Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I oppose Betsy DeVos because of her contempt for public education

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 17: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee member Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Secretary of Education, during her confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Trump education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Her nomination is likely to earn easy passage despite a groundswell of opposition from both expected and unexpected sources.

A Michigan billionaire, DeVos has never held a job in education, but has used her family’s Amway fortune to promote school choice and vouchers. Donald Trump has called for widespread use of vouchers, although he’s been unclear how he would underwrite a proposed $20 billion federal voucher program.

After interviewing DeVos  last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., issued this statement today:

I will vote against Betsy DeVos’s nomination to serve as Secretary of Education because her nomination is not in the best interests of the young people of America. She has repeatedly demonstrated her contempt for public education, she plans to maintain financial ties that could create conflicts of interest, and she is unwilling to commit to be a cop on the beat with for-profit colleges that break the law and cheat students.

Mrs. DeVos has no record in higher education, but I gave her the opportunity to prove to the American people that she is serious about standing up for students. During her confirmation hearing, I asked Mrs. DeVos basic, straightforward questions about her commitment to protecting students and taxpayers from fraud committed by shady for-profit colleges. But she was unwilling to commit to using the Department’s many tools and resources to keep students from getting cheated.

Mrs. DeVos’s record on K-12 education has been focused on using her vast fortune to push her own ideology on hardworking families that are just trying to get their kids a decent education in public schools. Not only are her ideas completely uninformed by experience with public schools, but the evidence is clear that her privatization theories are bad for students.

I’ve heard from thousands of teachers, parents, and education leaders in Massachusetts raising deep concerns about Mrs. DeVos. I hear their concerns, and I share their concerns. This includes a letter sent to me from the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association about Mrs. DeVos’s devastating record of promoting for-profit and online charter schools with virtually no accountability or oversight for how well these schools actually serve students and families.

Unlike the successful, thoughtful, and innovative education policies we have implemented in Massachusetts with regard to public charter schools, the policies Mrs. DeVos has bankrolled have drained valuable taxpayer dollars out of the public education system in Michigan and left kids worse off.

It is hard to imagine a less qualified or more dangerous person to be entrusted both with our country’s education policy and with a trillion-dollar student loan program. Congress should reject Mrs. DeVos’s nomination.

DeVos’ support from charter school proponents is not unanimous. Her opposition to efforts to rein in the under-performing for-profit charter sector and her resistance to stronger accountability in her home state of Michigan worries some advocates. Detroit has some of the worst performing charter schools in the country and some of the weakest accountability levers.

In a blog posting, Steven Zimmerman, co-director of the Coalition of Community Charter Schools, wrote:

 

It’s understandable that Betsy DeVos would find a reservoir of goodwill from national and local charter school advocates. But the unabashed embrace she’s received from many of them as nominee for Secretary of Education is hurting the charter school brand and all of us who are working to sustain an innovative sector of autonomous and accountable public schools.

This is not because she seems to be a stranger to pedagogy, although it would be nice if she knew the difference between proficiency and growth. Nor is this because of her poor grasp of education law, although an understanding would, in a better world, be prerequisite for the job. It’s because her sole qualification for the position, apart from the money her family has lavished on politicians of a certain persuasion, is her extreme position on “market-based” education reform.

God save us from our friends

Reader Comments 0

245 comments
Wascatlady
Wascatlady

DeVos doesn't have even enough respect for public ed to do some reading,visit some schools, find out about it!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian


Please notice that "choice" does not call for failing students choosing a different school, only any student choosing to leave a "failing school". How many students have to fail before a school is really failing? 1%, 100%? Did the school fail or did a large number of students fail the state tests?


You do see that "choice" is actually for "passing" students to choose a more segregated(by various groups) school most of the time.


So if passing students leave failing schools, that improves failing schools how?


You are being bamboozled and looking at a squirrel while someone is taking your Alpo.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

The eduacracy is all about the promoting the careers of teachers and administrators - improving their opportunities and most importantly, increasing their pay scales. 


In fairness, most of the problems in poorly performing schools can easily be traced back to the domestic environments in which many of  students are trapped. More and more, teachers are called upon to be the responsible parents that these children do not have, e.g be the "family" that they do not go home to every night.  


This is an impossible task that can only be targeted and overcome by the "families" of these students. The gorilla in the corner, the elephant on the couch - that no one dares to talk about - not even Barack and Michelle - who could have done much good work over 8 years to begin remedying this problem - is the collapse of the family structure; a collapse that puts more and more pressure on the eduacracy - which is really not prepared nor called or trained to deal with it. 


That said, the alliance of the teacher's unions and the Democrat politicians and Democratic party is not to be trifled with. Dem pols like Warren do not stand up, rare back, and forcefully defend the failing system. Instead they do what they have always done, demand more money, more spending, more resources - more more more money down a rat hole. The eduacracy benefits from this . . . the students? Meh. 


