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quiversR4hunting

If you support Public Education - please vote no on Betsy Devos

174 posts in this topic

I am going to dip my toe in the political forum. I beg all of you (in the US) if you value public education, please, please tell your senator to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.

She and her extended family are all about Christian (the right kind, not Catholic) education, all about conversion therapy (LGBT) , for profit charter schools. Plus her family owns or invested in K-12 on-line education- and the family is profiting from the program. 

She is on c-span (www.c-span.org) right now. Like with all Trump's nominees they are rushing the hearing. UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH

IF you haven't been watching, she was answering Sen Whitehouse about charter schools and the fact many in Michigan are failing – she just said she will support the parents and students. She didn’t say one thing about supporting EDUCATION and helping EDUCATORS and EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS in her possible job as education secretary.

The Connecticut senator asked about the role in guns in school and she could not say that she thinks that guns should be banned. She referenced Wyoming needing a gun because of bears. OMG. That is a VERY special reason, not one that Detroit, Chicago, Forest Hills School district (where her family lives in the Grand Rapids, MI. UGHHHH

Sen Warren is taking names and kicking ass! 

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Hopeless case for me; my Texas senators are Ted F**king Cruz and John Cronyn, strong advocates for "school choice".   

Elizabeth DeVos is a nasty piece of work and comes from family money, a LOT of money.   My understanding is that they are a very Christian family. 

I keep pointing out that her brother is Erik Prince, he of Blackwater Security.  

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18 minutes ago, Howl said:

Hopeless case for me; my Texas senators are Ted F**king Cruz and John Cronyn, strong advocates for "school choice".   

Elizabeth DeVos is a nasty piece of work and comes from family money, a LOT of money.   My understanding is that they are a very Christian family. 

I keep pointing out that her brother is Erik Prince, he of Blackwater Security.  

The DeVos family owns Amway. Her brother-in-law is the 2nd richest in Michigan. http://womc.cbslocal.com/2016/01/28/the-10-richest-people-in-the-state-of-michigan/ 

During the hearing she was saying how she wants to help all students, etc. For those that don't know there is something called the Kalamazoo Promise (down in Kalamazoo, about 45 minutes South of Grand Rapids, area of Amway and the DeVos families). Many in the Kalamazoo area believe the Stryker family (as in the company that makes hospital beds, knees, hips, surgical equipment, etc) is behind the Kalamazoo Promise. Ronda Stryker (worth about $3.7 billion) also gave a boat load of money to the new WMU medical school.  The Promise has been out for almost 12 years and the DeVos family (big into education, per Betsy) hasn't bothered to duplicate the program for Grand Rapids Public Schools, Holland Public Schools (high Hispanic population) or Muskegon Public (all 3 are closest to where they live - depending on which house)

Howl- I'm sorry. Your senators suck. I'm really sorry. 

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My Senator (Bob Casey) questioned her and we were both disgusted when she was like eh to sexual assault on college campuses. I'm planning on calling Pat Toomey after a job interview tomorrow but I know he won't budge cause he sucks.

My mind blows every time when we drastically downgrading with almost all of his cabinet picks.

 

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10 hours ago, quiversR4hunting said:

The DeVos family owns Amway. Her brother-in-law is the 2nd richest in Michigan. http://womc.cbslocal.com/2016/01/28/the-10-richest-people-in-the-state-of-michigan/ 

Thanks for this background!

Yes, Texas politics are particularly soul sucking these days. 

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I agree, I live in Texas and we have the worst in office now, Dan Patrick being the #1 worst. He is our lieutenant governor. 

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13 hours ago, candygirl200413 said:

My Senator (Bob Casey) questioned her and we were both disgusted when she was like eh to sexual assault on college campuses. I'm planning on calling Pat Toomey after a job interview tomorrow but I know he won't budge cause he sucks.

My mind blows every time when we drastically downgrading with almost all of his cabinet picks.

 

I saw that was gobsmacked. 

She doesn't even support IDEA (individual disability education act) for private charters or private schools. Ugh!!

