Shameful Betsy DeVos can't say what most human beings can say with ease

Here is the Secretary of Education for the United States of America, the caretaker of our public schools, the protector of our children's future, and also a person who has never taught in a school, never worked in a public school, and never sent her children to a public school, trying her hardest to avoid saying that children in her charter school program won't be discriminated based upon race or LGBTQ status.

It's remarkable. She is asked, rather simply, if discrimination will be forbidden in these schools based upon religion and LGBTQ status, and she refuses to say it.

It's shameful and disgusting. 

No one who works in education should have this much difficulty standing against the discrimination of children for any reason. No educator who I have ever known would struggle with this question like Betsy DeVos does. 

Then again, she is not an educator. She doesn't understand education. She knows nothing about the American public school student. She is literally the child of one billionaire and the wife of another. A wealthy, white woman who was sent to elite private schools for her entire life and never had to fear for her future. She has never known want or need or hunger.

And now she is the steward of our public schools. Teachers and children are depending upon her for their support, and she can't say, "No child will be discriminated against in these charter schools, for race, religion, LGBTQ status, or any other reason." 

Trumpian typos abound - and frighten me to death


The US Department of Education published a tweet that spelled W.E.B. Du Bois's name incorrectly. That error stood for four hours before it was finally corrected. The Department of Education then apologized, with another typo:

“Our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo..."

Great start for Betsy DeVos. Or DuVos. Or DeVes.  

A couple hours later, the Republican Party published a tweet that quoted Abraham Lincoln on his birthday, except that it wasn't something Abraham Lincoln ever said. 

In fact, the quote probably originates from the 1940s. As the website Quote Investigator notes, a version of the quote was probably first uttered by a medical doctor named Edward J. Stieglitz, quoted in the Chicago Tribune in 1947.

To top it all off, the official inaugural photo of Donald Trump, on sale now at the Library of Congress, also has a typo in its one and only sentence:

Earlier in the week, The Trump Administration gave the press a typo-riddled lists of terrorist attacks that they claimed were not covered enough by the press.

Kellyanne Conaway's Bowling Green Massacre (a story that she has repeated multiple times until she was caught) was not on this list, but it received ample coverage nonetheless. Rightfully so. 

I know. I know. I'm an elitist for thinking that our government might have some spell checking apparatus in place and we might expect a modicum of professionalism from our leaders, but it doesn't look good and makes me worry about other items requiring precision. 

Say... the value of the dollar. The rate of inflation. Interest rates. The location to drop a bomb on a terrorist. The nuclear codes. 

I might know more about education than Trump's nominee for Education Secretary.

Betsy DeVos is Donald Trump's nominee for Education Secretary. Here are some facts that emerged from yesterday's Senate confirmation hearing:

  • She called the public school systems a "dead end" even though she did not attend a public school, did not send her children to public schools, and never taught in a public school. 
  • She has no experience with college financial aid- either from the personal or administrative side.
  • She does not understand the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • She doesn't know the difference between proficiency and growth as it relates to student learning (an important distinction and a major debate in education today).
  • She supports Trump's plan to rescind gun-free school zones and refuses to say that guns do not belong in schools.
  • She refuses to say that she will enforce the gainful employment rule - a law that prevents fake institutions of higher learning like Trump University from receiving federal dollars.
  • She claimed that her 14 year position as Vice President of, an anti-LGTB organization, was a "clerical error."

I think we deserve a whole lot better than this.  

To her credit, she also acknowledged that the behavior described by Donald Trump on that bus with Billy Bush constitutes sexual assault. I'm sure that if pressed, she would attribute his bragging as "locker room talk" or some other nonsense, but at least she acknowledged that if it actually happened, Trump would be labeled as sex offender. 

The again, we all knew that already.