Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at her confirmation hearing - The Washington Post

Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at her confirmation hearing - The Washington Post:

Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at her confirmation hearing


At her contentious confirmation hearing as Donald Trump’s nominee to be education secretary on Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was asked a question by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about an important education debate involving how student progress should be measured. The query essentially rendered her speechless as she appeared not to know how to answer. When Franken told her he was upset she didn’t understand it, she did not protest.
That was just one of several moments during the hearing in which DeVos either displayed a lack of knowledge about education fundamentals or refused to answer questions that Democratic members of the Senate education committee believe are critical to her fitness for the job.
Here are some of the notable moments:
  • DeVos refused to agree with a Democrat that schools are no place for guns, citing one school that needs one to protect against grizzly bears. (She really said this.)
When Sen. Chris Murray (D-Conn.) asked her whether she would agree that guns don’t belong in schools, she said: “I will refer back to Sen. [Mike] Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”
And when asked whether she would support President-elect Donald Trump if he, as he has promised, moves to end gun-free zones around schools, she said: “I will support what the president-elect does.” She added: “If the question is around gun violence and the results of that please know that my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence.”
  • DeVos seemed to have no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, which requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities.
Devos said that states should have the right to decide whether to enforce IDEA, but when Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) later told her that IDEA is a federal civil rights law and asked DeVos if she stood by her statement that it was up to the states to follow it, DeVos responded, “Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play.” Hassan then asked, “So were you Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at her confirmation hearing - The Washington Post:



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