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The most-read story on the Washington Post website this morning: "Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at her confirmation hearing"

Quote

At her contentious confirmation hearing as Donald Trump’s nominee to be education secretary on Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was asked a question by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about an important education debate involving how student progress should be measured. The query essentially rendered her speechless as she appeared not to know how to answer. When Franken told her he was upset she didn’t understand it, she did not protest.

That was just one of several moments during the hearing in which DeVos either displayed a lack of knowledge about education fundamentals or refused to answer questions that Democratic members of the Senate Education Committee believe are critical to her fitness for the job.

Here are some of the notable moments:

DeVos refused to agree with a Democrat that schools are no place for guns, citing one school that needs one to protect against grizzly bears. (She really said this.)

When Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) asked her whether she would agree that guns don’t belong in schools, she said: “I will refer back to Sen. [Mike] Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

And when asked whether she would support President-elect Donald Trump if he, as he has promised, moves to end gun-free zones around schools, she said: “I will support what the president-elect does.” She added: “If the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence.”

DeVos seemed to have no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, which requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities.

DeVos said that states should have the right to decide whether to enforce IDEA, but when Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) later told her that IDEA is a federal civil rights law and asked DeVos if she stood by her statement that it was up to the states to follow it, DeVos responded, “Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play.” Hassan then asked, “So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDEA that it was a federal law?” DeVos responded, “I may have confused it.” DeVos did not protest when Hassan said she was upset the nominee didn’t understand the law and urged her to learn about it.

DeVos refused to agree with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that all schools that receive public federal funds — traditional public, public charter or private schools that receive voucher money — should be held to the same standards of accountability.

Kaine: “If confirmed will you insist upon equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives taxpayer funding whether public, public charter or private?”
DeVos: “I support accountability.”
Kaine: “Equal accountability?”
DeVos: “I support accountability.”
Kaine: “Is that a yes or a no?”
DeVos: “I support accountability.”
Kaine: “Do you not want to answer my question?”
DeVos: “I support accountability.”
Kaine: “Let me ask you this. I think all schools that receive taxpayer funding should be equally accountable. Do you agree?”
DeVos: “Well they don’t, they are not today.”
Kaine: “Well, I think they should. Do you agree with me?

DeVos: “Well no . . . ”
Kaine, interrupting her, said: “You don’t agree with me.” And he moved on to another topic.

DeVos said she would review gainful employment regulations without committing to enforce them.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked DeVos how she planned to protect waste, fraud and abuse from for-profit universities, citing Trump University, which President-elect Donald Trump founded; he ultimately paid $25 million to settle lawsuits by students who said they were cheated. Trump said he paid the money so he could focus on getting ready to run the country.

DeVos said, “If confirmed, I will certainly be very vigilant.” Warren persisted, “I’m asking how.” When DeVos said “individuals with whom” she will work in the department will ensure that federal money is properly used, Warren further dug in, and then explained to DeVos that there is actually a group of rules already on the books, the gainful employment regulations. “All you have to do is enforce then,” Warren said, asking DeVos if she would do so. She wouldn’t commit.

The gainful employment regulations are meant to protect students and taxpayers by withholding federal student aid to career training programs that leave students buried in debt with few opportunities to repay. Asked by Warren if she would enforce the regulations, DeVos said: “We will certainly review that rule, and see if it is actually achieving what the intentions are.”

Warren: “I don’t understand about reviewing it. We talked about this in my office. There are already rules in place to stop waste, fraud and abuse. . . . Swindlers and crooks are out there doing back flips when they hear an answer like this.”

DeVos appeared to have no idea what Franken was talking about when he referred to the accountability debate about whether to use test scores to measure student proficiency or student growth.

Franken noted that the subject had been debated in the education community for years, and said, when she didn’t weigh in and just looked at him without much of an expression on her face, “It surprises me that you don’t know this issue.”

DeVos did not answer Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) when he asked her what she had learned about the failures of the Detroit traditional public and public charter schools that would inform her decision-making as the secretary of education.

