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5 reasons why Trump pick Betsy DeVos is wrong for Secretary of Education

By Amanda Litvinov

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Last week, President-elect Donald Trump nominated as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a billionaire and conservative mega-donor who has no classroom experience, and whose work in public education consists mainly of efforts to privatize it.

“In Michigan, we know firsthand how disastrous DeVos’s ideology is, as she has spent decades wielding her family’s money and influence to destroy public education and turn our schools and students over to for-profit corporations,” said Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook, who served as a paraprofessional in Lansing Public Schools for 15 years.

Elementary school teacher and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said DeVos’s work “has 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.”

Here are just five of the reasons why Betsy DeVos should never serve as the Secretary of Education:

1. Betsy DeVos has no training or experience in education.

She has never worked in a school in any capacity, and does not hold a degree in education (nor did she or her children ever attend a public school).

2. Like Donald Trump, DeVos is an ardent supporter of “school choice” privatization schemes, despite a complete lack of evidence that privatizing public schools produces better education.

In Michigan, Betsy and husband Dick DeVos have pushed for decades for so-called “choice” schemes and corporate charter schools, most of which have performed worse than the state average. They are long-time Republican party donors who support pro “school choice” candidates, and Betsy DeVos has served on the boards of two major groups leading the charge to privatize public schools.

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3. DeVos has invested millions lobbying for laws that drain resources from public schools.

In 2000, Michigan voters rejected a massive effort led by Betsy and Dick DeVos to change the state’s constitution to allow private school voucher schemes that siphon money away from public schools. But Betsy DeVos has promoted these measures as chair of the American Federation for Children, and the DeVos family has spent millions to push for the expansion of vouchers in other states.

4. DeVos has fought against the regulation of charter schools.

The DeVos family gave nearly $1 million to GOP lawmakers in the Michigan legislature who gutted a bill that included accountability measures for charter schools in Detroit. Those charters will not be subject to the same oversight or regulation as public schools, even though they are funded with taxpayer money, thanks largely to the DeVos family.

5. Betsy DeVos is not a good fit for a position overseeing the civil rights of all students.

Donald Trump’s nomination of DeVos is deeply concerning to many civil rights groups, because school choice schemes promote racial segregation and undercut civil rights enforcement that is routine in public schools. Corporate charter schools have higher than average teacher turnover and closure rates, which disproportionately affect students of color and low-income families.

The DeVos family’s support for anti-LGBT causes is well-documented. Since 1998, the DeVos family has given more than $6.7 million to Focus on the Family, a group that supports “conversion therapy”—a debunked theory that purports to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian individuals that is strongly opposed by the American Psychiatric Association, the Human Rights Campaign, and scores of other medical and civil rights organizations.

221 responses to “5 reasons why Trump pick Betsy DeVos is wrong for Secretary of Education


    This today has changed my life forever! When you read this book and some of her personal interviews on YouTube you will want to throw up. WE HAVE ALL BEEN DUPED, WE WERE ONLY BREED IN OUR SOCIETY FOR WORK FORCE. NO BETTER THAT PAVLOV’S DOG, REALLY! IT WILL SHOCK YOU.
    In conclusion we did’nt need anybody from the EDUCATION system; we have all been corrupted!

    1. Yes you are correct! The schools are producing dumbed down activists.They refuse to even listen talk and compromise. They think they are doing the right thing for their cause. When all they are ding is hurting the children . They have no idea what the constitution even is. The only thing they know how to do is make an embarrassing spectacle . They have no clue that they are the real problem.

  2. The problem is the choice. If wealthy people had no other option but public we would be better off. They would invest into public schools. For some reason Americans think we need to come up with an original idea. No!! Let’s look around the world at what works and copy that.

    1. You forget an important truth… Competition breeds improvement…

      By your logic we should all have public housing so everyone has better housing?

      1. Sure, the rich pay more taxes. But when all’s said and done, and paid for, they still manage to come out well ahead of the rest of us. And do they ever whenever the GOP comes around to preach the virtues of ever more tax breaks for the folks whose incomes will enable them to pack their dearies off to the best and most expensive colleges and universities which are already supported with boodles n’ boodles of endowment funds made all the more possible for the wealthy to stash away … tax free no less … which are paid for by at least 300 milion Ma n’ Pa taxpayers whose kids attend local public schools supported by property taxes and other gimmicks communities have to resort to using when Federal dollars aren’t so generously supplied which in turn would make each state’s job of supporting its cities and towns local schools a lot easier.
        Well, what else can we expect from a bunch of people who rely on “alternate facts” which rely on whatever their ideological masters in Washington DC’s eggheady swamp of think tanks, which too, are supported by a very selectively generous pack of ideologues calling for more depletion of funds for local schools for the so-called “public charters” who are expected to join in the mugging of regular “local public schools” even though they’ve already been duly paid for and will continue being paid for through property taxes in some states. Yes, in MA we have our local “fool’s tax” array of various rolls of glitzy toilet-roll like scratch’em cards to help fill in the rest.

        So why reward even more cynical attempts to rationalize the further decline of public education as seen through the eyes of most American double-paying taxpayers? Simply, because in this age of alternate facts, we might a well fund our public schools out of funding guided by “alternative values”? They’re alternative for sure. But not better.

  3. same as someone said above- I came here to read what is so wrong about devos and didn’t really find any answers in this article. very lame.

    all I know is my own personal experience, which was a bad one for me through school (public and private), and that of my 3 now adult kids- also public, private and the addition of homeschooling. still think home education is best. for so many reasons.

    1. Agreed . They do not even know why they hate the person that is at least trying to help them. She is GOP she is bad,she is rich she is bad … unbelievable to see the ham the indoctrination of our schools have caused. They really have no idea that by silencing people they will get no where . It’s off to the next protest. Insanity !

  4. I came here hoping to better understand the reasoning behind people disliking Devos, and I am really disappointed.

    #2 & #3: parents who pay taxes (taxes that fund schools) should have the choice of where to send their kids for their education, if that’s a private school, what’s that to you?

    #4: Charter schools and homeschooling are great! I know lots of people who were abnormally successful because of both.

    #5: Attacking her faith is a lame argument.

    I now am an excited supporter of her. Good job!

    1. I pay taxes and don’t have children so by your twisted logic, I should get all of my tax dollars that went to any schools back. If you get to take your money out of public schools to direct it to your preferred whatever school, then I get my money out so I can go on vacation every year. Wherever your kid goes to school, he or she will be waiting on my table in a few years anyway.

    2. Attacking a person who uses religion to attack others is not lame. It’s called recognizing intolerance. I’ll put up with your religion if you keep it out of mine and everyone else’s business.

  5. Betsy DeVos hasn’t even attended a public school, and she doesn’t know anything about IDEA! We cannot let her be Secretary of Education!

    1. I live in Chicago, my husband was a CPS math teacher, all 5 of my kids either went through, or are still going through, the system and I can tell you first hand that the public school system is in shambles. From the things that my husband tells me every week, the leaders of CPS should be ashamed. Sure they say they care about the kids, everyone always says they care about the kids, but the facts reveal a great deal of them care about themselves.

      The teachers are caught between the union, the kids, and the administration. The administration keeps changing directions every couple of years, they keep testing the hell out of the kids taking away from precious class time. Teacher’s time is spent on the 10% of the students who cause trouble and the top 10% that really want to learn; the other 80% get very little attention.

      Personally, if we had the option, I would love the option to have a voucher so that I could sent my kids to the school of my choice. I think we need someone to come in and completely blow up the school systems in order to change the entrenched failing culture!!

      I vote for change!!! The status quo is NOT working!!

      1. So if Public Education is not working, get rid of it? How about improving it instead. The reason CPS is in shambles is because the city and state are defunding the system! I am a CPS parent and your blanket statement about 80% of the students getting very little attention is just not true. My child attends a well preforming CPS elementary school. And she gets an adequate education at this school. Why? because We parent have to PAY for this. Our school is in a affluent neighborhood.(I live in a low income neighborhood and travel 35 min. to get there) Every year WE parents raise over $250,000 to supply the school with adequate staff, program and supplies etc. A lot of other Chicago kids are not as lucky. Vouchers are not the answer! Defending public schools will not serve our country!

        1. Vicky, I understand your frustration, really I do, but you are a fortunate family. Listen to what you said, your school is in an affluent neighborhood and yet you still had to raise over $250K, what about those kids whose school is in a poor neighborhood and the parents do not have the time or means to go out and raise the funds needed? The fact that you could raise that much money is wonderful, but it probably came from wealthy residents. I’m not saying get rid of public schools, in fact I went to CPS public schools and got a decent education, but the times are different. When you have a monopoly there is no competition so there isn’t much that will change the status quo. You are right, the state is also starving the school system. So there needs to be change. If the public schools start to loose children to better performing schools, maybe that will cause a shake up and then they can start purging some of the dead weight, and believe me there is a lot of it. There are some retired administrators collecting over $200K a year sucking on the CPS nipple. By the way, I love discourse, where we can talk without attacking one another. Thank you for your input. Many blessings to you.

    2. She has not been to any public schools ? She is not trying to have a conversation ? You people are against her yet I bet you never really put the time in to understand what her plan is or to see what a disgrace out schools system has been . No just protest and shut that evil lady up . You know that will get you no where and only hurt the children .

  6. no experience in the classroom? Are you kidding me? Bill Walsh and Vince Lombardi never played a game in the NFL, fear of innovation being succesful is a typical liberal attitude that robs our children and parents the best education they want. How unAmerican can that attitude be? Were 30th in the world in math and science.

    1. Steve H, you actually prove the point of the article. In your coaching analogy, it would be like saying DeVos never taught Ph.D students in education. However, Walsh and Lombardi both played and excelled as college football players. In order for your analogy to hold up, you should choose two successful coaches who never played that sport at any level. That is the incompetence and inexperience of DeVos that makes her a bad choice: She has NEVER been a teacher or learner of our educational system at any level.

