The Shame of DeVos: February 7, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

Here’s what you just tweeted, after you cast a tie-breaking vote and Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education:

“Today’s vote to confirm Education Secretary @BetsyDeVos was a vote for every child having a chance at a world-class education.”

I call bullshit. For shame, sir. For shame.

shameshame

Betsy DeVos: A Pro/Con List

By: Me, the product of an excellent public school education

CONS:

  1. DeVos advocates for school choice, charter schools, and vouchers, which sounds nice in theory but in reality, drains money from public schools and screws kids with disabilities who need public education because private schools aren’t required to meet their needs.
    1. a. This is what “school choice” does to education: “Largely as a result of the DeVos’ lobbying, Michigan tolerates more low-performing charter schools than just about any other state. And it lacks any effective mechanism for shutting down, or even improving, failing charters.”
  2. DeVos could (and probably will) undo protections for campus rape survivors and transgender students.
  3. DeVos thinks we should use education to “advance God’s kingdom” which is pretty worrying to anyone who thinks we should have a separation between Church and State (i.e. anyone who fully appreciates not living in a theocracy).
  4. DeVos probably thinks kids should learn about intelligent design rather than evolution, or at least at the same time, which is not an excellent way to raise a generation of scientifically literate kids, something we so desperately need given the challenges facing our globe.
  5. DeVos has given a boatload of money to Focus on the Family, a homophobic group that promotes conversion therapy. (And spanking, as long as we’re keeping track of everything here.)
  6. DeVos pushes right-to-work anti-union ideas.
  7. DeVos has literally no experience with public education.
  8. DeVos has no experience with student loans.
  9. And maybe my (least) favorite, DeVos wouldn’t express support for for-profit college accountability rules. For-profit education is a scam that leaves tax-payers holding the bill when students default on their loans after being unable to find the jobs promised to them by admissions counselors directed to lie.

PRO:

  1. Now all the kids in Montana will be safe from grizzly attacks at school because there will be guns on school campuses. God is good.buddychrist.jpeg

I am so lucky to have received an excellent secondary school education. Not because I went to a charter school, or a private school, but in part because Vermont passed pioneering legislation that redistributed property taxes from rich towns to towns across the state, allowing kids like me to access things we might not have otherwise. How horrifyingly socialist! I had amazing teachers who taught me to think critically, question authority (respectfully, most of the time), and most importantly, not be afraid to express myself. They are the reason I’m able to write to you today. You’d actually be horrified by some of them, I’m sure…and that’s saying something, because one of them was an ex-nun and you seem to like nuns. pencewithnuns

I really worry that my child won’t have access to that same sort of education now that Republicans have gotten what they’ve wanted for years — a pro-privatization, pro-God-in-the-schools, unqualified DeVos. People have asked me, “But how can they SUPPORT her?” Easy: you don’t want to pay for poor kids to be educated when you can afford to send your own kids to private schools and prop up an oligarchy. And you benefit from an un(der)educated electorate. That’s the bottom line.

Don’t worry: we’ll remember who voted for her and they will be held accountable when they come up for re-election. (That includes you.)

D

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