Bennet, a big supporter of charter schools, made the point that school choice isn’t much of a choice when schools aren’t held accountable and families have lousy choices wherever they look. He noted that the Detroit public schools — one of the country’s most troubled systems — has low student achievement, and charter schools in Detroit score only minimally higher.  He also cited a study that said charter schools across Michigan perform worse the traditional public schools do. But instead of answering his question, she told him she wanted to give him “context” about Detroit, to which he responded, “With respect, I’m not asking for a history of Detroit.” She also said, “I think there is a lot that has gone right” there, but she never answered his question.

And here’s a bonus:

DeVos said her name should not have been included on tax forms for her mother’s foundation, which has contributed to controversial causes. The forms say that she was vice president and a member of the board.

“That was a clerical error,” DeVos said. “I have never made decisions on my mother’s behalf.”

Tim Kaine (who is one of my Senators), published this about Betsy.

She really is a piece of work.

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@Howl & @Penny maybe you can tell your 2 senators that she isn't qualified. Find a new nomine that knows education and you will support that (even if they like vouchers). Good luck!

@GreyhoundFan I was confused by the tax return and VP of her mom's charity. She was listed 2 different years (several years apart) as being the VP. How can it be a mistake, twice?

If anyone is interested here is Sen Warren up against Devos: (not ever going to public school, never getting a student loan, never managing a billion dollar budget (beside maybe her own household), etc)

Spoiler

 

Sen Sanders:

Spoiler

 

Sen Casey (sexual assault)

Spoiler

 

Sen Franken (not knowing the growth of student debt nor the difference between growth and proficiency)

Spoiler

 

And Sen Schumer's f/b page for his video (Guns)

https://www.facebook.com/senschumer/?fref=ts

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@quiversR4hunting: the only "mistake" was that she got caught. The sad thing is: if this is what we can see, how much crap is hidden?

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I love how Tim Kaine absolutely went in in her confirmation hearing. I'm glad he's one of my senators.
Pissed that he couldn't be the VP, still.

Edited by choralcrusader8613
tapa sig
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These hearings have not been as stuffy and boring as I thought they'd be.  The senators have really done their homework!

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This is starting to feel more and more like Harry Potter when Voldemort was taking control.DeVos.jpg

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This is terribly frightening. I live in Michigan and my 4 year old has been in school for a year now due to an educational diagnosis of ASD.

He would be left out of any of these charter or private schools in a heartbeat. He's talking in real sentences/English words instead of word salad because of public special education.

He qualified under IDEA and this simple bitch not only doesnt know what she's doing but wants to dismantle all of everything for my poor son.

Well, I have some emailing to do. And I'm sick so I'm just a sobbing mess thinking about all this real-life nonsense.

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Update. Still crying, but I have written both Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, who are thankfully both Dems:

Hello and thank you for reading this.

I am writing on behalf of my two children in public school, both attending the [Name] School District in [City], especially my 4 year old son who has an educational diagnosis of ASD and has been able to attend public special education under IDEA with accommodations through an IEP.

It is my belief that if appointed, Betsy DeVos would try as hard as possible to dismantle public education and the very services and federal laws that provide for my son's education. She is a woefully unqualified millionaire with astounding special interests in Vouchers/Charter schools and Online K-12 schools, not to mention involvement in religious special interests.

At 3 my son was kicked out of a private preschool because he was difficult. I was able to go through my local ISD and receive comprehensive evaluations for him and receive his diagnosis and immediately he was able to receive services. Public special education has taught my son to speak real English sentences instead of word salad. I do not know what we would have done without these services, as I work 2 jobs and still make poverty level wages.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration.

SpurgeonSquarepants

 

I have never written Senators before. Think this sounds okay?

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1 hour ago, SpurgeonSquarepants said:

Update. Still crying, but I have written both Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, who are thankfully both Dems:

Hello and thank you for reading this.

I am writing on behalf of my two children in public school, both attending the [Name] School District in [City], especially my 4 year old son who has an educational diagnosis of ASD and has been able to attend public special education under IDEA with accommodations through an IEP.

It is my belief that if appointed, Betsy DeVos would try as hard as possible to dismantle public education and the very services and federal laws that provide for my son's education. She is a woefully unqualified millionaire with astounding special interests in Vouchers/Charter schools and Online K-12 schools, not to mention involvement in religious special interests.