And nothing scares the alliance like given these trapped students choices and new curriculum and administration and governance choices that may help to over come the domestic environments in which the children live and at least get them educated enough to have the means to escape and not create yet another generation of dependency. This is fine fore the Dem/Libs like Warren whose party greatly supported and sustained by generations of government dependency - and with no sign of those leading and demanding that generational dependency be ended by addressing the disintegration of the family structure.  But it is a continuing death sentence for the students. 


Perhaps people would like to breathe some fresh air and not the stale air that has been forever with us from the likes of Warren. Maybe the fresh air is not as "knowledgeable or experienced" and its only positive attribute is that other "fresh air" solutions than just more and more tax dollars to sustain the Dem/Lib Eduacracy alliance would perhaps be a good idea. 


Of course, "poverty" is the reason that nothing can be done about the family structure problem. Pure nonsense. It is the world and the history of this nation turned upside down, but it sells  because it gets more money into the hands of the eduacracy and keeps the alliance strong. 


Why is "poverty" no plea or excuse?  Because for over 200 years - up until the creation of the welfare state by Lyndon Johnson and the Dem/Libs in the early 60's - the spark for decades of generational poverty and government dependence - in America family was the institution that over came and defeated poverty. Poverty has no chance against Family. Family will defeat and destroy  Poverty at every turn. But, that is no longer message, as those students who have struggled and failed for several generations running can tell you. 



MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Everyone should see the film, "Hidden Figures," if you want to be inspired about 3 brilliant black American women who had the mathematical minds to put the astronauts into space with success. This story is true history.  The title refers not only to hidden mathematical formula in the math "figures" but also to the "hidden" stories of history of these 3 human "figures"


You will learn about the injustices toward both blacks and women in America's past, in very human terms.  And, don't leave until the last visual image is shown, with the real photos of these 3 brave, good women and the highly courageous young John Glenn.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

I imagine her lectures ended "and another thing and another thing and..." as the students rushed to their next class.

She tries to indoctrinate us; can you imagine what she did to students?

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@MaryElizabethSings

Also, earlier, there were the brilliant women whose story “Sisters of the Sun” tells, starting at the 8:00-minute mark.  Neither brilliance nor ignorance knows neither skin color nor sex.  The problem is many certain competition-minded, fear-driven people would rather dismiss or even attach and suppress certain other people’s brilliance, while embracing and uplifting the ignorant amongst themselves, as they do Betsy DeVos.

Milo
Milo

@BurroughstonBroch

This person never taught, and if she did, had little/no impact on her students. Otherwise some would have written in by now, singing her praises. Or, maybe they can't write. 

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

I don't write for Rotten Tomatoes and express only my opinion. My guess is that MES told that crowd what they wanted to hear. Sounds like HRC haranguing the faithful at one of her rallies.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@BurroughstonBroch

ME wrote 2 paragraphs about a current education related movie with a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 93% and audience score of 94%. 

It was short, concise, interesting, and educationally related.

Your posts- well their quality and value speak for themselves.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings

"This story is true history"


Except, that is isn't.  It is little more than politically correct propaganda.  In all the detailed documentaries and books written about the early space program, not once was it written that a blue-eyed, light skinned black woman was the "brilliant mathmatical mind that put the astronauts into space." 

Actually, no mention of Johnson anywhere until an article in Jet Magazine (a magazine geared towards blacks) in 2005.    Now, they would have us believe that John Glenn wouldn't step foot in the capsule until a black woman ran the numbers.

But, since it is about a "black" woman, no one will question the authenticity of the myth.

Lu Cy
Lu Cy

Has anyone thought of the possibility that she may just begin to "dissolve" the Federal Department of Education? Thoughts? Respectfully. (ken)

Wrecker
Wrecker

It is so rare that federal government involvement in any part of life makes it better.  The scariest words in the English language:  "We're from the government and we're here to help."

Unaffiliated Voter
Unaffiliated Voter

we do NOT care what fauxcahontas thinks nor says...she is a complete lying beeotch...democrackkk NON leader.

luludog
luludog

A little research on who Betsy DeVos is, what she believes, and why she believes it, would be helpful. She is a follower of economist Milton Friedman and his wife who believed public schools should be phased out and replaced by for-profit, privatized schools to be run as businesses competing among themselves to attract customers, i.e., the parents of students who would "choose" which school (business) they preferred. the market would determine the best schools. That's how capitalism works, they believed. They abhorred the idea of "government schools" as they called them. No regulation, they said. The free market takes care of that. So, if you agree, turn your kids over to the dog-eat-dog , free market, for-profit, no oversight or regulations, education approach for getting the best results.


https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/betsy-devos-milton-friedman-public-education-privatization



MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@luludog


I have to comment on the mess our businessman, for-profit president is now doing to create ill-will and enemies to the United States with his ban on people of certain Muslim nations from entering our nation.  


