On Monday morning, calls opposing Betsy DeVos’ nomination for education secretary helped shut down the switchboard at the U.S. Capitol. Senate staff have reported that they’re getting more calls opposing DeVos than any other nominee.
Your voice is making a difference, and we need to keep the pressure up. Even if you’ve already written emails or called, we need to make sure the Senate hears us loud and clear.
Tuesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to send DeVos’ nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. But her confirmation is far from a sure thing.
In today’s committee vote, two key Republicans—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—said DeVos couldn’t count on their votes on the Senate floor. Murkowski explicitly said the thousands of constituent calls and emails against DeVos gave her reason for pause.
It’s no wonder DeVos is facing so much grass-roots opposition. In her testimony before the HELP Committee, DeVos showed that she has no understanding of how to make public schools great places for all students; worse, she showed no interest in trying.
- She refused to commit to the basic premise that all schools that receive public funding should be held to the same standards of accountability.
- She didn’t understand the difference between student proficiency and student growth—showing she has no idea how to meaningfully assess student progress.
- She showed she has no knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and didn’t even know it was a federal law.
- She refused to answer when asked what she had learned from the failures of the “choice” experiment in Detroit.
- She refused to commit to enforcing rules that protect students from fraud and predatory behavior by for-profit universities.
And today, just before the committee vote, we learned that she plagiarized in her written responses to follow-up questions submitted by Senate HELP Democrats.
We expect the vote to be very close, so it’s important that we continue to show ALL members of the Senate that the public opposes her. Her lack of experience in education and lack of understanding of the issues make her completely unqualified for the post of secretary of education, and her anti-public education ideology makes her unfit and a danger to our kids and our schools.