At 3 my son was kicked out of a private preschool because he was difficult. I was able to go through my local ISD and receive comprehensive evaluations for him and receive his diagnosis and immediately he was able to receive services. Public special education has taught my son to speak real English sentences instead of word salad. I do not know what we would have done without these services, as I work 2 jobs and still make poverty level wages.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration.

SpurgeonSquarepants

 

I have never written Senators before. Think this sounds okay?

Sounds good. You should also call their offices. Former Congressional staffers have said on different public forums that calls seem to get more attention than emails. Personally, I've called the offices of both of my Senators and Representative multiple times since the election. I've also signed up for each of their town hall meetings and plan to speak, even though public speaking is not easy for me. Like many, I used to be very complacent. No more. I'm going to be heard -- these people were elected to represent me.

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@SpurgeonSquarepants, I don't know about writing senators, but I know all about raising a son attending a public school special ed program on an IEP. 

My son was unable to be successful in a regular classroom, but once he was diagnosed properly (ADHD) and began his IEP, he got the education he needed and deserved. He went from being left sitting in the principal's office as a problem child to being one of the brightest and most successful kids in his class.

He graduated this past June. He never would have been able to do so without the incredible help from the good, hardworking people of the local public schools who made sure he was able to be successful through his IEP and special education (and his meds.)

I am more than willing to write letters to back you up, to back anyone in this situation up. Take heart, be encouraged. People do care, and will be heard. 

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3 hours ago, SpurgeonSquarepants said:

This is terribly frightening. I live in Michigan and my 4 year old has been in school for a year now due to an educational diagnosis of ASD.

He would be left out of any of these charter or private schools in a heartbeat. He's talking in real sentences/English words instead of word salad because of public special education.

He qualified under IDEA and this simple bitch not only doesnt know what she's doing but wants to dismantle all of everything for my poor son.

Well, I have some emailing to do. And I'm sick so I'm just a sobbing mess thinking about all this real-life nonsense.

As the mother of a special needs kid myself, I feel your pain.  Thankfully, I was able to get my son's therapy paid for with my insurance which helped him remain in his private school (they're great and try to work with him when he has issues).  I recognize not everyone is as lucky though and I will fight to keep these services available and to keep public schools open to everyone.  The same people who want to do this would then bitch when your child reaches adulthood and is unable to function in society and has to live off government services.  I often wonder if they have even two brain cells amongst the lot of them.

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Ugh.  Do people not have a brain?  Vouchers are just a way for rich people to mooch off the government.  They have no desire to give your middle class or poor children the chance to attend their rich schools.  Those vouchers won't cover the entire tuition.  Where are you going to get the rest of the money to make up the difference?  Yeah, your kid won't be going to that school.  Instead, he/she will be going to the same public school they go to now only it'll have less funding because rich people are now siphoning money out to pay for their privileged kids to go to a private school whose tuition they can easily afford without the vouchers.  Good public schools will suffer and bad schools will become worse.  These are the schools your kids will have to attend.  Why on earth do people think this is a good idea?  Why don't they see the travesty that DeVos is suggesting?  Are they that dense?

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I live in Iowa-  Joni Earnst and Chuck Grassley support her.  It's going to be a long 4-8 years.

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On 1/18/2017 at 11:09 PM, JMarie said:

These hearings have not been as stuffy and boring as I thought they'd be.  The senators have really done their homework!

But Betsy DeVos didn't!  It is beyond arrogant that she came to this hearing completely unprepared and utterly ignorant of the most pressing issues in education--oblivious to how insulting that is.  

It's as though she's saying, "I am THAT RICH and that well connected and it makes up for everything."  

 

On 1/18/2017 at 8:57 AM, Penny said:

I agree, I live in Texas and we have the worst in office now, Dan Patrick being the #1 worst. He is our lieutenant governor. 

And when I think he can't get any worse....he outdoes himself.  He is also a big advocate of school choice/vouchers. 

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I am public school teacher and I can't believe this woman. She is batshit crazy and has no place being in charge of the education system. I am scared for the future of public education. 

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I'm going to write to my Senators, but fortunately I live in California, where both of them are women and support public education.

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