Updated: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Secretary of Education

Top level Edit: Remember the names of our Republican State Senators who signed on to a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander expressing their support of DeVos:

  • Senator F. Gary Simpson, R-SD18 – Senate Republican Leader – Delaware
  • Senator Greg Lavelle, R-SD4 – Senate Republican Whip – Delaware
  • Senator Anthony Delcollo, R-SD7
  • Senator Ernie Lopez, R-SD6
  • Senator Brian Pettyjohn, R-SD19

As expected, a deadlock 50-50 tie in the Senate on confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was broken by the Vice President, confirming the new Secretary of Education. Someone who couldn’t answer a question on student proficiency vs student growth is now the leading “educator” in the United States.

Factoid of the day: since the SecEd post was created in 1980, the combined No votes for all nominees in the last 37 years: 44. No votes cast today on a single nominee: 50.

Edit: I’m sure the following table had nothing to do with the “Yes” votes from these Republicans, although I give credit to Lisa Murkowski. She had to know her vote wouldn’t stop the confirmation, but she said “No” anyway.


About Brian Ess

Taking it one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time. Dad, data dork, recoverer, public education supporter, developing policy wonk. per aspera ad astra

8 comments on “Updated: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Secretary of Education

  1. Ugh. I have a post going up on vouchers soon. Here’s a passage I left out:

    In a pointed exchange with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in which he asked if she supported “equal accountability for all schools that received federal funding, yes or no?” she could only repeat, “I support accountability.”

    Were this exchange a multiple choice question on one of the standardized tests typically used for accountability purposes, she would have failed. Were she in a school where her classmates answered as she did, her school would be labeled a failing school and threatened with closure or takeover.

    As it is, if she is confirmed, she will be rewarded for her glaring ineptitude and cavalier approach toward preparation. Unlike the students in the struggling schools she promises to hold accountable, she was apparently neither subject to incessant test prep sessions nor made to feel that much was at stake during her performance.

    The stark difference between her low-stakes confirmation process, where she was shielded and showered with praise by the Republicans whose coffers she has filled, and the high-stakes testing experiences of neglected students whose schools have been starved of resources is not just ironic; it is unjust.

    The takeaway is clear — money matters. You have it and you can get away with shoddy work, no matter the costs to others. If you don’t have it you will be blamed for your individual failings, held accountable.

    So true.

  2. I’m still fuming. Betsy DeVos is a know-nothing – who didn’t bother to prepare for the position, because she knew the GOP would pass her. That’s some stunning arrogance. She sat before the senate and strutted her ignorance like a badge of honor – too stupid to know how stupid she was.

    • Which, and I hate to say this, makes her absolutely 100% perfect for this administration.

    • This is the Pro Ignorance mentality at work, it’s fundamentally anti education and well suited to many Trump voters who probably had little use for school growing up.

      • It’s amazing to me how proud this group is of their ignorance. They know nothing about the ACA, climate change, taxes, science, how a woman’s body works, math, and on and on. They sneer at intelligence and actual research. Facts don’t matter to them. I have no idea how to combat that. I cite a research paper and they say, “Nuh huh.”

        • My wife and I actually had a passionate discussion about this a couple weeks back. How do you argue with people who don’t care about facts. They. just. don’t. care.

          They’d argue dihydrogen monoxide should be banned even after you tell them it’s literally water.

          They know everything about Obamacare though.

          • Facts schmacts. You’d think the information age would make us smarter. I knew we were in trouble when it was proven that giving anti-vaxxers facts made them more… well… anti-vaccine. Hello? Actual facts made them plant their feet.

            Some days I feel so badly for teachers. Can you imagine what it’s like to teach the offspring of these people???

  3. I’m crying and laughing.

    Nick Jack Pappas ‏@Pappiness 18m18 minutes ago

    Future math curriculum:

    If you have $200mil and need 51 votes, how much money will you have to give each Senator to buy their vote? #DeVos

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