Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ruth Conniff: Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos | The Progressive

Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos | The Progressive:

Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, is the only member of the incoming administration so far to have her confirmation hearing delayed.
“She may be the first casualty in the high-rise they’re building on the swamp here in Washington,” says Representative Mark Pocan of Madison, Wisconsin.
On Tuesday, January 10, Pocan and other supporters of public schools held a press conference to announce a new House Public Education Caucus—and to express their opposition to Devos.
“The fact that out of nine hearings only one was delayed this week, and that was DeVos, says something,” Pocan said in a phone interview after the event. “Whether it’s because of the outcry from local districts or the concerns raised about her conflicts of interest.”
DeVos’s longtime lobbying for school vouchers, her “antipathy to public education,” as American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten put it, her ties to anti-gay groups, and her role in the destruction of the public school system in Detroit, are just some of the reasons she worries supporters of public schools.
DeVos has been a supporter of using public money to cover private school students’ tuition, including in Wisconsin, the first state to try school vouchers. “We’ve been a laboratory for these tests, and I can tell you they have failed miserably,” Pocan said at the press conference, citing shoddy, unregulated voucher schools and private-school families who now receive a taxpayer-financed subsidy for tuition, even though their children never attended public school. He added,
“I don’t want to see this happen across the country.” 
Pocan and Mark Takano, Democrat of California, a former teacher, had been talking about creating a House Public Education Caucus for some time. But the project took on more urgency when Trump nominated DeVos.
Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the presidents of the two largest teachers unions Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos | The Progressive:
Big Education Ape: DeVos Hearing 1/11: UPDATED Senate HELP Committee Members. Call today. - Network For Public Education -

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