DeVos hearing heats up the Hill

Teachers and administrators say the recent changes at the Michigan Technical Academy have made their school a different place than it was during the years that produced the low scores.

And she did an excellent job defending her philosophy of education: "For me, it's simple: Trust parents and believe in our children". To which DeVos replied "Well, I will refer back to Sen".

Only Betsy DeVos' name was removed from the Prince Foundation's board of directors in the filings sent last week to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for US education secretary, believes that education should be a private marketplace. If confirmed, DeVos would likely shape education policy through school choice, including voucher programs, something President-Elect Trump's supports.

"For Mrs DeVos to try to explain away these donations by claiming that her title was simply a "clerical error" is concerning, to say the least". It's not just that it's Elizabeth Warren, though.

"President-elect Trump and I know it won't be Washington, D.C. that unlocks our nation's potential, nor a bigger bureaucracy, tougher mandates or a federal agency", DeVos said.

Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota also dressed down the nominee, appearing to catch DeVos off guard as he grilled her for almost 10 minutes on the nuts and bolts of student outcomes. In the past he has called public schools "a government-run monopoly".

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Trump has not hidden his praise for Putin and insisted stronger Moscow-Washington ties can only benefit the United States. Well, I think you know - people have to get together and people have to do what they have to do in terms of being fair.


Ravitch is author of many books, including Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools and The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. She said it should be up to the states because some states might want a gun in school to protect against grizzly bears.

DeVos did express sympathy to those affected by gun violence. When a senator asked her if she would commit not to privatize public schools, she could not do so.

The Independent senator of Vermont also pressed DeVos for cooperation on making college tuition free.

In a statement outlining questions it had for various nominees, the Reform movement asked the senators to ask DeVos about "concerns about the use of taxpayer dollars for sectarian education".

"I really regret that because, to me, school choice should at least be bi-partisan, especially when you think about how the Democratic Party in modern times has been the party of civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights, etc". A Lankford aide said he and DeVos had talked of "reining in" that office. So in some ways, she is an "outsider" in the literal sense of the word.

  • Ismael Montgomery