Thursday, January 19, 2017


The Washington Post has an interesting article in yesterday's paper that highlights the "Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said - and refused to say - at her confirmation hearing." 

Among the lowlights (my comments are in standard font) ... 

  • DeVos refused to agree with a Democrat that schools are no place for guns, citing one school that needs one to protect against grizzly bears. (She really said this.)
I'm surprised she didn't cite the lions and snakes.

  • DeVos seemed to have no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, which requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities.
This one, quite frankly, was embarrassing.

  • DeVos refused to agree with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that all schools that receive public federal funds — traditional public, public charter or private schools that receive voucher money — should be held to the same standards of accountability.
Is this because we can trust that for-profit Christian schools will hire nothing but qualified (certified) teachers who understand academic - and not Christian - standards?  Another embarrassing exchange. 

  • DeVos said she would review gainful employment regulations without committing to enforce them.
More embarrassment. DeVos was asked about sham colleges and fake universities - with a specific reference to Trump University - that suck students in, and leaves them with little but a worthless piece of paper and a pile of debt. 

  • DeVos appeared to have no idea what [Senator Al] Franken was talking about when he referred to the accountability debate about whether to use test scores to measure student proficiency or student growth.
Yup, more embarrassment. If you don't know the difference between passing and advanced knowledge you shouldn't be in the field of education. 

  • DeVos did not answer Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) when he asked her what she had learned about the failures of the Detroit traditional public and public charter schools that would inform her decision-making as the secretary of education.
At this point in the questioning most of the U.S. Senators who were taking the hearings seriously were ready to throw up their hands and say, "What the hell is she doing here?".  


One thing is certain. After watching her testimony it's clear DeVos hasn't done her homework. No pun intended. She doesn't understand what makes education work in America, and doesn't seem interested in learning. It gets worse. Betsy DeVos:

* Never attend public schools or a public university.

* Never had to take out a student loan.

* Has no teaching experience.

* Never put her kids in public schools.

* Does not believe in public education.

* Believes public school teachers are overpaid.

* Supports sucking money out of public education coffers and into for-profit, Christian-based education. 

Put more simply, Betsy DeVos does not understand how important public education is or has been to our nation. No clue.

If education is your thing - and it should be if you care about the future of this country - you should be worried if Betsy DeVos is confirmed as Secretary of Education. 

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

- Mark 

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