Friday, 24 March, 2017

OR lawmakers speak out against Trump education pick

Image Via a katz  Shutterstock Image Via a katz  Shutterstock
Roland Mccarthy | 28 January, 2017, 01:54

"Several of the picks have been, frankly, scoffers of the agency".

DeVos has spent almost 30 years as an education reformer, fighting to better the educational opportunities for low-income and at-risk children and is well known as a believer in the decentralization of education decisions to the family.

Hassan said the DeVos letter "only reinforced that she is unfit to serve as secretary of education".

"It surprises me you don't know this issue, and Mr. Chairman I think this is a good reason for us to have more questions", Franken said.

What are the problems with public education? "When you get that kind of tension, that kind of division, then supporters of an agency are going to come out and be more hostile to the witness". We deserve a qualified secretary who can lead from day one and who we can hold accountable for his or her actions.

The opposition to DeVos - a MI philanthropist, activist and advocate for voucher programs that allow taxpayer dollars to be spent on private and parochial schools - came in the form of resolutions approved Wednesday by Santa Rosa City Schools and Sonoma Valley Unified School District.

The lawmakers who signed the letter said that regardless of the schools parents may choose for their children, they are heartened by DeVos' "efforts to break up the bureaucracy".

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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.

"Including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, she did not commit to protecting funding for public schools".

In a statement, Donnelly said DeVos "lacks the commitment to public education" and said repeatedly he was concerned about her as Education Secretary.

Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow have both spoken out against DeVos's nomination.

Equal access to quality education is an essential element to our democracy, and there is still a lot of work to be done in order to ensure that to all children, including the economically disadvantaged.

DeVos has no experience in the public sector or with public education. They can't just dabble in education and focus on other things before assuming a major leadership position. Would they be happier if she had spent her money denying children from low-income families choices of schools?

"It is unusual for our district to comment on national matters, but in meeting with a number of staff members as well as speaking to educators throughout the county, I feel we need to be proactive in stating our opposition to this nomination".

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