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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Will Betsy DeVos As Education Secretary Mean More Charter Schools?

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, The Associated Press

Western Michigan University Political Science Professor Gary Miron says traditionally the Secretary of Education is not seen as a powerful position, but he says so far the Trump administration, has shown that “we should expect the unexpected.”

Miron has extensively studied and written about charter schools. He says Betsy DeVos’ tenure as Education Secretary could mean a more rapid expansion of charter schools and pushing more decisions about education to states.

DeVos is known as an advocate of school choice in many forms and has led the effort to expanded charter schools in Detroit. Miron says the results so far have shown little improvement for Detroit students. But he says evaluations of other states show that charter schools can work if they focus on quality, rather than quantity. Miron says in those states the charter schools can help improve public schools by example.

Interview with Gary Miron - web version

Miron says that most charter schools in Michigan are privately owned and operated. He says that creates a lack of accountability. He says the original idea behind charters was that they were supposed to be locally run innovative schools with strong accountability. But Miron says that’s not how charter schools have evolved in Michigan.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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