Stopping DeVos

As you surely have heard, hearings were held on Tuesday for Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  By any reasonable standard she showed herself to be completely unprepared for the hearing and completely unqualified for the position.

How bad was it?  She wouldn’t/couldn’t answer questions, didn’t understand basic education concepts, wouldn’t commit to upholding basic values, and didn’t realize the IDEA is Federal law (and that’s not even mentioning the grizzly bears).

For a great summary, please see this article in Mother Jones  (with video clips).

In the world we live in, nobody who performed so poorly on an interview could have any hope that they’d actually get the position. Nonetheless, based on the comments of HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander and other Senate leaders, she will almost certainly be confirmed. Sadly, while this is an affront to anyone who values education, it should not be a surprise. As Shaun King of the Daily News wrote, “Donald Trump’s cabinet is the least educated in modern American history,” but all reports indicate that they will all sail though their confirmation hearings.

Time to throw our hands up? Certainly not. The odds of stopping DeVos’s appointment are slim, but it it’s not done until it’s done. And even though we already can feel confident that our Senators will oppose her, it’s still worthwhile to let them know how we feel – that we support them for supporting us.

And the bigger picture, of course, is that even when the odds are high against us, we still must speak out lest our silence be interpreted as acquiescence.

Please see the letter below from Carol Burris, Executive Director of NPE.


I am sure that you were as appalled as I was by yesterday’s HELP committee hearing on the appointment of Betsy DeVos.

– DeVos had no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

–She would not promise to defend the rights of students with disabilities in all schools that receive federal funds.

–She refused to commit to keeping our schools free of guns, using “grizzly bear attacks” as the excuse.

–She refused to agree that voucher private schools, online schools and charter schools should have the same accountability to students as public schools.

–She had no idea of the differences between proficiency scores and growth scores.

–She refused to discuss the failings of the charter schools of Detroit.

She is woefully unprepared, and apparently made no attempt to familiarize herself with the obligations of a US Secretary of Education.

We are asking you to write your senators and ask them to commit to voting against her appointment. They should make that commitment known to members of the HELP committee today.

We make it simple. Click here and you will find a letter that you can send to your senators. Post the link to this message on your Facebook Page.

Thanks for all you do. We must stand up for the integrity of our schools and the welfare of our students.

Carol Burris

Executive Director

The Network for Public Education is a 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible. You can make a donation here.

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