1.) She is an avid proponent of school choice.
What's school choice? Allowing children that attend "failing schools" to choose a new school to attend. It doesn't sound so bad, and quite honestly, it sounds pretty great. When school choice is actually being played out, it's a whole different story. When you move children from school to school, it never addresses the actual concerns that deemed their original school "failing" in the first place. School choice, in essence, is a bandaid. Additionally, not every school that a family could choose to send their child to is being held to the same special education standards. Many children with IEPs are left in the shadows because the other school options are not "equipped" to service them. School choice leaves children with special needs (arguably our most vulnerable students) out to dry. Check out a fabulous and informative post regarding school choice here, by The Designer Teacher.
2.) DeVos has limited to no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
During Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing, Senator Hassan asked her questions regarding IDEA. This act (as I am certain many of you know) ensures that all students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education in our country. DeVos stated that she would like each individual state to decide if they choose to follow IDEA, to which Hassan replied is illegal, because IDEA is a federal law. While DeVos' lack of understanding about the law is shocking, it is truly appalling that if given the chance, would not protect our kids with IEPs. Ms. DeVos' experience in education only lies in charter schools, which are notorious for serving extremely low numbers of children with IEPs.
3.) She will leave it up to the states to decide if they will allow guns in schools.
The confirmation hearing also uncovered a tender point when Senator Murphy from Connecticut asked her about her stance on guns in our schools. While her embarrassing "grizzly bear" blunder is one that will likely follow her for years to come, it's not the worst part. DeVos told Senator Murphy (who is an avid gun control proponent after Sandy Hook) that she would allow each state to determine whether they choose to allow guns in schools.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it's clear that Betsy DeVos does not have the background, competency, experience, or candor to handle the incredibly important job of running our school system. Taking a stand against her is our duty as educators - this is our life's work! Her policies and her lack of knowledge will be utterly damaging to our students futures. I urge you to contact your senators to vote NO to Betsy DeVos.