Donald Trump Meets With Betsy DeVos, Michelle Rhee

Betsy DeVos speaks at the 2016 American Federation for Children Policy Summit.

Betsy DeVos speaks at the 2016 American Federation for Children Policy Summit.

Republican mega-donor and education activist Betsy DeVos met with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence this weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J this Saturday. Trump and Pence also met with Michelle Rhee who was the former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor and founder and former CEO of StudentsFirst.

DeVos has been a school choice and Common Core advocate who serves as the chairperson for the American Federation for Children. She also serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the group that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush created. DeVos has been discussed as being on Trump’s short list for Secretary of Education and this meeting just fuels further speculation. Trump also recently met with Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Charter Schools. Moskowitz recently stated that she would not be interested in the position.

The readout from the Trump Transition Team said their meeting with DeVos was about “was focused on the Common Core mission, and setting higher national standards and promoting the growth of school choice across the nation.”

The Transition Team readout from Saturday’s meetings said Trump and Pence enjoyed an in-depth discussion about the future of public education in our country with Michelle Rhee. They stated that the discussion “included the possibility for increasing competition through charter and choice schools. They also brought the idea of merit pay for teachers going above and beyond in their classrooms into the conversation.”

So far Trump has only met with Common Core advocates. While discussion with these individuals also included other topics as well it is disconcerting to see.

Trump Slated to Meet With Michelle Rhee in Education Secretary Search

Photo credit: Rikki Ward

Photo credit: Rikki Ward

Education Week reports that Preisdent-elect Donald Trump is slated to meet with Michelle Rhee as his search for an Education Secretary continues.

Andrew Ujifusa writes:

President-elect Donald Trump is slated to meet with former District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee as he continues his search for an education secretary under his administration, the Trump transition team told the press on Friday.

Trump’s search for education secretary appears to be crossing party lines. Rhee, who has identified as a Democrat throughout her career, is a strong supporter of school choice (including vouchers), which appears to be the top K-12 priority for Trump. She also rose to prominence for how she handled teachers and teacher evaluations during her tenure in the District of Columbia, which lasted from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, she left the nation’s capital and founded StudentsFirst, an advocacy group that pushes for choice, reforms to labor policies often unfriendly to teachers’ unions, and data-based school accountability. She stepped down as the leader of StudentsFirst in 2014.

He had met with Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Charter Schools in New York City, and she has withdrew her name from consideration.

Both Moskowitz and Rhee are Democrats, and both are supporters of Common Core.

It would sure be great to hear that President-elect Trump is slated to meet with someone who, I don’t know, actually is against Common Core. I don’t see how he will actually follow through on his campaign promises with education.