Thursday, January 26, 2017

National Education Association: More than 1 million emails sent to senators urging a vote against DeVos - The Washington Post

National Education Association: More than 1 million emails sent to senators urging a vote against DeVos - The Washington Post:

National Education Association: More than 1 million emails sent to senators urging a vote against DeVos


The National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union, says that more than 1 million people have used an online form during the past three weeks to email their senators to urge opposition to Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for education secretary. More than 40,000 people have called senators using a hotline the union set up to access the switchboard at the U.S. Capitol, NEA officials said.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said the union did not pay for advertisements, instead using its ordinary advocacy channels — such as emails to members and social media posts — to encourage people to contact their senators. She said the response surprised and gratified her.
“It’s just amazing,” Eskelsen Garcia said. “We couldn’t generate this if it weren’t authentic, if it weren’t something legitimately and authentically viral.”
The pace of calls and emails about DeVos surpasses any previous NEA campaign, union officials said: In all of 2015, efforts to get teachers to contact Congress about the Every Student Succeeds Act — a sweeping new federal education law that affects every public school in the nation — generated a total of 284,000 emails, they said.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said his office has received more than 25,000 calls or emails related to DeVos, and the vast majority have been opposed to her joining Trump’s Cabinet.The NEA’s figures come from internal data that The Washington Post could not independently verify. But there are signs that DeVos’s nomination has helped generate a higher-than-usual volume of calls and emails to the offices of senators who will decide whether she is confirmed as education secretary.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said her office has received more calls than usual in the past week, and that the majority of callers have been asking Murkowski to vote against confirming DeVos. Most of the callers are not Murkowski’s constituents, the National Education Association: More than 1 million emails sent to senators urging a vote against DeVos - The Washington Post:
 U-Va. education dean: Betsy DeVos’s Senate hearing performance was ‘disqualifying’


Robert C. Pianta is dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
I am disappointed to have to say that Betsy DeVos should not be the next Secretary of Education.
As an academic, dean of a school of education, and educator who has advocated for good charter schools, who can see the value of empowering parents through school choice and the promise of vouchers to enable that empowerment, and who believes our education system is still deeply in need of reform, I had initially approached the nomination of Mrs. DeVos with an open mind.
But I was deeply dismayed by her performance in her confirmation hearing. It was, in a word, disqualifying.
The concerns about her performance and what that says about her suitability for the job are by now widely known, particularly her inability to correctly answer questions in exchanges with Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) regarding student growth. But while the answers she could not give to basic questions about education were troubling enough, I was  U-Va. education dean: Betsy DeVos’s Senate hearing performance was ‘disqualifying’

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