Sunday, November 27, 2016

Betsy DeVos Must Not Be Confirmed as Education Secretary — Never, Ever

Outside the Trump Camp, Doesn’t Have Problem With This Quote

Right up front, I will state that there are many reasons why I strongly believe that Donald J. Trump should not be our next president. However, he won, and now he gets to pick and choose those around him. His choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has to be at least in my view, and in the view a heck of lot of others, to be the worst choice of all. Many of the reasons are listed below.

But, first of all and perhaps the most-critical is that quote above from her.

It should be the most-logical and rational legal reason for the U.S. Senate NOT to confirm her. Why not you might ask? I see it as her direct and open philosophy stating that she supports and advocates “quid pro quo” of any kind and without doubt or hesitation. 

… now wait and watch the Trumpets spin it otherwise.

However, I hope Senators take her at face value about that quote and further, I hope that they overwhelmingly reject her nomination. Will they – that remains to be seen.


Betsy DeVos is a billionaire major GOP funder and party activist from Michigan. Her choice clearly signals Mr. Trump’s intention to put the expansion of taxpayer-funded charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools at the center of his national agenda on education. Many decry this choice as a looming disaster for public schools all across America. 

Here are two examples:

1.  Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA president, observed that DeVos “efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers – which take away funding and local control from our public schools – to fund private schools at taxpayers' expense.”

2.  Randi Weingarten, AFT president, stated that “Betsy DeVos is everything Donald Trump said is wrong in America – an ultra-wealthy heiress who uses her money to game the system and push a special-interest agenda that is opposed by the majority of voters. Installing her in the Department of Education is the opposite of Trump's promise to drain the swamp.”

Through her riches, Betsy DeVos has had a disproportionate influence on national and state policies affecting millions of Americans, helping to force through changes to the law that gut the rights of workers and redirect American tax dollars to fund risky charter school experiments that have repeatedly failed for America's children.

She has also applauded efforts to gut election laws that are designed to prevent corruption, recasting the issue of money in politics as free speech and her right to speak “as loudly as we please.” (Her remarks about this and her praise for Tom DeLay's (yeah, that Tom DeLay) honesty begin at the 52-minute mark here on C-SPAN). (Note: DeVos is past director of and a big funding source for the James Madison Institute - seen here).

Here are five facts to get smart about who Betsy DeVos is and what her nomination could mean for America [click here for the story’s five facts].

My personal statement of facts: I am a product of the public education system from 1st grade through high school (there were no kindergartens in my day), three community college degrees, one public university dual degree, and one private university (USC) M.S. Ed degree on my GI bill. I am also a firm support of teachers (all 3.1 million of them), and their Unions. I have taught grades 7-12; Adult Basic Skills in the military; at two community colleges; and, at one 4-year college. 

Our country takes pride in our long history of public education and also in “choice” that dates back to the 1600’s. 

We need to keep public education alive, strong and viable, and focused on the kids with programs and activities that are well-funded with no waste to educate and produce generations who will run the country with a set of high achievable standards and ethics and critical thinking for each and every one of them to reach their highest potential and goals.

Related: Education Fast Facts (great link here).

Thanks for stopping by.

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