Education

Harvard Shames Itself by Staging a Koch-Sponsored Betsy DeVos Lovefest

No dissenting voices allowed.

Harvard University.
Photo Credit: Jannis Tobias Werner / Shutterstock.com

The Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University has always been pro-school choice, pro-charters, pro-vouchers.

But now the PEPG–headed by the General of the School Choice Movement Paul Petersen–has outdone itself.

It is staging a two-day celebration of Betsy DeVos and the Trump agenda of public school-bashing, funded by the Koch Brothers and other rightwing foundations.

There is nary a critic of this radical rightwing agenda, not as a presenter or a panelist.

The conference is called “The Future of School Choice.”

The Charles Koch Foundation is a major funder, but after it became clear that his name was embarrassing, it was removed from the list of sponsors.

How shameful that Harvard would lend its name to a one-sided effort to cheer on the destruction of public education and would give a platform to a woman with no academic credentials.

As the writer for the New Republic, Graham Vyse, points out, the Harvard Institute of Politics invited Sean Spicer and Corey Lewandowski to accept fellowships, so the University apparently has low standards.

Apparently Jeff Sessions is about to give a speech about “free speech” in which he will decry “political correctness” on campus, meaning I assume the refusal to debate issues.

Do you think he will single out Harvard’s PEPG for refusing to hold a debate about the future of school choice and excluding those who recognize the civic importance of public education and the failure of charters and vouchers to live up to their claims?

I’m not holding my breath.

I am adding Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance to this blog’s Wall of Shame for its failure to permit even the most minimal expectations of academic and scholarly fairness, and for turning itself into a propaganda mill for the privatization movement, at the behest of Big Money.

 

Diane Ravitch is a co-founder of the Network for Public Education. She is a historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University. She is a graduate of the Houston public schools, Wellesley College (BA), Columbia University (Ph.D. in history of American education), and holds ten honorary doctorates. In 2011, she received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award from the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences for her careful use of data and research to advance the common good. She blogs at dianeravitch.net.


 

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