Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Has Been Confirmed; And the Resistance Has Too
Betsy DeVos–platinum card member of the 1% and leading corporate education reformer–was voted in today by the Senate as the next U.S. Secretary of Education. With the vote deadlocked at 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence, cast his vote for Ms. DeVos and announced that President Trump’s nominee for education secretary had been confirmed. As I explain in this interview with journalist Sarah Jaffe, Secretary DeVos has no experience with public schools besides trying to get rid of them with privatization schemes.
But while DeVos has been confirmed, so too has the resistance. Parents, students, educators, and their unions are organizing grassroots movements that have the potential to defend and transform public education.
Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. In this series, we’ll be talking with organizers, troublemakers, and thinkers who are working both to challenge the Trump administration and the circumstances that created it. It can be easy to despair, to feel like trends toward inequality are impossible to stop, to give in to fear over increased racist, sexist and xenophobic violence. But around the country, people are doing the hard work of fighting back and coming together to plan for what comes next. This series will introduce you to some of them.
Public schools have been a bipartisan battleground for years now, with teachers unions taking attacks from elected officials at all levels as part of a broader movement to “improve” education by handing control over to private companies. Donald Trump’s nominee to run the education department, Betsy DeVos, is a stalwart of this privatization drive, never having met a public school she liked (and barely, as many have pointed out, having met a public school at all, since she neither taught in any nor attended them nor sent her own children to them). But teachers around the country are organizing against privatization, and gaining support from parents and students. We talk to one of those teachers, Jesse Hagopian.
Hagopian teaches high school in Seattle and is an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine. He is also active in his union with the Social Equality Educators.
Sarah Jaffe: The school where you teach in Seattle, Garfield High School, has had a lot of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Has Been Confirmed; And the Resistance Has Too | I AM AN EDUCATOR: