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DeVos Supports School Choice

20 January 2017

Senate Democrats grill the president-elect's nominee for US education secretary, who struggled to answer basic questions about public schools. She said states should decide school gun policies.

It was brief, but Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), made the most of the five minutes he was given to question Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos.

DeVos responded that she supports science.

Lots was written about what she said - and didn't - say.

"The most embarrassing exchange occurred when Senator Al Franken asked her views about accountability, and DeVos did not understand the difference between proficiency and growth scores".

"I don't think we should make it any more hard than necessary" for students to complete the forms, she said.

LGBT groups also have protested Trump's choice of DeVos, saying she has funded conservative religious groups that promote traditional family values, including one organization that supports conversion therapy-counseling of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people with the aim of changing their sexual orientation.

DeVos' approach "flies in the fact of America's long-time, common-sense investment" in public schools, Wyden said.

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Well, I think maybe you could see that I was pretty stunned when she couldn't articulate just some compassion for what schools are going through when we have had on some years an average of one school shooting every week.

That's why we are asking you to show your love for public schools. "I will not be conflicted, period". But some pieces of information are still missing, because the Office of Government Ethics has not completed DeVos's ethics agreement.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also took DeVos to task, asking her if she would even be in the room had she not donated roughly $200 million to the GOP over the years.

Pushed in the hearing, she had insisted a statement listing her as the foundation's vice president was "a clerical error".

Labor unions, Democrats and civil rights groups have opposed DeVos' appointment.

Her common-sensed reply was fantastic...

On violence against women: Like attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, DeVos was asked whether touching women without their consent - as Trump bragged about doing in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape released last fall - is sexual assault.

"To appoint an individual with absolutely no experience in public schools that has worked her entire adult life to privatize education is a direct attack on all those that attend and work in public schools", they said. With assistance from DeVos and Republican legislatures across the country, Trump can return funding to critical programs such as DCOSP and showing the way for local communities to implement similar programs the way they know best.