

The Observer

By Roz Rogoff

E-mail Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

View all posts from Roz Rogoff

My Advice to Betsy DeVos

Uploaded: Feb 9, 2017
I was ready to write a blog supporting the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education even before I saw that Tim Hunt beat me to it. I will put a different spin on the reasons I support Mrs. DeVos, but I’m glad to see Tim is on target here too.

I have a Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California (USC). I completed my degree in 1979, almost 40 years ago. However, I am not, and never have been, part of the Public School establishment.

My degree is in Instructional Technology, which was originally an outgrowth of Audio Visual Education, but has been broadened to include CBT (Computer Based Education) and WBT (Web Based Education) and other forms of presenting or providing information to learners that can be customized or adapted to each individual’s learning styles and preferences.

The field of Instructional Design has grown considerably since 1979. I consider the blog I am writing right now to be a form of Instructional Design. Each reader chooses how much to accept or reject of my views. You can answer my comments with your own and agree or disagree with me.

The Democrats object to Mrs. DeVos lack of experience in the field of Education. Some of this is because the Democrat Party receives financial support from Teachers Unions and therefore supports teachers. I am not against teachers.

My mother was a history teacher, my paternal Grandmother was a third-grade teacher. I taught classes online for the University of Phoenix from 2002 to 2016. Teachers often provide great education for children, teens, and adults, but as a professional “Instructional Designer,” I consider teaching as only one method of producing learning in others. Learning should be the goal of Education – not teaching, not textbooks, and not schools.

Mrs. DeVos has proposed providing vouchers (i.e. methods of payment) so students can choose which school they want to attend. Choice is a good thing, but it should not be limited to choosing between public or private schools. Children learn in different ways, some by reading, some by viewing, and some by doing. I’m for vouchers for students to choose the instructional methods that work for them regardless of which school they attend.

The Department of Education should be renamed and repurposed as the Department for Learning. I hope Mrs. DeVos can break away from out dated methods and old fashioned ideas about teaching and learning. Teaching isn’t the important part of that process. Learning is.

Comments

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Gabe, a resident of Beratlis Place,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 5:44 am

It is "my advice"
You used the wrong word


 +   4 people like this
Posted by educated resident, a resident of Downtown,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 9:17 am

@Gabe -- I guess this sort of explains the reason that simply having a PhD in something does not equate to being completely literate.

DeVos bought her way into the office. Plain and simple, she has no qualifications whatsoever to be there. I certainly hope that the IRS gets back into full audit mode of all of the sham Amway "businesses" that are a pyramid scheme to allow write-offs for those who claim to be "doing business". Everything about DeVos smells of the cesspool.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 9:24 am

Do children who are hiding from immigration officials learn best in a school that accepts vouchers?

Do children ever report illegal children to immigration officials?



 +  Like this comment
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

SHale is a registered user.

who exactly will pay for 'privatized' education?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 11:54 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Educated Resident,

Your snakiness aside, DeVos has more experience in education than the last President had in being a community activist and voting "present" in the Senate.

Dan


 +   5 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 11:55 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

"who exactly will pay for 'privatized' education?"

The same people that pay for welfare.

Dan


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Gabe,

It was late and I didn't catch the spelling error in the title. An even better excuse is the new version of Word which requires logging into Microsoft which then takes over and does whatever it wants. MS deleted all of my prior versions of Word so I have to use this "fershlugener" online version. "Fershlugener" is not in my Dictionary, but maybe Cholo knows where it comes from and how to spell it. I have never been a good speller -- too much memorization. I prefer to be a free-form thinker.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Dan,

I'm not sure what "Snakiness" means. Maybe you meant "Snarkiness," which fits your unnecessary comment about President Obama.

DeVos supported alternative education in Michigan. Web Link. Her "lack of experience," is in Public Schools where professional teachers and administrators have their experience. They want to keep their monopoly on public education.

Roz


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm

SHale,

Privatized Education would be paid for by the Dept. of Education from the Federal Budget allocated for Education. Instead of dividing up this budget among different School Districts, DeVos said she would provide "vouchers" for parents and students to choose how to apply the $ to whichever form of education they choose to use.

Her preference appears to be private schools, but my advice to her in this blog is to think beyond schools and classrooms so those vouchers can be used for alternative educational methods and materials and not necessarily for schools, whether private or public.

I recently read an article that more parents are home schooling their children now. Vouchers to use by parents homeschooling their children would be a big help to those families.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

It means crazy.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm

It's a Yiddish word...spelled with a "U" ...not to worry because all the guy that misspelled the word eats is porkchops 'n raisins...i rest my case


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm

DeVos Foundation: I don't much about the foundation but I'm curious about reading more.

Web Link

Artists may be interested in entering the annual DeVos Are International Competition. Good Luck Artists! HOORAY!


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:37 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Roz,

Yes, "snaRkiness".
And my comment about Obama's experience to be President is spot on and I stand by it. He had ZERO experience to be President, so it's ironic that the Dems will chant that DeVos has no experience in Education, when she clearly does.

On everything else we agree.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:40 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Roz and SHale,

Maybe I was being too subtle.

The people who pay for vouchers are the US TAXPAYERS. The government does nothing but move money from us, to someone else.

I'm surprised this has to be pointed out.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Chris, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm

From what I can tell there are about 6.22 million kids K-12 and the state gets about $7.442 billion from the federal government. So that's just under $2k a year per student. If a voucher program is funded solely by the federal government how would it change the way things are today given the high cost of private schooling?

CA budget data:
Web Link

CA enrollment data:
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Cholo,

Thanks for the translation and correct spelling. For someone whose Grandfather edited a Yiddish newspaper for many years, my father and his children never learned to read Yiddish.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by SHale99, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Dan: You subtle? heh, like a zit, maybe.
Fully aware of which entity would pay for a voucher. It so wouldn't be at the federal level, btw.
My only point (which you missed) was vouchers make a lot of sense if you already send your offspring to private school; would reduce the mind bend of paying twice, at least by a wee bit.
Mostly, vouchers, if created, really wouldn't make a bit of difference either way. And certainly no difference in a great school public school district.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Roz:

Welcome back on the blog trail.

Teacher unions are directly responsible for the disintegration of education in the nations public schools.

The teacher tenure policy is what is destroying the education system. The union leadership turns its back on poor performers and substandard practices.

All the while supporting, promoting and coddling with each other to further enhance their strong ties to the democratic party with their funding and support to maintain their decadent life style.

The democratic party leadership Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, are actually approaching ballistic venomous rhetoric with their decadent demeanor of decent.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

"Mostly, vouchers, if created, really wouldn't make a bit of difference either way."

And you know this how? And tell that to an inner city single mother who wants her kid to get a better education.

Stay classy.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm

SHale is a registered user.

Danny: How will vouchers help an inner-city school? Do explain. How a few dollars will make a difference?
Better education comes from better schools and that means public schools for the 99%. Affluent, rich have other options for their get. Now get ur Boy working on THAT.
Stay subtle.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 10, 2017 at 11:17 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

"How will vouchers help an inner-city school?"

They're not designed to help an inner city school. They're designed to help an inner city STUDENT by allowing them to go to a private institution that doesn't have gangs, drugs, and is more focussed on delivering a quality education.

Duh.

Stay classy




 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 12:10 am

My point with this blog is to get away from the idea that education requires Schools. Learning requires Education, but Education can be found in many forms, and schools are just one form and often a very limited form.

A famous science fiction writer, maybe Ray Bradbury, said everything I know I learned at the New York Public Library. A really great library is a better place to learn than a school if the learner is motivated and self-directed or gets good direction from the Library's staff.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 8:39 am

SHale is a registered user.

Duh: U smokin something something? Vouchers don't exist. Vouchers would never have such a $$ that would allow a family to 'afford' private tuition. do you even KNOW what private tuition costs per month? Go, please research. Get back to us with your findings. To make it easier on you, just grade school sans HS. As HS tuition nearly doubles from elementary/MS.
Stay subtle!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

SHale is a registered user.

Roz: I'm going with you have no children in elementary school. can you imagine sub teens not having a classroom? Home schooling works for maybe .1% of the population.
What we really need is for the federal government to stay out of determining education needs. Leave it to the states and local districts.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chris, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:21 am

Roz,

It is great to think about alternative ways to educate children, but the practicality of alternatives need to be addressed. Pooling resources helps children get access to expensive technology like the COWS (computers on wheels) our schools have or the 3D printers our district has. I don't think that calling schools a limited form of Education is fair without a good example of alternative methods. Citing a single instance of a celabrity with access to a resource that can't easily be replicated isn't a reasonable alternative.

I think the first step is addressing how to properly differentiate in the classroom and how to design curriculum and offer resources and programs that support different learners.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:39 am

Roz...You and your readers might be interested in Yiddish Classes:

Web Link

There are lots of very sweet folks in the classes! Some of the students talk too much...but, they are very nice!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

You can continue to harp on what private school costs NOW and that's fine. But you are completely forgetting what happens when other educational modes open up and what happens to costs when they do.

It seems like I'm debating a high school student about free-markets.

And I KNOW that vouchers don't exist...yet :)

Its been fun...only it hasn't.

Stay classy


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 11, 2017 at 11:05 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

"What we really need is for the federal government to stay out of determining education needs. Leave it to the states and local districts."

FINALLY you get it!

Stay classy.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

SHale is a registered user.

Duh/Subtle: I feel I'm speaking to somebody who has been lapped and finds themselves at the front thinking they are in first!
Vouchers would never work because YOU are only thinking of one side of the transaction (a bit slow, there). No way any 'tax' dollars that come with vouchers would ever come close to meeting more than a month or so of private tuition. Did we forget that side of the transaction? Why on earth would a private school cut their tuition by 90% to allow voucher kids?
Unless your 'kids' are or were in private school, you really have no clue what you are blithering about (usual).
Stay fast and subtle


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Roz...if you decide to teach art appreciate again, you best keep this in mind...I also wanna warn your followers that should any of them ever open their fridge and see something like this on inside, they better take off their shoes and run for their lives!!!

i mean it! Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm

you see...what i'm saying is that you should never mess with another person's frig...or it can come back and bite you in the B...just sayin!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

All I can tell you is to brush up on your knowledge of capitalist economics.

