In her hearing before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on January 17, Betsy DeVos proved just how unqualified she is to serve as secretary of education. In response, millions of Americans contacted their senators urging them to vote “no” on her confirmation. We have to keep up the pressure.
At the hearing, DeVos couldn’t answer basic questions, dodged controversial issues, and failed to say what she would do to support public schools and the kids who attend them. Her most ridiculous answer may have been that we should allow guns in schools to protect against grizzly bears (she really said that!), but her most frightening responses showed just how dangerously unqualified she is for the job. Write a letter and tell your senators to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.
- She refused to commit to the basic premise that all schools that receive public funding should be held to the same standards of accountability.
- She didn’t understand the difference between student proficiency and student growth—showing she has no idea how to assess student progress meaningfully.
- She showed she has no knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and didn’t even know it was a federal law.
- She refused to answer when asked what she had learned from failures of the “choice” experiment she ardently promoted in Detroit.
- She refused to commit to enforcing rules that protect students from fraud and predatory behavior by for-profit universities.
It was clear from her testimony that DeVos doesn’t care about what helps kids. She repeated her belief in “choice”—which to DeVos means defunding traditional public schools to pay for private school vouchers and for-profit, unaccountable charters.
Thanks to the outcry against her nomination, the committee vote on DeVos was delayed until January 31. Let’s use the extra time to contact our senators’ offices and tell them to oppose her confirmation. Tell your senators to vote NO on dangerously unqualified Betsy DeVos.