Wednesday, February 8, 2017

NYC Public School Parents: So it happened; DeVos was confirmed. What next?

NYC Public School Parents: So it happened; DeVos was confirmed. What next?:

So it happened; DeVos was confirmed. What next?

So it happened as predicted; Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote for Betsy Devos this afternoon. 
Though disappointing it was in its way historic: the only time in US history that a Cabinet secretary needed the vote of the Vice President to be approved.

The last few weeks have been historic in another way:  Never have parents, teachers and concerned citizens been so outraged and activated over an education official or issue.  Never have so many called, rallied, protested, faxed and written letters to their Senators, in an "avalanche" that nearly flattened Capitol Hill, overwhelming and shocking Senators of both parties.

In CSPAN's 24 hour, all night coverage of the debate over DeVos nomination, the Democrats read aloud numerous letters from their constituents, eloquent passionate and smart, begging them to reject DeVos as the most unqualified candidate ever to be named as Education Secretary, whose qualifications were based primarily upon her family's wealth.  In every past administration  no matter how conservative, she would have been named Ambassador to Luxembourg or something similar.
Even after the vote there were protests.  NYC high school students walked out of their schools en masse, in a stirring show of resistance.

So call your Senators and thank them if they voted "No"; if they voted otherwise, let them know what you think.  NPE has a list of all the Senators, their votes, and phone numbers.

We need to sustain the activism and involvement we exercised in this battle and keep speaking out loudly and firmly to let education policymakers at the federal, state and local levels know that we will not stand idly by while our public schools are defunded, dismantled and privatized.

One issue little noticed by the media:  it was widely recognized how avid Betsy DeVos has been to allow for-profit charters and vouchers to draw funds from the public schools.  What was little noticed is her devotion to online learning and questionable ed tech solutions. These will just as surely divert resources from the proven strategies that provide students with the support  and human feedback they need.   It was reported  that the one financial company she refused to divest from is Neurocore that runs "brain performance centers” via 
NYC Public School Parents: So it happened; DeVos was confirmed. What next?:

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