      1. We have this exercise every 4 years, we vote for a president who is not an expert in all things, but we count in the POTUS to find a way make things work. Your protectionist attitude doesn’t help anyone, we still live in a country where we should be free to make choices. Constantly forcing a one way unionized system on people isn’t woring or the results would be substantially different than they are, hence we have a very high dropout rate and higher % not graduating from high school. Next you will say you need more money for computers in every class room or whatever. The problem is student are no learning the main subjects you know the three R’s. Students learned these main Tennents without computers for decades with higher scores in all segments than today. The facts are public school does not work for everyone, charter schools do not work for everyone, home schooling does not work for everyone, therefore, parents in a free Society should have choices for their children, not penalties.

        1. One does not pay taxes for one’s OWN children; one pays taxes to support the SOCIAL NET that ensures ALL children learn. Why is this so hard to understand? You aren’t investing in your own family; you are investing in the people who will become the neighbors, co-workers, and fellow citizens OF your family.

            1. The concept can be found in The Preamble, for one place: “..promote the general welfare … for ourselves and our posterity ..”. The Equal Treatment Clause, is another.
              Frankly, I cannot believe you find this a foreign concept. If you prefer to live in an Oligarchy, I hear Russia is taking new citizens all the time.

          1. Pubic schools and public “education” is an indoctrination process intended to develop liberals. There is little emphasis on individual excellence any longer. Thankfully my children never had to attend public schools until colleges. By that time they had learned to think for themselves.

          2. This is true. As a homeschooling family whose children do not attend public school our tax dollars still go to public school. It is what it is. We look at it as an investment in others futures.

        1. Except that wouldn’t render a list of the Best coaches, just the best of those who never played. I’m curious, did those coaches families also give almost 200 million dollars into the team?

    2. “Bill Walsh and Vince Lombardi never played a game in the NFL”

      Bill Walsh and Lombardi played all the way up to the collegiate level.
      DeVos has never even substituted in a public school.

      You are comparing football coaches to teachers? Really? Did Walsh and Lombardi not have some of the best players available? Were those players not recruited and paid? So we are talking apples and oranges when comparing professional athletes to America’s students, wouldn’t you say? Public schools can’t recruit the best students. They can’t choose who gets in and who doesn’t.

      1. Don’t be naive. We are not actually 30th. Many of the Asian countries only test their brightest students whereas we test ALL students. Just as results vary depending on the study so do these “achievement” results. If you have never taught or spent significant time in a classroom , you have no business being Secretary of Education. Period.

      2. But – schools CAN and DO recruit the best teachers whenever possible. And actually, one of the best teaching methods uses many strategies employed by athletic coaches.

    3. It’s not only her lack on experaince that makes her a bad option and it has absolutely nothing to do with being liberal versus conservative. If public schools are eliminated as she speaks, the poor class will receive little to no education because they will not be bake to afford ma higher education. The middle classes will be strapped down, paying for education. Not only this, she is for guns in the school system. She said, it is an issue to address at a later standpoint to weather or not the importance of sexual assault consoling should be available in college or not. She said it should be left up to the state as to weather or not disabled students should be provided with the resources they need and are given in the school system by federal law. This is the next generation of the United States and I am speaking as a student.

    4. “Were 30th in math and science”. First off, you mean WE’RE not were. You WERE using the wrong word. Secondly lets say your random ranking of the U.S. being 30th in world in math and science is correct. News flash my man, there are only about 25 first world countries in the world right now so even by your claim WE’RE doing terrible. Are you unEducated or uneducated?

    5. The last paragraph is the reason why the media is up in arms about DeVos. Anyone who would stand up values different than the LGBT is going to hammered.

  7. It is plain to see that DeVos’s intentions clash with those of more experienced people in the field of education! However, she clearly has lots of money! Why then, is no one who is a true advocate of education, who truly wants to fight for the rights of students and parents and their civil rights, willing to step in and use her money to the education systems advantage? Perhaps her lack of experience and knowledge could be used to the advantage of other people in office who have a clearer, more realistic and effective view of what education in the U.S. should look like. I can understand that she is an easy target but I wish that people could work together and be more stealthful, productive and open minded about the situation…is the goal to kick her out or could she be persuaded to put her money to good use…perhaps she is the secretary of ed. Which makes her the nations rep. but who’s to say that there can not be others working under her that make the paramount decisions?

    1. She killed a bill that would have made charters more accountable. For what possible reason in the world could that be acceptable.

      1. charters accountable? my kid went to a charter high school and believe me they really “help” their kids get higher grades… and who suffers the most? those kids that try and go on to college unprepared. my kid called me after starting college and said she was writing a 5 page essay and was in a panic. the most she had ever written in the 4 years at that charter HS was 5 paragraphs! AND….. she was a National Honor Society student! how can this be?? it’s all smoke and mirrrors. wake up people. kids are being dumbed down all across the board. time for a change.

  8. Public education is the foundation of this country. If properly applied it provides a common basis of understanding of our civic values, it teaches citizenship, it provides a level of reading comprehension for all citizens to be able to make good decisions, not only in their personal lives, but in their public lives as well, including as voters.

    We have so demeaned, diverted and destroyed the mission of public education as conceived by our founders that it can no longer provide our citizens with minimal education. This is the result of advocates of tax cuts, religion in schools, anti-science curriculum, racist efforts to defund educating our minority children, and so on.

    Unless we can learn to value a common basis of reality-based, science-based, quality education for all, regardless of location, income or background, we’ll have a hard time remaining a viable society and great nation. Betsy DeVos is the wrong direction for education in the US.

    1. No it isn’t. Education is education. Public makes it no better than private. Our founders did not create the public education system. They were educated (many self educated) and appreciated education, but they did not envision what we have today. They didn’t include a Department of Education; it was created under Jimmy Carter. Went almost 200 years without one. During that time the industrial and technological revolutions took place. The west was developed without a public school being built before they got there.

      I do not have faith that public education can do the things you have stated. I did not vote for Trump, do not like the man, but can understand that the frustration many feel, that institutions have failed, led to this result. More of the same will not rebuild trust.

      Betsey DeVos is definitely what the system needs. Educators talk a lot about children, but forget what they are.

      I have heard that we need education reform since I was a child. What education needs is a reformation.

      1. Public Education was started after the American Revolution in 1750 – at first given to religious groups to carry out. In 1852 States took this on. Not Jimmy Carter. Holy cow are you 15 years old?

        1. “The United States Department of Education (ED or DoED), also referred to as the ED for (the) … Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979, it began operating on May 4, 1980”

    2. The US Constitution and the Bible are the foundation of this country, not public education, you must have went to public scool which proves the point that choices are needed.

      1. Sorry about that, “school” I know I would pounced on if not corrected for having fat finger ed the spelling.

      2. Should be “must have gone” NOT most have went. Educated in a public school and an educator for 35 years. Hurts my ears to hear your sentence.

      3. The Bible has nothing to do with the founding of this country. You maybe needed a better school education. There is separation of church and state as proposed by Thomas Jefferson.

      4. Are you seriously saying the Bible was a foundation? Oh please. Religion has no place in the United States of America’s government. That is what is wrong with these third world countries my hero are wanting to Escape; religion.

  9. Such a bad choice for all of the reasons listed. Please do not accept her nomination as secretary of education.

  10. I chose to go back to college to earn my degree before reaching “40”. As a wife and mother then, I decided to become an educator. This required 3 semesters because educational courses were never considered previously. [Had a time convincing the state of Illinois that I needed a loan for that extra semester!] Taught 11 happy years in Illinois until my husband retired and decided we would move to our land in Arkansas. Whoops!-lost one-third of my salary! Since the state of Illinois does not participate in Social Security, my retirement refund went to dig a 470′ well which yielded delicious ice-cold water. Well, that was some compensation…
    A few years later I became a Title 1 Math teacher; and when we received computers for the Math and Reading teachers, we traveled to the state Education Dept. in Little Rock to pick up “floppies” of computer programs for our students. We overheard rumors that the governor’s wife, Mrs. Clinton, was in the building giving a news-conference on the education plans she and her committee were proposing to the Arkansas legislature. We “snuck-in” the back of the room, listened to her and the reporters, and left very well impressed with our Arkansas first lady and her plans for the schools, children, and teachers of Arkansas!
    Thank You very much Mrs. Hillary Clinton as our schools, children, and teachers all received wonderful improvements in all our schools from rural to urban. The state no longer was fighting the state of Mississippi for the 50th USA position! My 14 years of teaching in Arkansas is the basis of my teacher’s retirement, and I am very grateful to the forward thinking of the Clinton administration.
    Unfortunately, my retirement state is now in the education slump similar to the pre-Clinton Arkansas administration.

  11. If she makes all schools private then she’ll screw small towns and she has no idea what it’s like to be a teacher or work with kids all day

  12. It didn’t stop anyone for voting for Obama twice. A community organizer at best, absentee member of congress, and an abstaining member of the UN.

      1. Thank you Julie! I loathe the argument that a previous poor decision was “acceptable”, as the answer for moving forward with another stupid decision. I’m not saying voting for Obama was, or was not a poor decision, but Tom obviously was, and I have no idea how that pertains to this conversation at all.

        1. I love when dumb people like “Freedom Road” say stupid things like “he no experience”, yet voted for Trump with even less experience.

    1. As two retired Michigan teachers (with more than 60 years between us), we feel strongly that being informed and engaged about issues is paramount. We are not experts, for sure, but our experiences and knowledge make us oppose Betsy DeVos’ nomination~ and also educator supporters for President Obama. Our decisions are based on Obama’s education platform and public school support. Thank you.

    2. You forgot constitutional lawyer! I think that, in and of itself, made him infinitely more qualified than Lord Commander Marmalade.

  13. I just read #4. It took me a while to post because I was laughing so hard. I have composed myself. Here it goes: Do you really want Detroit Public Schools to be your example? Regulation and oversight has done absolutely nothing for them.

    1. With an exception of a few, charter schools score no better–and usually worse–than most public schools in Detroit.

      1. The charter schools I know of that are successful all have a lot of outside money coming in. They are also non-profits. Most of the Charter schools are for profit.

    2. There are so many factors involved with Detroit Public Schools’ struggles~ lack of early intervention for school readiness, poverty, ignorance, lack of jobs, lack of training, Governor Snyder’s appointments of Financial Managers (which had too many poor decisions/regulations to list here), legislators & others not involving actual educators for input in the process of school improvement, lack of moral support for educators, and little understanding of low income families’ struggles. The list goes on. If we as a society were truly committed to improving schools, including Detroit, it could happen.

    3. I must wonder how those in business would handle this issue? Imagine you are held accountable for very lofty goals. However, you don’t get to hire or choose your staff. In fact, plan on having slow learners, English language learners, behavior issues, and special education people on your team. Now, let’s see how well you perform ( even with unlimited resources!) What would you recommend teachers and the school system do ? Honestly, private schools would choose NOT to educate them! Then, what happens? Think of the bigger picture here- what kind of society do we want?

  14. DeVos is the chairperson of the American Federation of Children which promotes school choice with a special emphasis on school vouchers. School vouchers seldom cover the entire cost of private school so it’s the kids living in high poverty areas that suffer. Devos is an advocate for privatization and for creating for-profit charter schools with little or no govt. oversight. This changes the focus from education for the public good to education for the private good. DeVos like many on the political right refuse to recognize that poor kids require more funding because they have special needs that go unaddressed in private and for-profit environments. All in all, let’s not fool ourselves into believing that her intent is to better serve children living in poverty.

    1. No public school money should ever go to private schools. If parents choose to send their children to private schools, then parents should 100% fund these private schools with their own funds.

      1. If a child is bullied or not excelling in a public schools and the school is not fixing the issue, the federal money for that child should be given to a school that can best serve that kid!

      2. Then any parent whose child is in a private school should not be forced to pay taxes that fund public schools!

        1. Jan, using that logic, I shouldn’t have to pay for mass transit, the clean up for hurricanes, public assistance, etc. And democracy would collapse!

        2. My children are a product of private schools. Amen to the writer who would save me from paying twice for the tuitions of my own and for the taxes to educate yours,

      3. Where do you think the money comes from to fund the public schools…I ‘m almost positive that it doesn’t grow on trees!! SMH

        1. Because an educated population is in the public good. Who is going to pay the taxes to provide all the benefits like roads, hospitals, public parks, post office, social security… if our young people can’t get jobs because they are uneducated?

      4. How about they get a property tax stipend for a not using public schools then. No, you wouldn’t want that now would you, because tons of parents would choose to privatize. Your argument has just been destroyed.

    2. De Vos and her ilk talk about ending “government” education – what we call “public” education. We educators have to oppose this onslaught of attempts to destroy public education, and totally privatize it. The bigger question I have is, “What will be done to mount a fight against De Vos’ nomination.” Who, if anyone is leading this? What are NEA, state teacher orgs. doing about this? I don’t hear anything. Let’s make some noise and unite all of our allies against this.

    3. Even if she thinks it will help underprivileged children, she has no experience with serving underprivileged groups, what their needs are, how best to empower them, etc. etc.
      Families must have local access to well-resourced local public schools.
      Secondly, there is no “magic pot” of extra money to fund privatization, meaning the same pot of money is diluted to now send money to the 10% of non-public school attendees. Is your school so well funded that you can afford a 10%+ cut? Here in CA public schools are grossly underfunded (about $2,000/child/year below national average).

    4. Maybe the parents of the children can be held to some standard. Like…stop having kids that you can’t afford , for starters… I’m about sick of hearing all these excuses… I get it, some people can’t help their circumstances.. but all too often , there are kids that come from single parents and have 7 to 10 .. even more, kids!! This is ridiculous!! Accountability goes a long way !

  15. As long as parents are not involved in the importance of the education of their children , no matter what type of schools we have, education will basically keep in the same place.
    Also, education needs to be a place for everyone, not only for the ones that are college directed.
    Is sad to see how many of the young have to spend more time and spend money going for more schooling to learn a trade.
    Our high schools are failing to reach the young people that would love to learn a trade . We still need carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, mechanics, house builders,…etc,etc,etc,
    We need the high schools to have a meaning for ALL of our students. The meaning that when they will graduate they know and will be prepared to do something in life, that they can find a job, or be prepared for college. Not everyone wants to go or can handle college, but I believe, everyone needs to feel that they are an important citizen of the world, because they are able to be part of a working society. ALL jobs are important, we need each other, to function well in this planet, carpenters, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, politicians, teachers……..
    As long as high schools don’t address such a goals, many of our young people will see a place of education not important , a place to play, and waste time.

    Lets have Public High Schools have high expectations from their students, and prepare them for life after high school. But, not to forget , first educate the parents to understand how important is a good education for their children, so to have a prosperous and good life.
    Money invested in Public Education, mainly in high schools, has to be directed to prepare and train ALL students to have a JOB, or go to college after they graduate from high school.

    That is my opinion on education.
    That is

    1. I’m not sure how other schools address this issue, but I teach in a small rural community in Michigan and our students have the choice of a traditional education or a trade education. Please check with your school and see what is available. Around here all students have many options for their education.

  16. In a climate of inflamed racism, sexism, homophobia and attacks on the disabled and immigrants, we need the inclusiveness and diversity of public education more than ever…
    “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
    ~Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

  17. “That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” Noam Chomsky

    1. No Child Left Behind and the corporate take-over of standardized testing (and business of test prep) along with brutal scrutiny of test results resulting in undue blame, workloads, and pressure on teachers expected to be accountable to everyone in challenging and constantly changing environments that undervalue teachers in every way…meanwhile class sizes keep increasing and resources continue to dwindle…so yeah, mission accomplished and people are angry but killing public education should not be inevitable since our state and U.S. constitutions require equal access to education and separation of church and state, and private capital is not required to be democratic but schools are.

  18. De Vos has no teaching experience – bad.
    (Teachers are on the Front Line, and have KNOWLEDGE and PERSPECTIVE)

    BTW I like this idea: Children enter school on their 5th birthday. They stay at/in that
    grade level until they show they have the education to move up. New Zealand does this.
    Therefore many students hang around that level for an extra year. That’s a better idea than
    flunking in fifth grade , for example.

    1. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. Somebody on the “outside” looking in may have a better perspective on things. One thing is for sure: public education is an enormous failure. The US now ranks at the bottom of scholastic achievement in international comparisons. Let’s lay the blame for this at the proper doorstep: public education. It stinks to high heaven. Let’s get the “gubermint” out of business of education our children. The “gubermint” doesn’t do anything well, least of all educate our children.

      1. This reflects ignorance regarding how our public school students stand in relationship to other students in the world. Unlike many countries who score ahead of us on International testing scores, we do not remove students from the testing population; if we did as they do and only test “some of our students” our scores would be among the best in the world. We also educate a diverse population of which a significant percentage come to public education from homes of poverty; assessment scores are most closely related to socio-economics status – unlike socialist countries (much of Europe) there is a significant percentage of US students from poverty who will test poorly. Removing the scores of the poor economically depressed in US from our overall scores would once again place us near the best in the world. Many of the higher scoring countries also invest much greater percentages of their GNP on education. There are certainly things we could and should do to improve our educational system. The most important thing we could do is to make the lives of our children better before they reach school age – especially those who come from communities of poverty. It is simply NOT true that the US stands at the bottom of academic achievement.

        1. Can’t stand it when people who have no idea what they are talking about spew the propaganda that’s been spread with the sole purpose of destroying public education!

      2. Devos is a political appointment and represents the delivery of a political message. She is a religious fundamentalist who wants to mix public funding to support religious teaching and practices. She knows what is best for the kids in the United States based on her Christian values. This is fundamentally not allowed under our First Amendment. Anyone who has invested millions in gay conversion therapy is a person who fails to understand basic human biology and basic human psychology. She thinks she can buy her way to her vision of a perfect world. Bad choice.

  19. “I am using my own money to fund my campaign. I won’t be bought by lobbyists.” Really?
    I’m sorry, I can no longer hear your words because your actions are so loud. Donald J. Trump — 100% bought and paid for!

  20. I totally agree, those that voted for him will be disillusioned in the end. Would that they did not vote him in! Sadly, we (our country) will suffer before he is ousted or resigns. People for him did not know how to verify their source of information about his claims.

    1. So you think that we would have been better off with Hilary, the unconvicted felon??? Trump wasn’t my candidate of choice but there was NO WAY I was going to vote for her. You seem to imply that people who voted for him didn’t “verify their source of information about his claims”. Did you verify your source of information about Obama 8 years ago??? I guarantee if you had, you and your ilk would never have voted for him, much less Hilary.

      1. Beautifully said Priscilla Hammond. People voted for Trump not because he was the perfect candidate. They voted for Trump because they didnt think it is was okay for a president to be the highest in United States history to writie Executive Actions on his own and slamming down people’s throats. That’s not okay in our books. It’s a demacracy for a reason. Hillary was okay with that same as usual approach. We were not. We also are pushing against people who think its perfectly okay to go against elections that didnt elect their candidate. Dont call the electoral votes unfair just when your candidate doesnt win. Um how long have we been electing presidents with the electoral vote? The mob doesnt win for a reason. Stomping your feet like the way most are, is just like being bratty children stomping their feet to get what they want. We know that giving in to a bratty child never ends well. So a large portion of people said NO!! We will not allow the bratty children to stomp their feet to get what they want anymore and/or allow a president to think its just fine that they can write executive orders anytime they want too. Sorry it didnt work out the way you had planned.

