Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DeVos Not Qualified for Education Post

Trump and DeVos
As I write this, Democratic Senators are holding the floor of the U.S. Senate and speaking out against Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

Right now, as I write this, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has the floor and is giving his passionate concerns about the future actions of DeVos.

Booker is just one of the Democrats pledged to vote against DeVos, a billionaire charter school advocate with zero experience in traditional public schools.  DeVos had trouble answering simple questions that go to the very heart of what she would do as Secretary of Education.  She, for example, could give no opinion on key debates such as growth vs. proficiency.  DeVos seemed to indicate that they were the same thing.  They aren't.  Because of awful exchanges such as this with Senators, DeVos widely was seen to have failed horribly in her confirmation hearings.

DeVos's background shows no interaction with public schools.  She never served in one.  She never taught in one.  She never attended one.  She never enrolled her kids in one.  She's worked against traditional public schools as well.

Still, she is right on the line of being confirmed if you believe the early vote polling.  Once the vote
occurs, it could come down to the vote of Mike Pence to break the tie. He has clearly showed his disdain for public education as Governor of Indiana.  We know how he will vote.

Booker just finished his speech about the role of the federal government in education.  He invoked Norman Rockwell's famous "The Problem We All Live With" painting.  In the painting, a young black girl, Ruby Bridges, is being escorted by white men into school.  The "N" word is scrawled on the wall in the background and a hurled tomato is there, too.  His point was that without the federal government to stand beside Bridges that desgregation of our schools might never have happened.

He also talked about how DeVos refused to say how she would defend the rights of LGBTQ students in schools and if she would even continue to work with individual agencies to defend those students.  

Betsy DeVos may be qualified for another cabinet post, but it's not Secretary of Education.  Her background shows someone who's more interested in dismantling our schools than lifting them up.  Let's hope more Republicans come to their senses and vote this nomination down.  This is not partisan.

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