Senate committee approves Betsy DeVos in 12-11 party-line vote. Full Senate confirmation likely.

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’’s choice for education secretary, was confirmed today in a historic vote. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

The DeVos nomination moved out of committee today on a 12-11 party vote and now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to confirm her as U.S education secretary. A billionaire school choice advocate from Michigan, DeVos requires a simple majority to win.

There was at least one GOP senator, who, while voting for DeVos in committee today, expressed reservations about her.

“Do note, she has not yet earned my full support,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “I would not advise yet that she count on my vote.”

Here is what Jeb Bush, president and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, said about the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ favorable vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Betsy DeVos deserves this vote of confidence and endorsement toward confirmation as the next Secretary of Education. Despite the partisan gamesmanship she endured these past weeks, Betsy remains focused on serving our nation as a true champion of students and parents. I know she will work tirelessly to improve the future of every child, especially those who have been stuck too long in failing schools. Betsy’s long-standing commitment to innovation, choice and accountability create the exact formula needed to empower states and parents to transform education in America.

And here is what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said:

Make no mistake: With this nomination, President Trump tried to reignite the education wars, using the aspirations of parents for their children to try to pit parents against their children’s teachers. It backfired. Millions of Americans across the country strongly believe in public education and have stood up to defend it. That’s why hundreds of groups and legislators have pleaded with Congress not to confirm DeVos, and why tens of thousands of Americans have jammed the Senate hotlines urging their senators to reject the nomination.

 

Reader Comments 0

89 comments
someonesdad
someonesdad

To all of those who oppose DeVos, answer this: Why do you think Trump would hire someone unqualified to be in charge of Education?  How does that help him?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@someonesdad

You would first have to indentify trump's plan for education. Do you know what education policies he proposes?

Chuck-U Schumer
Chuck-U Schumer

One guesses Maureen is busily rewriting union talking points to get in one last, forlorn cheap shot at Betsy DeVos ...

... before the full Senate confirms her.

newsphile
newsphile

I'm very disappointed to see Johnny Isaacson's support for someone like DeVos.  No matter one's political affiliation, we must recognize the role public education plays in our country.  Having family in both private and public schools enables me to look at both sides of the issue.  Should all schools become charter schools, students who lack transportation would still have no choice nor would they have the extra funds required to pay tuition and/or extra fees at most charter schools.  Charter management companies open schools in neighborhoods that can turn a profit, and most unsuccessful schools aren't in those neighborhoods, according to bloggers who post frequently on this site.  We've all seen the data on how few charter schools are truly successful.  We've also seen first-hand, in many areas, how the real winners of the charter schools are the people who own the charter management companies.  While I realize that some public schools are lacking, let's work to remedy issues within those schools.  Let's please not sell our students to the highest bidder. 

someonesdad
someonesdad

@newsphile Public schools have failed, and that's the fault of the Democrats.  Time for an outsider to take a look, and that's going to be DeVos.

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

@gagata @newsphile Or could it be that 2 out of 3 students are living below the poverty level and/or are second language learners?  And on what test did they not score proficient or better?  Is the test valid?  


I am so tired of hearing that public schools are failing with nothing but a test score to support the statement.  A standardized test score is but a snapshot of what a student knows. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@gagata @newsphile

What if I told you that nationwide, less than 12% of private school students scored proficient in reading and math and most private school teachers had only a HS diploma or GED.

gagata
gagata

Nationwide, only 33 percent of public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading in 2015 and only 32 percent scored proficient or better in mathematics.

This is what  Randi Weingarten is trying to protect. Hundreds of groups and legislators have pleaded with Congress not to confirm DeVos - because they receive contributions from AFT, including Lisa Murkowski. Public education needs drastic reform which will NEVER come about with the entrenched teacher's unions.

someonesdad
someonesdad

Our current education system is a shambles.  Give DeVos a chance.  It often takes an outsider to disrupt a stagnant, failing industry.  And that's what the education "industry" is.

someonesdad
someonesdad

@EdJohnson @someonesdad I said it on purpose, and that's why I put it in quotes.  If it's going to be run efficiently and effectively, we need to stop treating it like an arm of the government.  The government can't get anything right other than taxes and wars.