    2. They will not blame Trump for any problems that he causes. They are brainwashed by Fox news and other fake news that spin everything in a way to make him and his followers feel like victims. There is no accountability in their world, unless it is to whichever Christian morals they deem relevant to further their agenda. I can’t believe people don’t call them on their true motivations, money and greed. The right elected the poster child for greed and corruption. I watched intelligent teachers in my rural county vote for corruption due to “Christian values…”

      1. Oh yeah Angie Simmons, you are so right. All of the wrongs and corruption in the world is really all caused because of those darn “Christians” and those terrible “Trump” supporters. I mean if only you could wipe them out and/or take away their rights completely. Who do they think they are? They dont deserve those rights. They shouldn’t be allowed to vote, think, make decisions, get jobs, or any other thing. It has to taken away from them. Its because they are just not intellegent and they are just plain corrupt and racist in every way possible. Those people have those darn ridiculous “christian” beliefs and values. Thats stupid! They should just agree with you and what you believe. You know whats best. It would all be so much better without those darn “Christians” and also those idiotic racist “Trump” supporters.
        And dont let me forget to point out that you want to make it very clear to everyone that you are loving of every person of any color, race, or belief. Equality is really important to you. Right? Its also very important to you that anyone should be allowed to freely cross the borders and come to live in the United States and to practice any of their religions and beliefs. Oh sorry, I mean your okay with it, just as long as its not any of those darn corrupt, stupid “christians”. And your okay with the immigrants to vote for a president too. Oh wait, I mean your okay with it, just as long as they vote for the same candidates that you want. And you want it completely known that you intend to fight really hard against any kind of racism and will always push for equality. And You intend to try to defeat anyone who acts racist or tries to destroy equality. But thats except those darn stupid, corrupt “christians” with their stupid, crazy “christian” beliefs and values or those racist, stupid “Trump” supporters. Because you refuse to live in a country that is racist and doesn’t support equality.
        Wow! Thanks so much for sharing that with us Angie Hammond.
        Oh just one thing before I go; please look up the definition of racism, equality and love. I am sure you will NOT see an “exception” in any one of those definitions. Have a great day!

    3. They will not be disillusioned because they will not blame him. He will only get credit for successes due to the spin machine of Fox news. Every teacher I work with that voted for him already thinks he has made great appointments to his cabinet. They all believe the only legitimate news source is fox news, so they will stay stuck in their bubble which will somehow blame Obama. I argue with fellow teachers about the increase in racial tensions thanks to Trump’s dogwhistles and they say it is definitely Obama’s fault. It is strange to see intelligent teachers brainwashed by a news channel. No matter what policy mistakes Obama made it always appears like he cares about people more than capitalism. Trump only cares about himself and money; definitely not education, unless it can turn a profit.

      1. Oh yeah Angie Honeycutt, you are so right. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t see your amazing understanding of the world and your incredible insights. Please feel free to look at the comment I left for Angie Simmons above. Just insert your name in the places where her name is in the comment. Have a great day!

  21. I’m not an educator. I don’t work in any school, public or private. What qualifies me to give my opinion here are two things – I am a product of decent public education (I graduated high school in 1977) and I am the parent of a child who is the product of a poor education (he graduated public high school in 2015, after attending private school from K-8). I was under that disillusion that public school was the lesser choice for my son when it came to giving him a good education, so my husband (who graduated from a public high school in 1960) placed him in an “academic excellence” private school, and basically threw our money out the window for nine years. Yes, this school looked great on paper (art, music, foreign languages, drama as well as all the basic core classes, a variety of sports programs, a library, after-school offerings such as chess club and robotics), but my son took Spanish for five years and barely qualified for Spanish II when he entered public school in 9th grade. This private school told us he most likely had ADHD in 2nd grade, because they did not have a special education department, and ADHD was the only diagnosis they were allowed to keep teaching (read: collecting tuition on). He scored off the charts on CAIS, and other California state tests, qualifying to sit for SATs in 7th and 8th grades through John Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (he actually took them in 8th grade, scoring 1550 without studying – the same score as the average California HS junior), yet he struggled with class work, homework, note-taking – all the skills that make for a good student. His class was a total of 24 students (not his math or English class, his entire yearly grade class – 24 students in 4th grade, 24 students in 5 the grade, etc), and the teachers had an average of 14-16 students per class (English, art, math, Spanish, etc), yet not one of these teachers even recogniz d his needs, let alone sat down with him one-on-one to work with him. Nor did they communicate with us that there were barriers, only the ADHD. When he transferred to public school in 9th grade and I requested a guidance counselor conference two weeks into the school year, the school psychologist joined us, and informed me our son never had ADHD (which would explain no medications ever changing him in any way), but that he was actually high-functioning Asperger’s – this was why he tested off the charts without studying, but couldn’t skip a problem on a timed math quiz if he didn’t know the answer and move onto the next problem. This was why he had such a hard time with homework, with the repetition of studying, why he would stare out the window for hours, why he had no friends, everything the private school couldn’t answer for him or us. Unfortunately, a 9th grade diagnosis was a blessing a little too late in coming – even with a 504, even with ono-on-one help from specialists, even with experts working with his parents so we could better help him, he had lost so much ground he couldn’t catch up. He switched from Spanish to ASL for two years to complete his foreign language requirements, which made a big difference (hand language is a gift, and no note-taking eliminated the brain-to-hand barrier issues). He took drama, which helped with social skills. But he couldn’t quite grasp the art of self-study, even with help, and homework rarely got done – out of sight… He was the first student in his school to achieve 100% on the PSAT, and he scored 2000 out of a possible 2400 on his junior year SAT (points lost on the essay), all without studying. He graduated with a 3.0, good enough to get into college but not good enough for scholarships (Chapman University gave him his only scholarship – $11K/yr X 4 years), but with a $55K yearly tuition, it was out of our budget. He is in his sophomore year at a junior college, in the Honors program (that was based on his HS GPA), loves any and every science class, and Japanese, amazingly, but it’s still a struggle. By contrast – the public schools of my and my husband’s educational years offered pretty much everything his private school offered in the way of electives, and special ed was limited, because it was new, but we were taught how to study, if we had problems, our teachers worked with us, or set us up with tutors, or found other ways to help us. We weren’t taught strictly based on what the state test scores paid the schools, a common “issue” today that pushes parents away from public school. Comparing the two generations, what I ended up concluding about our son’s private school was that our monthly tuition check was more important to the school than what he learned (or in his particular case, didn’t learn). Public school today is no more or less perfect than when I was growing up – teachers care, the administration isn’t paid bonuses based on the number of enrolled students, and larger graduating classes (my class had over 500 students) means a greater amount of diversity amongst students, which automatically opens up different opportunities for learning – everyone comes from a different background, with different customs and beliefs, and learning through the eyes of a varied class benefits everyone. A graduating class of 24 offers virtually no diversity, and apparently doesn’t allow the students any more one-on-one time per class than a larger class does in a public school. In the end, the student is the one that will pay the ultimate cost of his education – having seen education treated as a profit-making machine first-hand, I can tell you it doesn’t work on the small scale of our experience. To put our nation’s public education system in the hands of big business will be detrimental to our children, and to us, because they are our future. If we stop teaching them for the sake of education, and start running our public schools with a for-profit mindset, our children and grandchildren are the ones who will suffer. There is enough of a problem in our educational system already, when students learn more “factual” history outside the classroom because textbooks are censored to make us look better throughout our nation’ history than we really were (just look at “Hamilton, the Musical,” for example, or ask today/students why the Civil War was fought or if Lincoln freed the slaves) – to put someone with Zero educational background (but plenty of business experience) in the most important educational department position makes as much sense as seating someone with zero political experience, zero boundary recognition and zero tact into the Oval Office… oh, never mind – there’s the problem, in a nutshell. Let’s all take a step toward giving our kids (and our nation) an accurate history and political science lesson, shall we? Let’s teach them what the true (and basically only) purpose of the Electoral College is:

    1. Hey, Dumbbell! Your son is a GENIUS. There is NO system of education that can help him, public or private! You’re barking up the wrong tree. Fact is, you don’t really need to educate him. Just turn him loose to follow his own intuitive intellectual instincts. The world will thank you for having provided them with the next Nicola Tesla. Get that kid OUT of any educational institution and home school him, that is if the institutions have not destroyed or bored the hell out of his creative drive. That kid should have been mine. By this time he would have been offered 10 honorary PhD degrees and rejected all of them as beneath him. For lack of a proper philosophy, some people just don’t deserve to have kids. You’re the kind who take a hammer to a 100 gram diamond and pound it to dust.

      1. YOU’RE a dumbell. Are you familiar with Augsperger Syndrome??? Are you familiar with the fact that he would need some form of postsecondary education (college, tech school, etc) to get anywhere? Yes, he’s incredibly smart as you tactlessly pointed out, but he can’t go on to brilliance without college, and you can’t homeschool college! He needs social skills which are learned outside the home, daily living skills, also learned outside the home. He could do online college but he needs social experience!

      2. You blow off an awful lot of steam without much valid information. Public schools must accept every type of child, with any disability, any background, any color, any immigration status, and any behavioral problem. God bless those teachers who accept our students with opened arms. They are rated based on common core, one size fits all tests, that have been determined to be unreasonable and faulty. Yet, they are crucified by our government and ignorant people. Charter schools do not have to service the same children of public schools, nor are they held to any kind of accountability. The purpose of a charter school is to make a profit that is tax free for seven years. If you research Eva Moscowitz and Success Academy, you will be sickened on what an opportunist that women is. The goal is to dismantle public schools by finding ways to fail our teachers, for people like Eva Moscowitz to make a fortune off of our children. God help us.

        1. Please quit saying God help the schools and teachers when God is not even allowed in the schools anymore, nor is prayer or bible. Muslims are allowed to pray to Allah, and the teachers are pushing muslim teachings to ALL of the children. But not God and nobody elses belief about God are being valued. Children are actually punished when they want to praise God or talk about the bible. That is racist my friend. The United States is the most politically correct nation in the world. But God is the only one that is not allowed. That is pathetic and unheard of.

          1. You are sadly misinformed or the school staff you’ve talked to are. God isn’t kicked out of the school. The student still has all of his/her religious rights (Supreme Court). The staff, being government employees, are not allowed to do anything that would imply religious indoctrination. Muslim/Jewish or whatever students have the same religious rights as all students. If religion is taught in the school, it has to be part of a social studies or religious history class where multiple religions are discuss in the context of their culture/ country. Personally, in this day and age, I think it is wise that High School students, about to become adults, have some basic understanding of some of the religions involved in world events.

    2. Lisa Petersen, it’s hard for me to believe what happened with your son in the private school was legal. I can recall private school students coming into the elementary school where I taught from 1998 through 2006, for services the private school could not provide for the student, like occupational therapy for Asperger’s. The public schools in IL are required to meet the needs of all special needs students. Please also look at the possibility of Vision Therapy. He would need to be examined by an Optometrist specially trained in Vision Therapy.

  22. As a former Michigan teacher I can assure you that Ms. DeVos has only one goal in mind for the education system of the country. That goal is to allow charter/private schools to take over the education of your kids, with very little supervision from state level education departments and no set of standards which must be met. This is an appointment which was bought and paid for with DeVos family money and nothing more, as seems to be the reason for many of Mr. Trump’s appointments. If this is “Draining the Swamp” I want a part of the action!

    1. Having spent many years studying education, reading, discussing and researching, I believe I have learned a great deal. You see, I believe that becoming well educated correlates with becoming smarter and more capable.
      I respect teachers and am proud to be one.
      I believe any person serving as Secretary of Education should be well educated and experienced as an educator.
      Shouldn’t this be OBVIOUS????

    2. What so many parents don’t realize is that most private schools don’t fall under the same rules as public schools. I can’t speak for charter schools, as my personal experience only relates to private schools (see my post above? Because private schools receive no state or federal funding, they don’t have to abide by even the minimal rules of the state in which they preside. For example, California private schools don’t have to have special education instructors, because they aren’t required to accept special needs kids, so if your child is enrolled in private school, and it turns out he or she has special needs, that school can basically lie to you as to your child’s true needs, because their priority is keeping your tuition payments, not educating your child. We went through this first-hand, and by the time our son joined the public school population in 9th grade, the damage had been done, the school had profited from our tuition payments and my hours of volunteer time (translate: free labor), and the only one who suffered was our son. We, as first-time parents, weren’t even aware his diagnosis existed (which is no excuse, I know, but you expect your child’s educators to also be his advocates for things you don’t know or recognize) until he entered HS – the public school psychologist picked up on it within the first two weeks. But he should’ve been diagnosed years earlier, when the symptoms first came up, and the school chose to give him a label that they could continue teaching without a special ed dept. If this happens in the public school sector, then we will basically have all the financial benefits to the public schools without any of the responsibility, and those with special needs will not just fall through the cracks, they’ll end up buried in a mass grave of irresponsibility; best case scenario – public schools will take what financial aid previously earmarked for special needs, and put it into sports or arts programs, where scouts can come and recruit students for schools like Julliard, or #1 or 2 football universities, and the schools score a finder’s fee. Worst case scenario, no more special ed money, period, and no more special ed programs in public or private schools, and parents of special needs kids are left to fend for themselves, and their kids are left with zero self-esteem, because the system has just taught them they have no worth. And don’t even get me started on accurate accountability for the basic – reading, math, history, etc, which barely exists now except to ensure that students score high enough for public schools to maintain the meager funds they currently receive. Teachers shouldn’t have to have a wish list at the beginning of the semester that includes paper towels and kleenex. That wish list should be for special projects – a cadaver, instead of pig or cat dissection, or musical instruments that can be rented for a nominal fee by students whose families can’t afford to purchase one, but who obviously have the talent and the passion, so they can pursue their dreams. I know so many teachers who can’t afford to live on what they earn, yet still spend what they can on special items for their classes, so they can inspire their kids to want to learn. That desire to inspire is what makes a great teacher, and the ability to teach is a gift, but if we make public schools no better than for-profit factories, churning out students as fast as possible because we pay by the head, those teachers will quickly lose the passion that took them into the field in the first place. And without the inspiration they bring into the classroom, there will be no learning. The last self-taught president was Lincoln – every president since then has gone the way of the classroom, whether public or private, and he didn’t get where he is today because his teachers didn’t care. If we take the passion out of the classroom, we’re taking it out of our future, and dooming our country to become a nation that can’t meet the needs of it’s citizens, or protect it’s allies, or participate in international groups like NATO or the United Nations, because we will have taught our future leaders that selfishness is the key to success, and that will be to the detriment of us all.

      1. I’m sorry that your son had undiagnosed issues, but to blame the school that you willingly sent him to (and paid tuition to!) for nine years is ridiculous. Please accept the responsibility in that problem as your fault, as a parent. I do not expect the school to make suggestions for the health, are, or well-being of my children. I deeply appreciate the insight of teachers, staff, and nurses, but the responsibility to properly care for and educate MY children lie on MY shoulders.

        1. As a special education teacher, I know that it is very common for private schools to “pull the wool” over the eyes of parents to get them to continue paying tuition. It is reprehensible to blame, rather than try to seek a solution to this problem. And a solution is preventing Betsy DeVos from becoming Secretary of Education.
          She simply does not have the educational background to effectively do the job.

  23. A public servant, as Betsy Devos will be, should serve the public. We should remind her of her responsibilities to public education and not use the position to further her personal agenda.

  24. Too funny. Arne Duncan wasn’t a teacher, and a big advocate of charter schools. But then he was a supported of the least experienced president, too. You libs are such effing hypocrites.

  25. If she is all the things the Edvotes indicates, I’m for her 90%. If one looks at the damage done by our current educational system, she will be welcome relief from the lies presented to our young since the formation of the DOE. America was not meant to be a socialist/communist country. It was meant to be a Republic. So, the demise of agenda 21 would be a great thing.

    1. I am sorry that you do not even know the definitions of socialist or communist, because neither of those apply to the American education system. Any dictionary will be helpful to you in finding out the differences between our system and these other forms of government. There are currently more than 4 different public education choices for parents like you, all free, and all very different. There are educational approaches that you can pick from within those options, and then teacher options within those. I am sorry you have not taken the time to know this. As we tell our students, “read and research or you will always be off the mark.”

    2. You apparently are not an educator, nor from Michigan. The DeVos family would like to see public
      education totally eliminated and taken over by for profit companies. That has been their agenda
      in Michigan. As a public school educator I have seen the destruction their politics and money
      has caused. This is not even a partisan situation -it is a travesty. It is necessary for a Secretary
      of Education to have SOME experience in education, besides having attended school herself!
      I am more qualified than she is, because I’ve been an educator for thirty years -in the trenches
      teaching children!!! This appointment shows how little Donald Trump values improving education
      and keeping it inclusive. A sad day for all of us.

      1. What greater experience could a Secretary of Education have other than having been educated in it herself?

          1. Who cares whether she attended a public school or not? What could that possibly matter? You teachers at the public schools have dropped the ball. Period. You are so busy fulfilling aggendas instead of just teaching. It starts at the top and trickles down to the students. There is no creativeness in schools anymore. Its all conformity to the agendas. Thats how they like it. Nobody goes against the machine. And the kids are suffering greatly. Its a political move that starts early with the kids to vote for a candidate or to conform to certain beliefs when these kids grow up. Its really sick. Something has to be done differently and I’m for whatever it takes to accomplishing that. But I know I am talking to the wrong crowd on this blog. This is a bias forum and nobody is allowed to speak against all of you. You all say your against racism and for equality, but don’t fool yourselves. Your the biggest racists and bullies of them all. You all promote the hate and diversity and you are passing that on to the children. You are just angry because you dont want the private schools breaking your grip on those kids and getting in the way of your agenda. Its sad and pathetic. What a disgusting and shameful forum.

            1. If you think the public school teachers liked the No Child Left Behind or all this testing, testing, and taking the fun out of the schools because we have to meet “Annual Yearly Progress” you are wrong, wrong, wrong. They are highly educated people who have been dictated to since the GW Bush administration’s ideas. The ideas failed in Texas so they decided to try them on a national basis. They failed here to. The last eight years has been trying to dig out. But even with that, the studies of academic gains still shows our Public Schools consistently beat out charter schools and other for-profit schools. Its called PROFIT.

    3. I totally for this woman in the office of education. I speak as an educator in public schools for the past 35 years that all the politically correct agendas ( so very many of them liberal in purpose) have been passed on to students as the “correct” way to think, and it makes me sick.
      Let’s get schools back sop students can start really learning and teachers don’t have to dance around a millions legislations. Our school system needs a shake up and this is a great time since our education systems has fallen so far away from a high standard compared to the rest of the world. TEachers work so very hard under often difficult circumstances, it is time to let them do their job in a way that students will learn and expectations for everyone need to be increased. Students need to be evaluated on their performance, not teachers!!

      1. Yep, 35 years of education puts you back the he 1980’s. You are burnt out. Get out. Do you even know what you are saying? Possibly all of the typos and grammatical errors suggest you don’t. Retire. And I have a feeling you have already. You are bitter. Enjoy that pension we are paying for you. Because you may be the last of the generation that gets to if you have Devos come in.

        1. Are you really going to be nasty about the “pension you are paying her?” Really!? You do realize for public education to work, the……PUBLIC….. has to pay a competitive salary and benefits package to attract high quality teachers, right? Or, maybe you just don’t want to pay teachers who think outside the box and challenge the status quo.

    4. Sadly, you have an incorrect view of the role of the DOE. It is needed to provide guidelines so that children who live in states too stingy to adequately fund their schools also have an opportunity for a good education. Standards for people to follow are present in many facets of our lives and without them, the common good is ignored and self-serving attitudes are promoted. After working in public education as a teacher, counselor and school psychologist for 30+ years, I believe the majority of our schools are providing our students with a good education. My family is composed of people with master and doctorate degrees–all successful and all well educated in Missouri public schools and universities. I am proud to be “liberal” in that most of us are concerned citizens who are open minded, care about the good of all, and believe that decisions should benefit the majority of the population, not just the pocketbooks and religious affiliations of a few. Also–if you support someone like Betsy DeVos, you obviously do not respect experience and training enough. Why not just go to your general practitioner for heart surgery?

