Day 13: DeVos Diminishes Importance of Title IX
For all of Donald Trump’s follies—and there have been multitudes—he seems to have made sound decisions on his cabinet appointees, especially with his pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
DeVos’ confirmation is still not official, as she needs to be confirmed by a vote from the Senate floor. But if confirmed, DeVos may or may not ensure that the campus rape epidemic is dealt with (she has donated to an organization that would like to loosen Title IX’s standards for sexual assault perpetrators), and she will attempt to model the nation’s education system after that of her home state (where essentially anyone with money could open their own charter school).
DeVos is an educational visionary, not someone who has any experience in the field, but rather someone who has put her money where her mouth is regarding her political beliefs. After all, as we have learned from Trump, what are politics when compared to money?
She is a strong proponent of charter schools, which her family has bankrolled. But don’t be fooled by those who tell you she’s a lobbyist. After all, when rich people do it, they’re philanthropists.
DeVos, like her family members, never attended a public school. That’s ok, because DeVos doesn’t seem to believe in them anyways, advocating for voucher programs in private schools and expansion in the charter school system.
The Michigan charter school system, backed by DeVos and her husband, seems to have done worse than the Michigan public schools under DeVos’ “school choice” program, but she would love to expand charter schools nationally, despite low achievement rates of children who were already impacted by her brilliant policies.
Lastly, she would not confirm at her confirmation hearing that she would protect Title IX as it addresses campus sexual assault, saying, “It would be premature for me to do that today.” Hopefully she will be maturing soon if she gets appointed.
And hey, if maturing doesn’t come naturally to her, she’s always open to outside help!
The ramifications of Trumps nominees, and DeVos in particular, will be very real. At a time when our public school system is sagging, and charter schools are devolving into a pseudo-wild-west, educational reform is necessary. Maybe common core isn’t the answer, and charter schools certainly can help some students, but they should be seen as a supplement, nothing more.
Public dissent is one of the best ways to influence senators, many of whom are still not sold on DeVos. Calling or writing letters to senators is one way to let your voice be heard, and its importance shouldn’t be delegitimized. There is still time, and plenty of cause, to take action.
You can oppose DeVos for Secretary of Education as well as sound of plenty of other issues by taking five minutes out of your day with 5calls.org. Take your actions further by formally calling these key Senators.
At least 3 of the Senators below need to be convinced in order to block DeVos' nomination. Don't email. Don't tweet. Don't complain on Facebook. Call them! If you live in one of the states represented below, PLEASE call your Senator, If you don't, pick any from the list and call them:
- Susan Collins (ME) 207.622.8414..&..202.224.2523
- Lamar Alexander (TN) 615.736.5129..&..202.224.4944
- Lisa Murkowski (AK) 907.586.7277..&..202.224.6665
- Johnny Isakson (GA) 770.661.0999..&..202.224.3643
- Orrin Hatch (UT) 801.524.4380..&..202.224.5251
- Richard Burr (NC) 336.631.5125..&..202.224.3154..&.. 910.251.1058..&..828.350.2437
- Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
- Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
- Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
- Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121
- Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343