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

@someonesdad Industry: economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories?  Really?  In industry raw materials that do not meet standards are returned for credit or exchange.  The factory can choose to only use the best of materials.  This system that you claim is in shambles is required to work with whatever or whomever walks through the doors.  


What measure do you use to determine that our education system is in shambles? Have you been in a school lately?  Do you base your claim on what you think you know or what you have truly experienced?  Are you making sweeping generalizations about teachers and the work they do because of the things you read in the news about the few bad apples?  


Perhaps we ought to be looking at parents and what they should be doing to support the schools and their children.  We can't educate children who are checked out because mom wants to get to Walmart before three or who come in late because dad didn't get up or who didn't get bathed last night because there is no hot water in their trailer. 


And then you think we should give DeVos a chance? really?  She has no idea about what we do.  She didn't even bother to read up on federal law before she was nominated and questioned.  How can you possibly lead the nation in education when you don't bother to even know the laws that you are responsible for upholding?


Let's just let her fight those grizzly bears in North Dakota and we can find someone who knows something about education to lead us in change. 



dg417s
dg417s

@someonesdad We can agree on one thing - things do need to change, but if you look at DeVos's record in Michigan, she doesn't deserve the chance to bring that failed model to the entire country. We need someone in this role who will bring positive changes to public education. She has a record of destroying it, and her alternatives are doing just as bad if not worse (but she fights against accountability in those schools).

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

You can feel the desperation of the supporters of teacher unions, advocates of the status quo, and self/declared geniuses with their fluff educational degrees as the Department of Ed is about to be headed by someone who is not a member of their cult.

With the pathetic state of public education they fight tooth and nail to protect its continuing failure.

Not this time. With the horrible condition of our schools, there is little risk in trying something new and insanity in not.

CRei29
CRei29

@RoyalDawg DeVos is lacking in any quality of understanding WHERE public education is today!  She has never stepped foot in a public school, so how is she to understand the trials they face?  Anyone who supports her has no clue as to how dangerous this is for our country.  

someonesdad
someonesdad

@CRei29 @RoyalDawg Don't be so hyperbolic.  Our current education system is a shambles.  Give DeVos a chance.  It often takes an outsider to disrupt a failing industry.

gagata
gagata

@CRei29 @RoyalDawg Really? Most charter schools are public and De Vos has spent years working with charter and public schools.

someonesdad
someonesdad

@CRei29 @someonesdad @RoyalDawg Again, you're only angry that Trump won.  Why do you think Trump would hire someone unqualified to be in charge of Education?  How does that help him?

CRei29
CRei29

@someonesdad @CRei29 @RoyalDawg no, not really.  Maybe this doesn't really matter to you, but the majority of us are VERY concerned.  She is NOT the right choice for this job.  Money buys you everything....skill seems to have slipped in this case.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Words from Jefferson to Washington regarding the value of state established public education in a letter written in 1786:

". . . I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan."

someonesdad
someonesdad

@CRei29 @Billn  How "dangerous" is she?  Our current education system is a shambles.  Give DeVos a chance.  It often takes an outsider to disrupt a stagnant, failing industry.

CRei29
CRei29

@Billn it seems that anyone who supports her is totally unaware of how dangerous she is for public education.

Ingrid Soble Gero
Ingrid Soble Gero

I was pleased to hear that Murkowski and Collins were not convinced.

Ingrid Soble Gero
Ingrid Soble Gero

He certainly wasn't listening to all the calls or reading the letters and emails. He will get my vote no longer. He will not stand up against Trump, no matter how ridiculous the claim. Done.

Paula Hagan Shuff
Paula Hagan Shuff

What a cheap, coward he is. Not representing his fellow Georgians. \U0001f621