      1. Sadly, you have an incorrect view of the United States Constitution. It exists to outline the few vital responsibilities of our federal government to our citizens, then leaves the rest of the issues up to each state’s discretion. I have a lowly B.S., and I learned that in high school.

      2. Well put, I was a high school graduate of a Catholic high school, going to a community college after that and had to work harder, because of the lacking in my educational experience. I completed college and really never stopped going to classes. I want public schools to continue to be the cornerstone of our democracy and DeVos will not make that happen.

    5. AHP1081 – A pure republic would not work in today’s world unless you want an even bigger gap between rich and poor than we have now. The goverment’s job is to provide safety nets for people who are getting the short shrift living in a capitalist society. That’s why we have social security, affordable healthcare, unemployment comp, and yes, public education. You right-wingers seem hell-bent on doing away with all this just to have your 18th century version of a “republic.” For the life of me I can’t understand why any poor person votes republican.

      1. A pure republic would work if it was pure. However,the system we have today is a democracy. There is difference and we are dealing with the ramifications of a democracy…..

      2. Yet, the fact remains that many children in the USA are NOT realizing the high quality educational outcomes we would like them to be able to demonstrate. According to several research articles I have read, our educational system ranks somewhere between 15th and 18th when compared with those of other countries. Undoubtedly, there are multiple variables that account for this.

        My adult children received excellent public school system educations. In addition to having the innate abilities to be successful with self discipline and motivation, they began to understand early in life that education would be the route to opening the door to almost any path they might eventually elect to walk in life. They also understood that making school a priority was their “job” and that mom and dad would stand ready to help them problem solve if / when they encountered difficulties. Back in those days, schools reflected neighborhood populations and values. More affluent area schools consistently produced successful students. That began to change when the federal government began mandating integration and bussing, starting at the grade school level. Eventually, many families either moved away from our community or they transferred from public education to parochial school options.

        There’s an old saying…before we start to work on solving a problem we must make an effort to accurately identify THE problem. With some notable exceptions, the child who arrives at the kindergarten door having had the benefits of a stable, most likely two parent home where he / she was provided with a variety of learning opportunities and consistent parental interest and encouragement will have a HUGE advantage over those who have not come from such an environment. Yet teachers are expected to somehow distribute their time and effort to meet the learning needs of students who may vary widely in their readiness. Even with the assistance of classroom aides…that’s a very tall order.

        Sorry…didn’t mean to write such a long response, so I return to my main point. Perhaps our education system would produce better outcomes…perhaps every student would be best served, by paying more attention to the “readiness to learn” of each. I realize there are downsides to categorizing children in this way. Still, seems what we have been doing really isn’t working out so well. Ideally, a teacher whose time and efforts are not fragmented would be able to teach more effectively. When children participate in a classroom setting with others who are in a similar state of readiness to learn, perhaps they will all progress and be able to feel successful and confident in their abilities as they move along on an individualized path.
        The “playing field” is not level for small children when they enter the school doors for the first time. Perhaps there are better ways of acknowledging and addressing this essential fact.

        1. While this is true, it does not touch the core issue–the concentrated goal by the Koch Brothers and the corporate world to starve public education in order to PRIVATIZE education. Education corporations want the tax dollars that goes to public education to go into private pockets. Just like privatizing prisons has created hell holes and the greatest prison population in history, privatizing education will insure segregation of rich and poor even further. It is deliberate. And those that promote privatization keep getting voted into office by the very people who are getting screwed.

      3. The United States government is terrible at re-distributing wealth and over all managing ( I use that term loosly) our tax dollars. The beaucrats and lobbyists sadly rule this nation. Smaller government , social freedom and fiscal responsibility are key to keep us strong.

        1. Ricky, I think I agree with you. To be clear, the government has no business redistributing wealth. One must legally earn what wealth he or she is to accumulate. Unlike the Clintons, they accumulated hundreds of millions and seem to not want to distribute their small fortune to anyone else? What’s up with that?

    6. Students do quite well in public schools if they listen in class rather than goofing off, if they do their homework including major assignments, and they study/prepare for quizzes and test. Let’s stop this social/communist country nonsense.

      1. There seems always to be a cry for more money and so forth. Instead, how about 2 parent families, parents who are involved and concerned and not drug users. How about parents make sure kids show up to school, on time, every day? How about parents who participate in the political and economic system and stop taking money for not working? How about tests that actually measure kids’ knowledge and ability? How about we stop treating kids like social experiments and hold them accountable for their actions? If public school work so well, why are there so many illiterate college students? why are there 8 million student loans in default?

        1. I agree with you mostly. I agree that the breakdown of the importance of family and adult responsibility has lead to all kinds of social problems and these problems definitely affect students negatively. But, I don’t think that it’s just one of any of these scenarios. To say that a kid must be from a two parent home to be successful or that kids living at the poverty level can’t be successful is wrong. I know plenty of people who have beaten the odds. It really boils down to parents and conmunities taking an active and interested role in education. No amount of regulations, oversight, or money is going to do that.

        2. Why do other wealthy nations, like most European nations, pay for college educations or skills training for their students after high school? Yes, it is free for them…just like their healthcare. Is it because they value a healthy and educated workforce beyond high school? Many colleges are charging almost $50,000/year…and $25,000 for in-state tuition. So, they are coming out with loans about the amount that I paid for my first condo in Massachusetts. That is just crazy! However, I do agree with you that having involved and active parents do make a vital difference in the education of children.
          Parents are their child’s first teachers and most brain development occurs the first three years of life based on research. However, many suggest that the number one indicator of a child’s success is based on the mother’s education. That can often be hard when many parents are working two jobs just to pay the mortgage and expenses and the financial impact divorce can have on all involved.

          If you compare the state of Massachusetts to other nations, we are right up there with those high scoring countries. I also agree with you that we not only test our children too much, but we spend millions on those tests that could actually be used to hire full-time reading specialists in each building, provide actual current and relevant curriculums, and engage our students in a comprehensive arts program. Children that have a sense of belonging, purpose, and feel welcome attend school.

          But, we must start to have an honest conversation about those international test scores! Do other countries have the children living in the slums of India or China taking those tests? Are the special needs students in other countries taking the tests? Since, some countries charge for children to attend school; are those children living in poverty being tested or evening attending school? Conversations are always best when we listen to all opinions and reflect upon what we can do better for our children.

    7. Socialism and communism (and capitalism) are economic systems, while a republic is a form of government. Many countries that use socialist policies are also republics/democracies, including several in northern Europe (which happen to have much better educational systems then our own, by the way).

      1. And less individual wealth, with plenty of taxes and the need for the United States to provide their defense via NATO. Europe is not a good example of how democratic Republics ought to work.

    8. So you are all for tax dollars going into the pockets of those who are making a profit and not toward programs for the kids and those who are teaching them every day? Just cut all the oversight on the public schools if that is what you want, but my guess is you would not like that. It is okay for the charter schools, though. Clearly, there are other motives behind the truckloads of cash that have been thrown at the destruction of public schools.

      1. I am for less waste of tax money. There is plenty. How about $75 K for some Brits to come here to learn how to organize volunteers?

  26. I agree. She has no experience with public education. She does not appear to be a child advocate. I do not think this is the correct position for her. She has no experience and reminds me of Kathy Black being Chancellor of NYC. Ms Black resigned after only a short time in the position.

    1. toby Marxuach-Gusciora

      Your opinion requires a response. It’s a good thing you have not been asked to conduct a job interview of her. It’s sad that trump didn’t contact you for permission to appoint her, but that’s the breaks. I will conclude that some card carrying Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Communist, they all mean the same thing, would be more to your liking. You didn’t ask but, I would prefer someone who understands that socialism has never worked and will not work here either. Maybe someone who knows American History and likes the American concept of free enterprise. Maybe someone who understands that America did not achieve world power by yielding to the march of the socialist or communist agenda. When it comes to personal freedom, this one size fits all mentality is a losing proposition.

      1. Socialism works in your life & mine on a daily basis. If you are unaware of the programs from which we benefit, maybe do a little research.

      2. As a middle school student, I am so disappointed, AHP1081. Although I am only a 13-year-old student, I believe that appointing a person who is not an educator devalues my education. Appointing a highly-rated chef to the top medical position of Surgeon General would make just as much sense! Several of your responses ooze elitism, racism, and other biases.

  27. Hopefully, the federal government will get its nose out of education. That is the best possible outcome. Education is a local (state/community) issue. Except bleeding heart liberals want to use every one else’s tax money to fund other people’s kids education.

    1. While I have no children of my own, I happily pay for other people’s kids’ education because I know the benefits I receive from the children being raised to think critically and analytically. I understand the importance of other people’s kids’ opportunity to contribute to rich society because they are educated. I follow the Christian principles of sharing my resources, fighting poverty (the most written about part of the Bible), caring for the needs of all children. An earlier contributor would have called that being a “card carrying Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Communist.” Since each of those four terms means something different, the combined use of them might be a contradiction. Thankfully, caring people shared their tax dollars for my education. So I have a personal responsibility to pay that benefit forward so the next generation may also get a good education.

    2. The DeVos plan is to give taxpayer money out in the form of vouchers. Her existing plan in Detroit redirected taxpayer dollars to private, Charter Schools. Both of Betsey’s scams are using “every one else’s tax money to fund other people’s kids education.” The big difference: her scheme allows shareholders and company executives to skim off the top. Whatever is left goes to educating children. The only schooling choice available in your plan is home schooling. Without pooling money from many people, science labs, trained educators and many other opportunities do not exist.

