March 24, 2017

Betsy DeVos Could Spell Trouble for Students, Educators Nation Wide

27 January 2017, 12:47 | Ted Wilson

Elizabeth Warren says she'll vote against Trump education pick

Franken: No Dems will vote to confirm DeVos for secretary of Education

Indiana Sen. Todd Young, a Republican, sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee which will vote on DeVos' nomination Tuesday. We deserve a qualified secretary who can lead from day one and who we can hold accountable for his or her actions.

But the aide said, "Betsy DeVos supports great teachers, strong public schools and working to ensure the safety and opportunity of all students".

Even pro-Trump Republicans conceded that DeVos' delivered a lackluster performance in her confirmation hearing, where the Michigan Republican seemed unaware of certain federal education laws, argued that her decades in the leadership of her mother's foundation was a "clerical error" and appeared confused by certain teaching concepts when pushed by Democratic senators. Throughout most of American history, education policy was directed by local school boards elected in their respective communities and dominated by parents and taxpayers who wanted to preserve good, locally controlled schools. Not like the fact she believes more in the idea of "choice" than in public education.

DeVos is married to the son of the founder of Amway, Richard DeVos, whose family is worth an estimated $5 billion, according to Politico. Now, Americans from all walks of life are honestly alarmed, and rightly so, by Betsy DeVos and are shocked to the core by what they witnessed during her confirmation hearing. Restrictions on allocations of Title I funding, meant to increase financial support to schools serving high percentages of students in poverty, were replaced by competitive grants known as Race To The Top, pitting poor schools against each other in a competition for desperately needed Title I funds. She's never worked in a public school. "During my one-on-one meeting with Mrs. DeVos, the first thing I stressed to her was the importance of the IDEA program and parental involvement in the Individualized Education Program process". Some believe that parents should be able to send their child to any public school, while others want to include private schools in the mix, she said.

Much of the sabre rattling against Mrs. DeVos's nomination is coming directly from union bosses at the National Education Association, otherwise known as the teachers union. "Madame President, if Mrs. DeVos doesn't even know how to measure success, how can she be expected to achieve it?"

But for her reference that guns might be needed in schools to fight off grizzly bears, the Republican Senate majority must be breathing a sigh of relief as they as prepare to confirm DeVos as the nation's next election chief. As a former public school teacher, Senator Daines should be aware of the importance of public education in rural states like Montana.

No, she does not, replied Greg McNeilly, a longtime aide to DeVos.

Clearly, the public education system is not ideal. Both have investments and political ties to numerous organizations committed to school privatization and right-wing religious objectives, which could directly benefit from her confirmation.

The handing of the education secretary's position to a billionaire and avowed enemy of public education will lead to an huge escalation of the war against this most basic democratic right.

Yet DeVos will apparently be our new secretary of education, the person in charge of pushing educational change on the country.

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