For three and a half-hours, Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVoss side-stepped questions on exactly how she plans to manage the multi-trillion dollar US education system. As the only nominee who hasn’t undergone an ethics review to make sure her billion dollar business dealings won’t profit from her position, DeVoss has slithered in as God’s warrior for American education.
A long time supporter of Christians being in charge of all American Education, DeVoss is a Creationist’s darling, advocating deregulation in schools so that private companies can run our education system. Like in our prison systems but with more security.
Even with Republican Senator Alexander Lamar restricting the time limits for questioning DeVoss, it became clear that Trump’s nominee needed some schooling on education. When questioned if a key federal law that supports individuals with disabilities (IDEA Act), would be applied to voucher/privatized schools, all DeVoss could do was parrot “It’s up to the states to determine that.” Apparently, she has no idea what Federal Law means. Or the difference between growth and proficiency in a student as questioning by Senator Al Franken indicated:
“I think if I’m understanding your question correctly around proficiency, I would also correlate it to competency and mastery,” DeVos began. “Each student is measured according to the, um, advancement they’re making in each subject area.”
“Well, that’s growth,” Franken interjected. “That’s not proficiency.” Asked for further clarification by DeVoss, Franken went on to explain the difference. “But it surprises me you don’t know this issue,” he added.
When it appeared that DeVoss’ surreal lack of knowledge about education could not be any more dysphoric, she was questioned about firearms in schools. Using the Republican mantra about states determining rights for themselves, she backed it up by citing the possibility of a Wyoming elementary school keeping guns at hand…in case of grizzly bear attacks.
Welcome to Trump’s America. Please check your brains at the door.