    3. Let’s bring back state segregation in schools. I think that would be good for local schools, don’t you Bob???

      1. Never said we should have segregation, where did I say that ? Can you read? I said stop forced integration. Two different things.

  28. Betsy Du Vos said that Arizona was a state we all should emulate.

    I know someone who used to teach in Arizona. Some teachers there need food banks and government programs to survive. Turnover is high. Academic achievement is low.

    Yes, there are a lot of charter schools, but many of them are jokes. Salaries in many of them are even lower than in the public schools and turnover is even higher. At risk students who need individual attention are set in front of a computer with minimal support in many charter schools in Arizona

    Is this what she wants for the nation? That’s what Betsy DuVos will advocate.

    1. Maybe charter schools are a joke to some, but the lack of results attained by government schools is a crime. When unions come to power, productivity suffers. Hence, government schools are failures at their onset.

      1. Really? Obviously you know nothing about what a teacher’s union does or has done to make schools a better place for children. Maybe you should sign up to be a substitute teacher in a public school. Go on, see what it is really like to be a teacher nowadays. You obviously do not appreciate what teachers have to put up with in the classroom and how little they are appreciated. You have no idea of the cuts schools have taken to their funding over the years and how much more a classroom teacher has to do or pay for because of these cuts. Teachers do not make 6 digits like government bureaucrats do who have no experience in a classroom and make all the decisions about them based on self-centered egos.

      2. C’mon, man. While Federal law has some impact, and state law a bit more in most cases, it’s local law (school board, principal, teacher, and *parent*) that has the greatest effect. I don’t know what you mean by “lack of results,” but in the case of literacy, most problems stem from the home environment, and I don’t know how paying teachers less is going to solve that.

        1. I would agree that in many issues local control prevails however, as an example: In Massachusetts, 10-12 years ago the public voted to stop teaching non English speakers in public schools. The context was learn English, then go to a public school and do not expect the school to slow down or provide you (a non English speaker) special teachers etc to allow you to catch up. So, the state got rid of the extra teachers, a good thing to save money. But then, some federal rule said if you do that, then teachers have to pick up the slack and now every (most anyway) teachers have to learn how to teach non English speakers. 40 hours of class time for teachers outside their subject area. So that is a cost and a loss to the mainstream English speakers. Federal interference with local affairs. Waste of money and adding to mediocre results.

      3. You may want to read the actual data on all the problems and weaknesses of charter schools. They are not achieving as well as you might believe. They are draining the funds from our regular schools, and as this money is bled from budgets, children who are at risk often have no advocates when their schools are closed. Unionized school districts are serving children better and are advocates for children. The myth of the bad teachers being protected by unions is utter nonsense. I have been a union representative and, if the administrators would only follow the contracts, they could readily eliminate bad teachers. Management has the right to hire and fire. Please read Diane Ravitch’s book about the education system. She was a proponent of the things you advocate, and she has decided the problems in the schools are not what you say they are. All this testing and bureaucratic minutiae works counter to educating children.

      4. Could you site your source for all your wisdom, what schools have you been a teacher in and how many years have you taught.

      5. Education unions are a conundrum. Their creation was based on the very ideas that are still driving all the commotion. Teachers ‘need’ tenure because administrators, many incompetent, as well as school committees, would decide that a long term teacher makes too much money so out they go. Then you get a new teacher, no experience, but paid meagerly. So then the complaint is teachers are not good, so you get a union to protect both teachers’ jobs and quality of teaching. Then unions get too much say…. and it never ends. There is not an easy answer, but charters are addressing the union interference part of the process of learning. What needs to happen is worker associations need to embrace change, stop relying on unions to protect everything they do and become part of the solution, not more of the problem. In the meanwhile, more and more ‘traditional’ public education institutional practices will fade away, with the pace quickening. Education structure that has existed for decades is on the way out.

        1. Bob, you bring up some excellent points. I am a great believer in teachers’ unions because without them our pay and working conditions would be abysmal. Arizona is a right to work state and the legislature has chosen to fund their schools at a very low level. Widespread unionization puts pressure on states to treat teachers better.

          Tsuggest–they find something else to do. That’s a loss to the education profession. As I said in my original post, one very capable person I knew who was teaching in Arizona moved to California to teach. That’s a loss to Arizona schools.

          There are some excellent charter schools. Some charter school operators use the freedom they have responsibly while others do not. Most charter schools I am aware of are either really really good o really really bad. How do we get the best out of charter schools?

          Tenure does not provide lifetime guarantees for poor performers. In recent years procedures have been adopted to deal with low performing teachers.

          My original post on this thread was about Betsy De Vos looking to emulate Arizona schools. In his defense of Arizona schools AZ cowboy said that Arizona has average academic achievement. Why would she want to emulate average? Maybe it’s because many of the states with higher academic achievement have unions and tenure.

          When all is said and done the vast majority of students will be educated in public schools for the foreseeable future. We need to support them.

    2. And yet, one of the BEST high schools in the entire country is in Arizona – the BASIS high school (and it’s offspring). And it’s a CHARTER SCHOOL. You claim teachers need food banks. Name one. Who? I’ve been in the system for 32 years and I know of no teacher so poorly paid that they have to resort to government handouts. Academic achievement is actually middle of the road. Given the relatively low amount Arizona spends on education we get a lot of bang for the buck. Are there lousy schools? You bet. And there are crappy schools everywhere – even in states that spend far more than Arizona. Just ask citizens of Detroit.

      1. You said to name one and I will. I’m not going to give a name, but I will tell the circumstance.

        This was a middle aged teacher with about 12 years of experience who taught in a rural district and made less than $45,000 a year in base salary. He made a little more tutoring.. His wife was a stay at home mom and they had four children. They couldn’t make ends meet on his salary.

        Maybe things are better in some districts, but the districts that I am aware of are very low in pay. A very good teacher I know in the Gilbert District moved to California for a better job.

        Betsy Du Vos does not appear to want to improve public schools which is where the vast majority of students are educated and will be in the foreseeable future.

        1. I am not familiar with all states, but my experience is that teacher ‘base pay’ is nothing to get really excited about, but….. and don’t start: teachers have to be at work 10 months a year. (by the way, most professional careers require continuing education so that slant is not valid to say teachers work 12 months, 2 without pay) Again,, I am not sure about other states but in the Northeast, educator retirement is a pretty lucrative deal Work 30 years to your late 50’s and collect 80% pay? Not a bad deal. Beyond ‘base’ pay, there are all sorts of ways to increase pay: additional degrees, more credits, extra activities. Some areas have poorly paid teachers, but those who accept entry into the profession, knowing the pay, have no reason to complain. If you don’t know the compensation structure and if it does not work for you, do something else. It is illogical to take a job, with generally a well defined pay structure then complain about the compensation.

          1. Every state is different where pensions are concerned. I am a teacher in Maryland. My pension will be less than 50% of my pay and I have paid into that pension during my career.

            1. You need a better state teacher organization, They will give more money to the state reps who can pad their coffers with your money but get you a better retirement deal. To be clear, in Massachusetts, teacher pensions are not tied to Soc Sec and in fact cause soc sec benefits to be reduced if you are entitled.

        2. My husband and I lived on 25,00 thousand with 5 kids and did ok….Now we are living on about 20,000 thousand with 2 kids still at home and our bills get paid and our needs are met…So cry me a river…..
          Public school is a joke.. All it is is a bastion for liberal theory , communist and socialistic theory and it is producing snowflakes who need “safe spaces..And have cry in’s and have blankets and hot chocolate handed out to them…And if you asked them some basic scholastic questions, they cant even answer….and also abandoning cherished values out country had for centuries….I should know with having 5 kids in public school and I see the consequences…

      2. I have been an educator in Arizona for over 20 years with one of the lowest salaries in the nation. Many educators have as manydefeeea as Doctors and yet have been sitting at the same annual salary of close to 40,000 for over 10 years, and teachers with fewer years make even less. The majority of teachers in Arizona have a second job to support their families in such an inadequate salary .
        Please don’t be fooled by a couple of performing schools, teachers work extremely hard in all schools with no support monetarily from the state.

          1. Because they can come to Indiana gun shows and buy guns by the bagful. Tired of obtuse responses like yours. Dig a little deeper, then you can opine.

    3. Arizona? That’s hilarious. By the time Arizona finally came up with a certificate, I had decided no-way. I would have taken a $15000 paycut, had no healthcare except for myself. The schools were so understaffed and undersupplied that a friend of mine who had a principal’s certificate in another state, and was volunteering, left in 3 months. When I left the state had just passed a regulation allowing High School graduates to substitute teach at all levels.

  29. Why would someone with NO qualifications be selected? If Trump intended to clean “the swamps” by ridding politicians from favored positions, it seems he just threw in an alligator. I have NO RESPECT for this poor choice. Public education and our children will suffer. I am an educator of 40+ years and I simply cannot comprehend the thinking behind this appointment….except POLITICAL and her WEA;TH.

    1. Wanda Polland

      Based on the Agenda 21 or Common Core teachings, I would conclude, by the comments of many on this site, that anyone who opposes the Communist agenda provided by the two organizations is unqualified. I don’t know if Du Vos is pro or con concerning socialism/communism but if she is against the current agenda offered by DOE, I support her.

      1. What Communist agenda? If you mean the long-standing concept that public education is the great equalizer in this society, then I am for it. But calling people and their ideas is an attack straight out of the witch hunts of the 1950’s House Unamerican Activities Committee.

      2. AHP1081
        So as long as DuVos (who is not an educator) is against the current U.S education agenda to educate U.S. students as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, you’re for her? Wow! Clearly, you have no children!!

  30. Someone who has never been an educator and does not support public education and civil rights should not hold the highest educational office in our democratic government. We live in a democracy and our leaders should reflect this, not work to abolish the bedrock of our diverse and open society. Special interest lobbyists do not belong in the cabinet.

