By Sarah Lazare, AlterNet, 11/23
Couldn’t be a worse pick.
Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is appointing as education secretary Betsy DeVos, the billionaire Republican who is a major champion and founding funder of the modern education privatization movement. Bringing no significant experience in public education, DeVos is a billionaire member of a family that has cultivated extensive power and influence in conservative circles thanks to its fortune from the Amway Corporation.
Trump’s appointment immediately provoked objection, with writer and historian Diane Ravitch slamming DeVos as someone who “does not hide her contempt for the public schools.”
Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, declared Wednesday that DeVos has “done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers—which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education.”
“By nominating Betsy DeVos,” said García, “the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities….
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