Aside from that, I can't teach you common sense (or quippy writing techniques)

Dan


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Moreno253, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 3:47 am

Moreno253 is a registered user.

great the most current versions of iphone will certainly support this. Web Link Now to mount the crack version, you should eliminate Fine.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Daisy, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 5:47 am

The voucher system takes away from public school funds.It's not really a choice. If those with money and education pull all their kids out of the public school system thinking that the education is inferior, it will collapse the public education system. I am glad Rob that you got to go to USC but many of us were educated in excellent public schools either in California or elsewhere and in places like Cal and UCLA or the state colleges. I don't think that you are any smarter than most of us in Danville/Pleasanton/Walnut Creek/San Ramon. I don't consider U of Phoenix a real school but a for profit school that overcharges for pieces of paper. I think Google started this when they only hired employees from Ivy League or U of CA or U of something no state schools and it has trickled down to the masses. Not all Google employees are in tech.

If there are vouchers then all the wealthy folks that don't like people that make less money than they do will live in a bubble. Unless they only work on Wall Street in big firms how can they relate to the vast majority of Americans since the vouchers will not cover excellent private schools. If you were to become a physician for example, how can you talk to patients that did not go to private school from day one? I am not saying everyone should go to bad schools to relate to poverty; we want the best for our children. My kids went to SRV High and are professionals and doing fine. The main thing is that they need to take Advance Placement courses where the classes are smaller and not as rowdy and the teachers are the most dedicated.

It seems like people just want to be in enclaves in the wealthier suburbs and never meet regular people unless they happen to be related to them. Danville where I lived for most of my time in California has changed a lot too. The younger families drive Teslas and cut you off more than the Mercedes did back in the day. They are not friendly and are very stuck on how great they are. Those of us who have been through the great recession know that life can change quickly unless of course you have your grandparents or parents fortune to bail you out.

Public education is what made this country great. In the UK only the poor went to public schools ( I believe they call the private schools for some reason or used to) You can tell immediately a person's class by how they speak. In the uSA you really can't. If you met our President and didn't know who he was, you would not think he was raised in the upper echelons of society because NYC is an equalizer type of place or was anyway. We have Mello-Roos that makes sure everyone pays for education because it is in the best interest of the United States of America. At least for the elementary school years through high school unless you get a scholarship it's the way to go If you want to go to the University of Spoiled Children that's fine too. Just don't brag about it and then mention working for the University of the Phoenix or Trump University for that matter. LOL


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 8:12 am

SHale is a registered user.

Subtle: So, you are passing on explaining to us how vouchers would enable a child in public school to 'chose' a private, already existing, school? do you need help?
It's the details you miss most often. bottom line vouchers fail (to become reality) because it only takes more money away from the public school system. And if vouchers did become reality how long before those who pay taxes and don't have kids ask for the same $$?
Oh, snap.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 10:31 am

Voucher systems undermine public education in several ways
1) Profit motive, this does not incentivize outcome other the bottom line
2) Facilities - public bond monies are used to build public schools - diversion of resources to private interest cause for expensive bailout
3) Michigan, really Roz - Detroit Public Schools put into bankruptcy because of that dim wit's ideas
4) Lack of accountability - Look to Livermore charter school and ask the former staff there how they enjoyed not having their pensions funded last year.
5) Casting is evil, public education should be an entitlement not just for rich white kids


 +   2 people like this
Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.

"Me"

You have no idea what this blog is about. It is about Education and Learning. It is not about public vs. private schools. Think about the process of Learning and what produces Learning and forget about Schools. Schools do not produce learning. Schools house instructional processes that produce Learning, but LEARNING is NOT (or should not be) dependent on schools whether private or public.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 6:29 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.

"If there are vouchers then all the wealthy folks that don't like people that make less money than they do will live in a bubble."

Daisy, those folks already live in a bubble. It's called San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. That's why real estate prices here are so high and getting higher.

I'm not sure about Walnut Creek, but there are probably a few "bubble" neighborhoods with top public schools there too.

Rich people, and anyone who can qualify for a good mortgage, don't need vouchers to send their children to the best schools. They just need a good real estate agent.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

SHale,

I haven't passed on anything.

Like a school teacher, I've held your hand and explained how the SYSTEM could work. In your imaginary world, things (in this case vouchers) just happen overnight. No lead time, they just happen, therefore the ONLY place vouchers could be used is in current, private schools.

Well cowboy, I'm here to tell you that Government does not move that fast, I'm sorry but that's a fact.

So you can set up your straw men all you want, think up all your possibilities (you've been myopic in this sense), but the reality is that it doesn't matter. The system has been explained to you and others, Roz has brought up other alternatives, and the entrepreneurial system will create those opportunities faster than you can imagine.

Your being obtuse is not seemly.

Sincerely


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Buyer Beware! The Ethics of College Essay Workshops
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 926 views

Johnny Be Gone – Long Live Rock-n-Roll
By Tom Cushing | 1 comment | 548 views

 

2017 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2017 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here