Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the Senate is currently holding confirmation hearings for the various deplorables that the Donald has put forth to be his Legion of Doom, errrr…Cabinet. Among those is the truly vile Betsy DeVos. Here are 10 things we learned about Cruella DeVille.
- She’s “confused” about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal civil rights law. We learned that Betsy Devos probably won’t be protecting the rights of children with disabilities because she was assuming that following this federal law is up to the states. Federal law explicitly bars children who are identified with disabilities from being discriminated against in the public schools and ensures a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) for all those students. A federal law that was enacted by congress in 1975! You can learn more about IDEA here.
- Being a gazillionaire and having contributed over $200 million to political candidates can land you a position of the highest level, even if you are tremendously under-qualified to hold that position and you will endanger the very fabric of society if appointed! It is an entirely real possibility that Betsy Devos could dismantle public education. Let that sink in.
- Betsy DeVos actually doesn’t have any experience at all with public schools, not even as a former student or parent. She also has no experience with higher education, student loans, classroom teaching, administrator or even the lunch lady! But somehow, she wants to run the nation’s public education system including the internationally regarded system of American higher education. If DeVos is confirmed, what kind of message does this send to all of the educators who spend years studying pedagogy, school administration, classroom management, education policy, and education finance?
- In one of her many Sarah Palinesque moments, she expressed her belief that guns could be necessary in schools because of the recent uptick in grizzly bear attacks on campuses. She used a scenario from a district in Wyoming that she believed had to suppress attacks of Grizzly Bears. We checked. There have a total of ZERO incidents with said grizzly bears. Maybe she just likes guns.
- One of the most heinous positions that DeVos has is her strong support of gay conversion therapy. This is the last thing LGBTQ students need.
- She lacks severe attention to detail. She claims that her title as Vice President of the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation is the result of a “clerical error” that she never took the time to correct. For 13 years this “clerical error” has gone unchecked?
- Getting DeVos to answer questions was like pulling teeth, but painful for all sides. It was just as hard for us to watch as she carefully repeated her vague talking points and just flatly refused to answer at times.
- She was thoroughly unprepared for the hearing, or just generally speaking. She did not submit her paperwork in a timely fashion before the hearing, and it was clearly a sore spot for many Senators. That could be as a result of her privileged station. I suppose rules and protocol just simply do not apply to her majesty Betsy DeVos.
- Mrs. DeVos is a school choice and student voucher advocate. That in and of itself is not bad. What is bad is her reasoning for vouchers. She has said that she will use the public education system to “advance the kingdom of God.” Hmm. Remember that country that tried to do that before and then a whole bunch of people revolted and crossed the ocean to start their own country without all that religious nonsense…I believe they were called pilgrims!
- Even Republicans found her answers hard to defend and hard to digest. Betsy DeVos should not be confirmed as Secretary of Education, but she most likely will be. While Las Comadres support school choice and public charter expansion, we do not support the privatization of charter schools and vouchers. Our kids deserve better, so we hope that the Senate will deny her confirmation for Secretary of Education.
What do you think?
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Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.
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