DeVos confirmed as Ed. Sec.; a win for public school kids

As expected, the Senate today confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education by the slimiest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie.

Democrats conducted a historic campaign against DeVos, so they’ll be whining about how they lost. But the reality is that America’s public school kids have won, who now will have a better chance to receive a quality education.

To appease the teachers’ labor unions, Democrats looked ridiculous in coming up with reasons to betsy-devosdump DeVos: She never taught; she doesn’t know enough about education. But the unvarnished truth is that they hated her because of her advocacy of charter schools and vouchers. To put it as bluntly and truthfully as possible, it was a teachers’ union power play to preserve their jobs, benefits and pensions. And to hell with poor and minority students who would have an opportunity to liberate themselves from the planation of failing inner city schools such as those in Chicago.

When progressives talk about the need to free government from the grips of special interest groups, they ignore the clench that the teachers’ union have on the Democratic Party. That Democrats are spinning into orbit is about the best recommendation that any Education Secretary could have. Someone who will disturb that comfy relation between self-serving education unions and the government they control in order to put vital decisions about their children’s education back into the hands of the parents.

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    I'd turn it around and say it was a futile gesture on the part of Democrats to show their fealty to the unions and lock in future campaign contributions. I follow the cash. Besides labor unions the other big cash area is climate evangelism, so I predict additional futile gestures against Labor nominee Puzder and EPA nominee Pruitt. You are correct about outrage against Mrs. DeVos. It is her greatest recommendation.

  • Don't you find her lack of teaching experience a little disturbing?

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    Exactly. If she knows how to fix problems in public schools, great! How would she actually know how to fix public school problems if she has never taught in a public school. She has never attended a public school. She has never had a child that attended a public school. There might even be a lot of positive things going on in millions of public schools across the country.

    Additionally, the charter schools Devos has been responsible for creating in Michigan have been extremely underwhelming in results.

  • In reply to OregonCubs1:

    Arne Duncan never taught in a public school. And so haven't a bunch of others. (See: How many FAA administrators have been licensed pilots? What does Ben Carson know about the mountains of HUD programs? Yes, having teaching experience is an okay thing. And she does have an educational background, but that's what riles progressives. She doesn't have the right education background. The arguments against her are thin. The primary, moving force of her opponents is her work for charter schools. The teachers unions are more interested in preserving an institution (from which they receive a multitude of personal benefits) than in making sure that inner city students have a better education. (See: CPS)

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    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    She graduated from Calvin College in 1979 with an Economics degree. That is not what I would classify as an educational background.

    I can even agree with your point that it is not vital to have teaching experience. This is different. There is zero pedagogical expertise.

    Her background is in creating separate charter schools. This would be great if she had experience in how to change or reform what is going wrong in public schools. She doesn't know one thing about public schools.

    Furthermore: Michigan is "among the worst places to argue that choice has made schools better," according to the New York Times. "Most charter schools perform below the state average."

    You can be liberal, conservative, union, non-union, etc. However, you have to understand what the other side does before you tear it apart. DeVos is a lobbyist. She probably cares about kids, but is in no position to reform education for an entire country.

  • In reply to OregonCubs1:

    Do you really think who they put in as secretary of edu matters in the slightest in how our children are taught? They could get rid of the entire department and it would have an equal effect, which is nothing. This idea that our children are taught from Washington DC is pure hogwash. Our public schools are run in part by great teachers and a great pta and a great principal and a great county school system that is supported by the state w local tax dollars. A tiny percent of dollars for schools actually comes from Dept of edu. With all this bitching and moaning, does it really make a lick of difference? The answer is no "the Federal contribution to elementary and secondary education is about 8 percent, which includes funds not only from the Department of Education (ED) but also from other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services' Head Start program and the Department of Agriculture's School Lunch program."

  • Still not sure how her love affair with charter schools helps a majority of the kids in the country. In the cities, sure, everywhere else, not so much. Its a profit market and smaller towns, rural areas,etc will be left behind because there's no money to be made there. We need public schools for just this reason.

    As a parent, get involved and help your child's school. Know what they are doing, interact with the teachers at events, be involved. That's the best way to help our kids at school. Just saying "my school sucks, i want to go somewhere else" isn't enough.

  • She is an advocate of educational play for pay. The for profit schools she supports are among the biggest thieves this country has produced and now the fox is in charge of the hen house!

  • "The NY Times reports that while Neurocore’s results are trumpeted by the company as astonishing, this is very likely a story of marketing and quack science: “A group of brain performance centers backed by Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary, promotes results that are nothing short of stunning: improvements reported by 91 percent of patients with depression, 90 percent with attention deficit disorder, 90 percent with anxiety. The treatment offered by Neurocore, a business in which Ms. DeVos and her husband, Dick, are the chief investors, consists of showing movies to patients and interrupting them when the viewers become distracted, in an effort to retrain their brains. With eight centers in Michigan and Florida and plans to expand, Neurocore says it has assessed about 10,000 people for health problems that often require medication… But a review of Neurocore’s claims and interviews with medical experts suggest its conclusions are unproven and its methods questionable.”

    This is going to be the Secretary of Education? Bizarre!

  • Here's a level-headed, dispassionate discussion of what to expect from DeVos:

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    Dennis you're truly showing your conservative colors. I thought Pay for Play wasn't your cup of tea. As in the Bush decade the GOP will not be satisfied until it run this country to the ground. Are you having selective amnesia?

  • In reply to Ges Rom:

    Huh? Did I come out in favor of pay to play?

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