Business people may be good in business, but they do not need to be running our governmental institutions, imho.  They do not have the intellectual gifts of a sense of history (for the most part) nor the compassion that it takes to run this nation and be a leader of this world, from what I have already seen of Donald Trump's leadership ability as president. 


We must keep the business mind from taking over our public schools because, with their often vainglorious arrogance and wealth, they usually cannot see how the public sector is not where their gifts lie.  Government or the public sector is not one of their gifts.  Jefferson knew that well, as he held his own with business genius Alexander Hamilton, as a strong counter-balance to the commercial ideas of Hamilton, in favor of his Jeffersonian ideas of public education for all Americans and egalitarianism for humankind.

EdGraham
EdGraham

Elizabeth "Faux-cahontas" Warren opposes *everything* that President Trump stands for.  He could propose raising the national minimum wage to $25 an hour and she would oppose it.

Mary
Mary

Indian princess made a fool out of herself during the hearing with Ms DeVos. She is the most embarrassing thing going for the DNC. Well, next to John Lewis, Bernie "it's free" Sanders and the two crazy dudes from Minnesota (Franken and Ellison). Wow, the Democratic Party is a bunch of loonies!

Starik
Starik

@Mary Nikki Haley? Once known as Nimrata Randhawa?

E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum

@Mary There are many local and national

          leaders in the Democratic Party 

            that represent their constituents

            and the national interests well.

            I respect what Congressman 

            John Lewis did for Civil Rights.


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@JBBrown1968 @Starik @MaryElizabethSings @E Pluribus Unum @Mary


Sixteen (16) years ago John Lewis came to the mainly white North Fulton Country Democratic Party's meeting where he spoke (and complimented the then Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, a white older man whose face and personality I  remember, but do not recall his name, for being one of the few white Democrats in leadership in the state of Georgia who refused to switch to the Republican Party in Georgia, as most other white conservative Democrats had done).  


This white Commissioner, as far as I know, never left the Democratic Party, and he would be older than I am and John Lewis.  Bravo, to that courageous white Democratic Agricultural Commissioner of 16 years ago.  And, Bravo, also, to John Lewis for recognizing the morality and individual courage of that man. 


I walked over the Lewis and spoke with him, one-on-one, for about 5 minutes at that meeting.  We both knew we were spiritually kindred spirits, an older black man and an older white woman, of the same age,both Southerners who had lived through Jim Crow in Georgia as young people, and both of whom recoiled at its inhumanity.  John Lewis and I spontaneously hugged one another at the end of our conversation, and he signed my program with the words, "Keep the Faith!"  That is only one, of many, many other things that have never been reported that John Lewis has done to inspire humanity for good since he was so public a figure throughout the nation in 1965.  Andrew Young told Donald Trump within the last 2 weeks that John Lewis is a saint.  I agree.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Corrections:  John Lewis grew up in rural Alabama during Jim Crow.  I grew up in rural south Georgia during Jim Crow.  


Also, white North Fulton County (not Country)

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Yes, because he keeps a seat warm but little else other than act foolish.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Nikki is a nickname her family has always used . Born in the USA, twice SC Governor, twice SC State Representative. Married to Michael Haley for 20 years.

Care to fill us in on Huma Abedin Weiner?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@JBBrown1968 @Ralph-43 @Starik @MaryElizabethSings @E Pluribus Unum @Mary


We do not live in a dictatorship; we live in a democratic-republic and without the right to voice our differences with those in power, we would not be a democracy (Jefferson).


John Lewis' controversial stand in not attending Donald Trump's inauguration helped to motivate the millions of people who marched in the Women's Marches throughout the world the day after Trump's inauguration.  Thank God for John Lewis' moral courage.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@JBBrown1968 @Ralph-43 @Starik @MaryElizabethSings @E Pluribus Unum @Mary


We do not live in a dictatorship; we live in a democratic-republic and without the right to voice our differences with those in power, we would not be a democracy (Jefferson).


John Lewis' controversial stand in not attending Donald Trump's inauguration helped to motivate the millions of people who marched in the Women's Marches throughout the world the day after Trump's inauguration.  

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

So Pocahontas will vote against DeVos, Surprise Surprise, she has still not accepted that her hero Hillary lost and she has a back row seat in the Senate, she needs to get used to it just like John " Bridge " Lewis over in the House, go cry in your beer

Billn
Billn

The problems in GA are gov deal and the GOP have being bring in refugees and illegals in many area. Teaching English consumes much time.

Starik
Starik

@Billn Your English skills aren't very good; where did you go to school?  Not your native language?

Billn
Billn

DeVos has destroyed Detroit schools. She took the money and left the schools in ruins. All the good teachesr left or quit.

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

@Billn Please provide the source and the data for your allegations.  Know that you have it at the tip of your fingers. 

Starik
Starik

@Billn The Detroit riots left it in ruins - and depopulated the city.