Monday, February 6, 2017

Deep Concern Intensifies Over DeVos Nomination As Senate Vote Nears | janresseger

Deep Concern Intensifies Over DeVos Nomination As Senate Vote Nears | janresseger:

Deep Concern Intensifies Over DeVos Nomination As Senate Vote Nears

The Senate’s vote on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education will be tomorrow, February 7.  Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have declared they will join all the Democrats to vote against Ms. DeVos. The confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General has been delayed to ensure that he can vote with his Republican colleagues to get the DeVos nomination over the bar before he quits the Senate to assume his new position leading the Department of Justice. Unless another Republican changes his/her mind, it is expected that Vice President Mike Pence will break the tie vote to confirm the DeVos nomination. This would be the first time in history that a vice president has had to break a tie on a Cabinet appointment.
The NY Times‘s Gail Collins summarizes succinctly just why President Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos has become so controversial: “How bad do you need to be to get rejected for Donald Trump’s cabinet? We’ve got nominees who don’t really know anything about the subject they’d be overseeing. Some hatehatehate the federal programs they’d be charged with guiding. Some have messy financial issues that haven’t been resolved. But Trump’s pick for secretary of education swept the board. Trifecta!  Betsy DeVos, it’s become clear, knows very little about public schools, doesn’t like them and has minimal experience in management. Plus, she’s a billionaire whose money is in a bewildering stack of holding companies.”
Despite her ethics clearance, her conflicts of interest go way back. Not only is she invested in a chain of dubious and for-profit Neurocore brain wave therapy centers whose claim is to cure Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but she and her husband were also invested a decade ago in the online charter giant K12 Inc, whose company-reported graduation rates have been widely questioned along with those of other schools in the cyber charter sector where students study on computers from home. Here is Benjamin Herold’s report for Education Week last Wednesday: “In her written response to questions from a key Democratic senator, Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos defended full-time online charter schools using Deep Concern Intensifies Over DeVos Nomination As Senate Vote Nears | janresseger:

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