President-Elect Trump Picks his Education Secretary and Teachers Unions are Livid

President-elect Donald Trump has announced his pick for Education Secretary. Betsy DeVos, an advocate for charter schools and school vouchers, has accepted Trump’s nomination to lead the Department of Education.

DeVos will receive praise from most in conservative circles for her stance on charter schools and vouchers. However, she has been accused of being a supporter of the overreaching Common Core, a stance which is opposite that of Trump.

Karen Braun, an author at Stop Common Core Michigan, has been highly vocal and critical of DeVos even stating that DeVos’s idea of school choice is still highly intertwined with Common Core.

GLEP [Great Lakes Education Project] is a strong supporter of the Common Core and its continued implementation in Michigan. They are part of the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards which opposes SB 826 to Repeal and Replace Common Core, science, social studies, and aligned assessments with pre-common core Massachusetts standards. Stop Common Core in Michigan believes there is a high correlation between candidates who accept the GLEP endorsement and their future votes on legislation.

GLEP claims NOT to have a litmus test on Common Core. This allows candidates to say they are against common core and still gain the endorsement of GLEP.  But DeVos is a champion for “school choice” while at the same time continuing the implementation of common national standards. The DeVos definition of “school choice” is the freedom to choose which common core school will track your child from cradle-to-career (P20). All Michigan charters must use common national standards. That’s NOT true choice.

Like Bill Gates, Betsy DeVos has some money and has some things she’d like to see different. Like all good investors, DeVos likely expects a return on her investment. And if you don’t play the game under their rules and vote the way you want her to vote, you may find yourself challenged the next time you run for office.

DeVos addressed these allegations on Twitter after being barraged with questions about her stance on Common Core. She state unequivocally that she does not support Common Core, period.

In the link she provided, she addresses where she stands on Common Core with an answer to the question: There’s been a lot of talk about Common Core. Can you provide some straight talk on this topic?

Certainly. I am not a supporter—period.

I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense. 

Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position. Sometimes it’s not just students who need to do their homework.

However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle.

Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.

DeVos, a former Michigan GOP party chairwoman, drew instant rebuke from the teachers’ union group, National Education Association who attacked her for being a billionaire since her family started Amway, as well as for being a school choice advocate. Education is the one area where leftists are widely anti-choice because they fear it threatens teachers’ unions and the leftist stronghold on indoctrination through ‘education.’

In their statement attacking DeVoss, NEA president Lily Eskelsen García expressed the organization’s disdain for charter schools, public schools, and giving parents choice in the education of their children.

“…her efforts over the years have 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, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.”

President-elect Trump praised DeVos in his statement about her selection.

“Under her leadership, we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families. I am pleased to nominate Betsy Ross as Secretary of the Department of Education.”

DeVos must be confirmed by the Senate prior to assuming duties as the Education Secretary.


About the Author

Jennifer Burke
Jennifer Burke
Jennifer is a Co-Founder of PolitiStick and the Editor-in-Chief. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a certified teacher with 12 years experience in the classroom. Jennifer attended what is credited for being the first modern-day Tea Party rally in the country in the Seattle area and from there emerged as a powerful speaker and writer within the movement. While still in Washington State, Jennifer was selected to be a member of the second graduating class of the Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute (JDLI), a program which identified future conservative leaders. Jennifer worked as the National Outreach Director for one of the largest conservative groups in the country and served as Managing Editor and writer for what quickly grew to become one of the top 15 conservative sites in the country. She brings to Politistick a passion for the fight for freedom for current and future generations.

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