The confirmation hearing of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has been pushed back a week to accommodate the U.S. Senate’s schedule. The hearings will now begin January 17, giving DeVos’s pro-public school critics another week to lambaste her. The Huffington Post reports the teachers unions are taking advantage of the extra days”
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers union, on Monday excoriated President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education, calling Betsy DeVos “the most anti-public education nominee in the history of the department.”
“Betsy DeVos lacks the qualifications and experience to serve as secretary of education. Her drive to privatize education is demonstrably destructive to public schools and to the educational success of all of our children,” Weingarten said in a speech at the National Press Club in which she laid out priorities for public education.
Weingarten spoke specifically about the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed with delicate bipartisan support to replace the long-expired No Child Left Behind Act. She called DeVos ”a billionaire with an agenda” who could reignite “education wars” between Democrats and Republicans.
The nation’s teachers unions certainly are powerful, but it’s likely the people’s desire for school choice, shouted for loud and clear during the November election, will be too much even for the unions to thwart.
School Choice Roundup
- TENNESSEE: The Knox County School Board in Tennessee is reconsidering vouchers.
- HYPOCRITES: One of DeVos’s critics is a Democratic senator who makes profits from charter schools, the Daily Caller reports, while another attended private schools.
- GEORGIA: Most Georgians are in favor of school choice programs, a new survey finds.
- MISSOURI: The St. Louis Dispatch reports school choice legislation is likely to take hold under Gov. Eric Greitens’ (R) new administration.
- TEXAS: A poet criticizes Texas’s standardized test after having trouble answering questions about poems she herself wrote.
- WISCONSIN: In the name of spending money on “informational purposes,” a Wisconsin school district spent more than $325,000 ahead of Election Day to promote more spending or borrowing referenda, watchdog.org finds.
- BATHROOMS: Lawmakers in three states are hoping to mimic North Carolina’s stance on transgender bathrooms.
- IDAHO: Gov. Butch Otter (R) wants to give public education another $104 million.
- WISCONSIN: Lawmakers in Wisconsin say they’re serious about overhauling the state’s school funding system.
- MICHIGAN: Michigan Republicans say they’re ready to make some major teacher pension reforms.
- GRAD RATES: Impressive high school graduation rates might not be as great as they seem, The Washington Post reports, since our students don’t seem to be learning much.