DeVos Confirmed – Isakson Statement

There is much rending of the garments and gnashing of the teeth by liberals, teachers’ unions and educrats everywhere, as Betsy DeVos was confirmed by a vote of 51-50 to be the new Secretary of the Department of Education.

Senator Johnny Isakson was one of the 51, and issued the following:

“Last year, Congress worked hard to return control of education to parents and local school boards, and Mrs. DeVos has demonstrated her strong commitment to follow the intent of Congress as implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act continues,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate committee that oversees education. “I appreciate her commitment to parents’ roles in education and school choice, as well as her statement of strong support for ensuring that kids with special needs get a personalized education plan. I also pledge to work with Mrs. DeVos in her new position to ensure the rights of all students are looked after moving forward.”

 DeVos’ critics accused her of not having sufficient exposure to public schools, and being therefore “unqualified” to lead the DOE. But education blogger Amelia Hamilton took a different tack: 

If you think Betsy DeVos is going to destroy education in America, then we agree that the Department of Education has too much power.

 

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FreeDuck
FreeDuck

“There is much rending of the garments and gnashing of the teeth by liberals, teachers’ unions and educrats everywhere…” You left out parents. Quite a few parents, myself included, are against allowing someone to buy a position of power over public education. She doesn’t just have a lack of exposure to public education. She has a lack of experience in anything to do with education except donating and lobbying to support her ideology. This is not something conservatives should be proud of as it reeks of cronyism and sends the message to all students that they can work as hard… Read more »

in_atl
in_atl

Oh please. Donna Shalala had no background in health and human services when she was appointed to lead that department. She was a political science major/professor who was president of the University of Wisconsin and went straight from that job to HHS. Federico Pena? Similar. No background in Energy before taking over the Department of Energy. He was a lawyer, became mayor of Denver, and then Secretary of Labor. Once you get past the “big jobs” i.e. Defense, Treasury, State the appointees often do not have experience in that area and no one cares. Also, this has nothing to do… Read more »

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Though I don’t generally engage in the back and forth of “you can’t be against her if you were not also against x, y, and z”, both of the people you listed had relevant experience to the positions they held, even if that had not been their primary field. DeVos brings nothing but money and ideology. Other nominees are also terrible for other reasons and are examples of people with no experience in an area running it (Carson and HUD), but this looks to the general public like a blatantly bought position of power. She donated directly and generously to… Read more »

Charlie
Charlie

Please cite for me the relevant experience that Julian Castro had that Ben Carson does not.

xdog
xdog

Held elective office. Held administrative positions. Doesn’t have weird ideas or make shit up. Doesn’t support Trump.

You should be happy today. You got your charter school champion and who cares if she had to buy her way in.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Was Julian Castro one of those mentioned?

Charlie
Charlie

You said Carson is unqualified (amazingly, so did he). I’m just asking if you believe his immediate predecessor had any qualifications for running HUD than the person you cite as unqualified had. Because your partisanship is showing with your selective outrage. Again.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

I said Carson had no relevant experience. That’s not great, but I’m not too worked up about it. I don’t plan to call my senators about him like I did for DeVos and will for Pruitt. I mentioned him to counter the implication that my opposition to DeVos is solely about inexperience. Focusing on the lack of experience argument is a way to minimize the very clear appearance that DeVos bought her position. Her lack of experience just makes it that much more stark.

Partisanship shows in both the writing and the reading of a comment.

Charlie
Charlie

Again, Castro, confirmed with little discussion or opposition, had what relevant experience, exactly? You’re the one that brought up Carson. Now defend his predecessor on the terms you now wish to measure cabinet appointees.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

I’m not opposed to Carson. I said he had no relevant experience, which you appear to agree with. So at this point you are trying to change the subject to avoid acknowledging that it looks like DeVos bought her job.

That said, I believe being the mayor of a major city is somewhat relevant experience. Certainly just as relevant as having run for president.

in_atl
in_atl

FreeDuck, with all due respect you are wrong. Donna Shalala had absolutely no background in health or social welfare. She was a political science major, political science professor, university administrator and university president when she went to head HHS. You can make the case that she had administrative experience but that is it. We are not talking about someone who was a nursing professor or social work professor, but political science. Now Shalala would have had a great background to lead the Department of Education, but not HHS. And get this: HHS is a much larger, much more critical agency… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Mayor of San Antonio, Texas for five years. First elected to the San Antonio City Council in 2001.

If you don’t think being mayor of a large city gives someone the requisite knowledge base to run HUD, I don’t know what to tell you.

Fun fact, Obama’s two energy secretaries were both nuclear physicists. Stephen Chu even won the Nobel Prize in 1997.

David C
David C

Yeah. Mayor of a major city has been a prerequisite for the job for Secretaries of both parties, from Mel Martinez to Moon Landrieu.

It’s astounding to see Charlie throwing around “partisanship” and “selective outrage” while drumming up a rather astounding bit of false equivalence.

bethebalance
bethebalance

The Amelia Hamilton snippet is good spin, but illogical. Simply put, DeVos does not equal the Dept. of Education, so you can object to her without objecting to the Dept.

DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

The Secretary of Education is basically (1) a grantmaker who oversees several billion dollars in federal funds (which actually make up less than 10% of all dollars spent on public education in the U.S.) and (2) a spokesperson who has a bully pulpit to talk about public education but holds no real power over any state or local school systems. I am not thrilled by her support of privately run for-profit charter schools with little or no regulation. I wasn’t concerned that she’s not knowledgeable about special education. All enforcement of federal education law is handled by the federal Office… Read more »

CoastalCat
CoastalCat

Mike Pence owns her now. He had better hope she doesn’t fail.

in_atl
in_atl

It is quite literally impossible to fail at that job. The Department of Education is one of the smallest and least influential cabinet posts. There are sub-cabinet jobs such as FEMA, NSA director and FBI director, ATF director etc. that have more responsibility and day to day responsibility. The Department of Education was split off from HHS during the Carter administration for reasons that pretty much no one can identify. It is a political job for show and not a whole lot more. Speaking of Mike Pence, you hit on the real reason for her opposition: she and Pence are… Read more »

gcp
gcp

With repubs in the majority in congress it would be a good time to look at abolishing this department. Unfortunately, it won’t happen because there are many “conservative” repubs that want to perpetuate this 70+ billion dollar mess.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Everybody complains about the sad state of education in this country. Education in this country is “highly decentralized” compared to other countries. Hmm, I wonder if there is a connection. Maybe eliminating the DoEd will help.