Graphic
|

AFT President Says Betsy DeVos a “Lobbyist” not an Educator

P.D. Lesko

In a speech yesterday at the National Press Club, AFT President Randi Weingarten juxtaposed two approaches for education that would have vastly different consequences for America’s students. Either build on the bipartisan consensus of the Every Student Succeeds Act to provide all families with access to great neighborhood public schools, or promote the dangerous, destructive approaches that Donald Trump’s education secretary nominee advocates to undermine and privatize public education.

“It’s our obligation, as a society, to provide all families with access to great neighborhood public schools,” said Weingarten. “The Trump administration can follow the will of the people and walk the path laid out by Congress a year ago. Or they can follow the destructive dogmas of the past and reignite the education wars.”

Weingarten outlined four pillars to achieve powerful, purposeful public education: promoting children’s well-being, supporting powerful learning, building teacher capacity, and fostering cultures of collaboration.

The AFT President also attacked the qualifications, education and experience of Michigan billionaire Betsey DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos, a Republican candidate for Michigan’s governor in 2006, donated almost $10 million to Trump’s presidential campaign.

DeVos holds an undergraduate degree is fashion merchandising from Calvin College in Michigan. The Washington Post obtained the disclosures filed by DeVos and they show a work history that is devoid of education experience or much work experience at all. Between 1982 and 1984, DeVos’s work record states she was a self-employed business owner, a Color One Consultant. In 1989, her next work entry, Betsy DeVos lists herself as the Chairman of Windquest Group, Inc., a group founded by her husband. Bloomberg’s Company Overview (http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=140826925) lists Richard Martin DeVos as the Chairman of the Windquest Group, Inc. On her federal disclosure form Betsy DeVos also lists herself as a Director of RDV Sports, Inc., and the RDV Corporation, a Michigan corporation set up by Richard DeVos to purchase the NBA franchise, the Orlando Magic.

She lists herself as Director of The Stow Company, a subsidiary of Windquest Group. However, Richard DeVos and not Betsy DeVos is listed as the Director of both the Windquest Group and The Stow Company.

Weingarten laid out a challenge to DeVos, if she is confirmed. “I extend both a challenge and an invitation to Ms. Devos: Spend some time in public schools.”

Weingarten laid out a challenge to DeVos (pictured above), if she is confirmed. “I extend both a challenge and an invitation to Ms. Devos: Spend some time in public schools.”

Betsy DeVos and the Attack on Public Education

Weingarten said Betsy DeVos is “the most anti-public education nominee for secretary of education in the history of the department” and lacks the necessary qualifications and experience to be the nation’s top education official. DeVos “hasn’t taught in a public school,” Weingarten said. “She hasn’t served on a school board. She never attended public school—nor did she send her kids to one. She’s a lobbyist—not an educator.”

DeVos worked in Michigan “to undermine public schools and to divide communities,” Weingarten said. “And now she’s poised to swing her Michigan wrecking ball all across America.”

Weingarten detailed some of the destructive education policies DeVos has lobbied for and poured millions of dollars into: a school voucher initiative that voters rejected by more than a 2-to-1 margin; the vast expansion of for-profit charter schools; negligible oversight for charter schools; and allowing failed charter operators to open more schools.

“What is the result of all this? Student performance has declined across Michigan,” Weingarten said. “Nearly half of all its charter schools ranked among the bottom of American schools.”

A Challenge and an Invitation

Weingarten laid out a challenge to DeVos, if she is confirmed. “I extend both a challenge and an invitation to Ms. Devos: Spend some time in public schools.” Weingarten said. “There is no substitute for seeing firsthand what works so well in our public schools, or for seeing the indefensible conditions too many students, teachers, and school staff endure.”

“Come to rural McDowell County, W.Va., the eighth-poorest county in the country, where many voted for Donald Trump. A county where the AFT is leading a public-private partnership to improve the public schools and health outcomes. Join me at Harvest [Collegiate High School] or CHAH, or Toledo Technology Academy or in Meriden [Conn.], Corpus Christi [Texas], California’s ABC district or Miami. Spend a day or two in a class for severely disabled students. Before you try to do what you did in Michigan to the rest of the country, see firsthand the potential and promise of public education.”

The AFT is Prepared to Take a Stand

Weingarten said that if the Trump administration chooses to reignite the education wars, “communities across this country will stand up and defend their public schools and our children—like hundreds of thousands have done so far in open letters and petitions, and like AROS will on Jan. 19. Whatever this new administration does, we will be walking the walk for great neighborhood schools by investing and supporting the four pillars I’ve described today.”

Weingarten concluded with a call to action, “So I ask you to join with us as we stand up for the well-being of all children. For powerful learning. For capacity building for teachers. For community collaboration. Please join with us as we stand up for the promise of public education, and for the public schools all children deserve.”

Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=7978

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Archives

Graphic

From the Archive

  • As the Boy Scouts Always Say: “Be Prepared”

    by Evelyn Beck When it comes to computers, count on Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong, it will. So to avoid crises ranging from delayed access to destroyed data, plan ahead. Here are a few tips (which you will probably also want to share with your students): Virus protection Virus protection software is a […]

  • Taxing Matters: The Long Reach of Uncle Sam

    by Conrad de Aenlle Americans who have settled abroad may feel far from home, but to the Internal Revenue Service, it is almost as though they never left. The United States is one of a very few countries that continue to tax citizens and even U.S. permanent residents, or green-card holders, who live overseas. But tax experts point out […]

  • P/T & F/T Faculty Teamwork

    by Jack Longmate AS PART-TIME FACULTY members step up their organizing efforts throughout California, many are faced with the task of working effectively with already-established full-time chapters. Occasionally, there is friction on some campuses between full- and part-time faculty. The diverse and separate needs of full-time, and part-time faculty often forces them to form separate […]

  • Active Learning vs. Lecturing in the College Classroom

    by Paul T. Corrigan One often hears of active learning as a new approach. In contrast, lecturing is the traditional method. Those who support active learning consider it an innovation. Those who do not consider it “another in a long line of educational fads,” as Michael Prince notes. The sequence and chronology remain undisputed either way. Lecturing came first. It has […]

  • Is Distance Education the Meteor and Are Faculty the Dinosaurs?

    by Chris Cumo DEWEY DEFALCO, ASSISTANT to the Director of Distance Learning and Lead Faculty for Distance Learning at Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida, knows that some faculty dislike distance education. DeFalco sees this opposition as the natural inter-generational struggle over an emerging technology. The opponents are older, technophobic professors on the verge of retirement. […]

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Rick: If your looking for non-academic jobs, or “menial” jobs do not even mention your graduate...
  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...