It shouldn’t have come to this:
But Vice President Mike Pence is expected to demonstrate the position’s unique duty, and in historic fashion: In his capacity as president of the Senate, he is expected to cast the deciding vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as President Trump’s education secretary — the first time a vice president has had to resolve a tie on a cabinet nomination in the nation’s history.
There’s a flaw in the arguments of DeVos critics that they never quite getting around to addressing. Valerie Strauss, writing in the Washington Post:
But her critics say that anyone who would call the public school system a “dead end” — as DeVos did in 2015 — does not have sufficient interest in improving it but would rather seek to privatize it — and that is a line they don’t want to cross.
Hyperbolic, I suppose, but it’s not surprising that any reform-minded, results-focused assessor of our public school system would look at the results over the past decades and conclude it’s time to show some “tough love.”
In the United States, you can always find very good public schools and very bad public schools and a lot that fall somewhere in between. Criticism of the nation’s public school system as a whole shouldn’t be seen as a personal attack on your favorite teacher. In terms of what we would want as Americans – a public school system that gives every child the knowledge and skills they need to go on to succeed in life – the current system falls way short for way too many American families.
Almost all of DeVos’ critics were perfectly fine with Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan – and in a lot of cases, they were enthusiastic fans. He was, in their eyes, the very model of modern Secretary of Education. Frederick Hess noted that after being welcomed into his job with a bipartisan wave of enthusiasm in education reform, Duncan’s seven years were marked by mean-spirited partisanship; bureaucratic, Washington-centric programs; smug denigration of Common Core opponents, and an invasive army of lawyers bent on micro-managing local schools.
But put aside the policy differences and too-partisan style. More importantly, in the Duncan years, our schools kept churning out the same old disappointing results. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress arrived in fall of 2015 and showed some backsliding from even the traditional mediocre outcomes: “The scores show 64 percent of fourth-graders and 66 percent of eighth-graders are not considered proficient in reading. In math, 60 percent of fourth-graders and 67 percent of eighth-graders are not considered proficient.”
That is lousy, and that’s after seven years of the Obama-Duncan approach. It didn’t work. Think about that apocryphal quote about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – a.k.a., insanity.
Duncan did enact some changes that teachers’ unions vehemently opposed; in 2014, National Education Association convention delegates passed a resolution calling for his resignation because what they deemed as a relentless focus on testing. But by and large, teachers’ unions knew a Democratic Secretary of Education was never really going to upset the apple cart too much, and would always push for the funding increases they wanted. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten mostly praised Duncan’s record upon the news of his resignation.
Hear all the whining and sniveling from the liberals especialy the Hollyweed kind
Excellent. You’ve now got a billionaire enemy of public education in charge of the Department of Education—and it took the first tie-breaking vote by a Vice President in the history of the process to do it. The confirmation vote was along party lines, with two republicans defecting to vote in the best interests of the average American child.
Education has never really been for the common people. The ruling elite like their peasantry stupid and compliant. They want unquestioning consumers of “alternative facts,” which they are ready to dish out in abundance. The taxes of the common people—which pay for public schools—can now be diverted into vouchers to help pay for private education, which the wealthy were able to afford already.
If Republicans won’t take a stand on someone as incompetent as Betsy DeVos, what will they take a stand on?
It’s a rhetorical question. This is a textbook example of Washington swamp politics. Nothing is being drained. It is, in fact, becoming dramatically worse, and anyone who isn’t a complete idiot can see that. Unless you’re one of the alligators or one of the alligators’ tenders, you’re well on your way to becoming alligator food.
Give us all a quote as to how proud you are of the accomplishments of Obozo’s Sec of Education. 67% of 8th graders not proficient at math. What great numbers.
Oh, so now they’re actually going to learn to read. Well, some good comes out of everything.
@Greg:If Republicans won’t take a stand on someone as incompetent as Betsy DeVos, what will they take a stand on Perhaps against someone as incompetent as Duncan?
Is that a red state statistic, or a blue state statistic?
More winning, now to confirm Sessions….
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten is paid 10 times as much money as the average teacher, according to new federal labor filings. Weingarten earned nearly $560,000 in total compensation during the 2013-2014 school year, according to Department of Labor filings.That figure includes a total salary of $375,174 for the year, as well as more than $180,000 in additional benefits and expenses. The $50,300 she collected in “allowances disbursed,” which cover unnamed perks indirectly related to business, was just $6,000 less than the average teacher earned for the 2012-2013…
Put a end to the NEA brainwashing
Putting down all the mud-slinging for a moment… Why was DeVos picked for this position? What are her qualifications? I’m honestly curious.
Was she really picked because her family contributed large amounts of money to GOP candidates, or is that a rumor? If so – what *is* it that led Trump to single her out as “the best person for the job”?
@July 4th American, #8:
She’s head of a professional organization that has 1.6 million members, who elected her to represent them. Got a problem with that? Become an education professional, join the union, and take the matter up.
She’d probably be far better qualified to head the Department of Education than a woman with absolutely no educational experience, who got rich by way of pyramid scheme for marketing overpriced face paint.
What a surprise.
Jason Chaffetz co-sponsors bill to abolish U.S. Department of Education
BETSY DEVOS WANTS TO USE AMERICA’S SCHOOLS TO BUILD “GOD’S KINGDOM”
Yeah, right. The mercenary firm Blackwater is a godly endeavor, isn’t it? That would be DeVoss’s brother, Erik Prince. These people are an effing cultural disease, and they’re all coming together under the Trump banner to “fix” America. Every damn time they come trooping out of the woodwork like cockroaches in fancy dress there’s eventually hell to pay, and it’s always the common people who get stuck with the bill and the body bags.
The department of education should be abolished. Education belongs to the states not the Federal government.
It is not in the Constitution….
Not that the unborn child had much of a chance attaining life anyway.
DeVoss haters =democrats