    1. Rebecca Small

      I GET SO TIRED OF PEOPLE CALLING AMERICA A DEMOCRACY. You need to find a document titled the CONSTITUTION of THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA. To help you out; it can be found on a goggle search. Once you pull that document to the screen of your computer, page through it and you should notice that it is sectioned, first by the Preamble which is a statement of why the following Constitution was written. Then if you thumb through it you should note in, bold print, sections titled Articles and the last part, also in bold print, sections titled Amendments. Now go to Article IV Section 4 and read that section. Caution; it is not Amendment IV we are dealing with, it is Article IV Section 4. Did you note the content of very first sentence in section 4? If you did, I will rest my case. If you didn’t, seek some help from a more qualified person.
      I sure hope you are not one of the socialized teachers our children have to deal with!

      You have a nice day Ms. Small

      1. The guarantee of republican government was designed to provide a national remedy for domestic insurrection threatening the state governments and to prevent the rise of a monarchy, about which there was some talk at the time.James Madison, the author of many of the essays included in The Federalist Papers (1787–88), put forward a sophisticated concept of republican government. He explained in Number 10 that a republic must be contrasted with a democracy. In the eighteenth century the term “democracy” meant what is now called a pure or direct democracy, wherein legislation is made by a primary assembly of citizens, as existed in several rural Swiss cantons and in New England towns. In a pure democracy, Madison argued, there is no check on the majority to protect the weaker party or individuals and therefore such democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention,” where rights of personal security and property are always in jeopardy.
        By a republic, Madison meant a system in which representatives are chosen by the citizens to exercise the powers of government. In Number 39 of The Federalist Papers, he returned to this theme, saying that a republic “is a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.” Generally, such leaders as Madison and John Adams believed that republicanism rests on the foundation of a balanced constitution, involving a Separation of Powers and checks and balances. That’s republicanism.

        Our government should work for the people. Not just a few billionaires who have baseless, unfounded ideas about how education should work. People like DeVos come from an entitled place inwhich their wealth makes them right. Trump’s choice for Ed Sec will foist the agenda of dismantling public education on all of our states. How Republican is that? Before becoming a teacher I worked for many years as a high tech executive and I know many people who believe exactly as DeVos does about charter schools and school vouchers. Most of these people come from elite, entitled families and never set foot in a public school. They have no understanding or appreciation for the challenges faced by parents, students and educators. Vouchers will only create segregation. Charter schools (many of whom treat their teachers as low wage, easily replaceable widgets such as Aspire Public School’s “burn and churn strategy” ) have repeatedly shown that they are not adequately preparing students for college (see Kipp’s college completion rate) and are depleting school districts of resources and lining the pockets of management and investors. Just look at what DeVos et al have done to education in Michigan. It is not a good thing for that state and its going to be a terrible thing for our country. This is not to say that public education is perfect. Far from it. But placing the future of education in the hands of uninformed, arrogant billionaires is a bad idea for the future of our country.

      2. This article from The Washington Post explains it better!

        I often hear people argue that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” — we are that. A common definition of “democracy” is, “Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives” — we are that, too.

        The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote. Some lawmaking is done this way, on the state and local levels, but it’s only a tiny fraction of all lawmaking. But we are a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy.

        And indeed the American form of government has been called a “democracy” by leading American statesmen and legal commentators from the Framing on. It’s true that some Framing-era commentators made arguments that distinguished “democracy” and “republic”; see, for instance, The Federalist (No. 10), though even that first draws the distinction between “pure democracy” and a “republic,” only later just saying “democracy.” But even in that era, “representative democracy” was understood as a form of democracy, alongside “pure democracy”: John Adams used the term “representative democracy” in 1794; so did Noah Webster in 1785; so did St. George Tucker in his 1803 edition of Blackstone; so did Thomas Jefferson in 1815. Tucker’s Blackstone likewise uses “democracy” to describe a representative democracy, even when the qualifier “representative” is omitted.

        Likewise, James Wilson, one of the main drafters of the Constitution and one of the first Supreme Court Justices, defended the Constitution in 1787 by speaking of the three forms of government being the “monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical,” and said that in a democracy the sovereign power is “inherent in the people, and is either exercised by themselves or by their representatives.” And Chief Justice John Marshall — who helped lead the fight in the 1788 Virginia Convention for ratifying the U.S. Constitution — likewise defended the Constitution in that convention by describing it as implementing “democracy” (as opposed to “despotism”), and without the need to even add the qualifier “representative.”

        To be sure, in addition to being a representative democracy, the United States is also a constitutional democracy, in which courts restrain in some measure the democratic will. And the United States is therefore also a constitutional republic. Indeed, the United States might be labeled a constitutional federal representative democracy. But where one word is used, with all the oversimplification that this necessary entails, “democracy” and “republic” both work. Indeed, since direct democracy — again, a government in which all or most laws are made by direct popular vote — would be impractical given the number and complexity of laws that pretty much any state or national government is expected to enact, it’s unsurprising that the qualifier “representative” would often be omitted. Practically speaking, representative democracy is the only democracy that’s around at any state or national level.

        1. Rebecca Small

          My determination (aggression) is in response to the intentional or uneducated misdirection of what America truly is. Article IV provides that America is a Republic and that means a Representative form of government. The federal government is not a democracy. Even most States are Representative government. If you get down to it popular vote decides virtually nothing in America and that’s the way it should be. The Senators are elected by popular vote in the States and that’s about it. The President is elected by Electoral College Delegates Not the popular vote. The House members are elected by districts in each State. So, the idea that America is nothing more than a Democracy is insulting and demeaning to America and our Constitution. We are not Mexico. However, I will concede that our Congress in Washington D.C. is a modified Democracy because the majority does rule BUT not a simple majority in many cases.

          You have a nice day Ms. Small

          1. Wow, you’re still not hearing my point (and didn’t bother to read the relevant article I posted) which is not that the U.S. is a direct democracy, but a representative democracy (or democratic republic) where our representatives are supposed to reflect our views and the Constitution which by the way includes the 14th amendment which guarantees equality for all and the 1st amendment which separates church and state, so how can Trump appoint someone who plans to make schools less equal (parents can choose schools through vouchers but private schools are free to reject students creating inequality) and give public funding through vouchers to Christian-based schools? The U.S. Constition doesn’t guarantee education for all (but should) so the states do and the 14th amendment requires that if education is provided it should be given to all EQUALLY. That’s my point and it was central to the Constition you’re fond of referring to, so why not read beyond the use of one word (used once) in this document, Republican, and think about its pervasive theme…that we are all equal under our country’s law and to “support our general welfare” we need quality public education for everyone, not privately controlled schools for some (with curricula that includes religious and possibly conservative teachings) who can afford it and are considered the chosen ones. I’m sorry to rant and not even sure this makes sense, but we seem to be setting each other off which I don’t want. So if you need me to say it (if you’ve read this far), fine I will…this country is a republic (but also a representative democracy). Can we get back to discussing the Department of Education (which was created to provide equal access of quality education).

          2. I tried to respond earlier but my comments were moderated and apparently taken off by this site. Not sure now it’s worth trying to say more…we live in a representative democracy, or democratic republic and our representatives work for us…vouchers work for private schools who collect tax payer money but they don’t work for students they get to turn away through discrimination and they don’t work for parents who seek diverse and unbiased curricula and teachers. I may add more if they let this through.

      3. I happen to keep my copy of the Constitution nearby and I was able to reread Amendment IV, Section 4. This is not reference to the Republican Party, but rather a description of the type of government. The Glossary includes two definitions–democracy-the governmental philosophy in which the people ideally have a high degree over political leaders and–republic-the type of government in which voters elect representatives to make the laws for the country. Now the third term, which I believe you may have meant when you used the term “socialized” is socialism–a type of government that believes its major role should be on the concentration of national planning and public ownership of business. The U.S. has a combined governance, making use of all three terms in the implementation of our current system. My source for this information is the U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It, Eighth Edition. Copyright 2015. These editions are distributed to schools on our annual Constitution Day.

      4. Should the USA return to the era of:
        Land owning white males are the only people allowed to vote?
        Each Black person counts as 3/4 of a person?
        Slavery was acceptable?
        You, Ms. Small, would not be allowed to vote. Is that acceptable to you?

    1. Have you looked at his cabinet? All people who gave big money to his campaign. He has no care for the average person. Never has never will. Don’t you wish you could change your mind now?

      1. As I understand it, Common Core standards were developed by a consortium of STATES and adopted by STATES on a state-by-state decision. So if you want to “repeal Common Core” it would seem to be your state policy makers to talk to, not Trump or the US government.

      2. Where have you taught? At my school, 2+2 ALWAYS equals 4, but there are lots of ways to figure that out. Students are taught a variety of strategies, then they use what works best for them. There are a lot of misunderstandings about Common Core math, mostly from parents who weren’t in the classroom to see the instruction.

        1. In Massachusetts Common Core standards would cause the standards for math to be lowered. Sounds like a good investment.

    2. Tina
      Since your post was addressed to President Trump, I apologize for butting in. However, I really hate to be the one to tell you that it is extremely unlikely that Trump will read your post.

  31. Would Trump let someone run his business who had no education or experience in it? I think not, so why is he doing that to education. Common sense is dead.

    1. Trump only is concerned with himself and how much more money he make for himself. He has already made deals with leaders of three countries, for businesses that benefit his Trump Empire,( which I’m not sure) is a conflict of interest as the President of the United States? I can’t understand how anyone could have voted for him, as time goes by we all will see the error of all the people who voted for him, and they be wondering why they couldn’t see the truth.

      1. Johnny Perna

        Of course hillary is a much better choice because she already has her corrupt Clinton Foundation and her “pay to play” scheme is in full operation. Lets see—– 900,000.00 dollars for a 1 hour speech then she supports the agenda of the country which gave it to her. And let’s just forget Ambassador Stevens and the four soldiers who died trying to protect him while she invested in a gun running scheme in Benghazi. Yes, in your mind she might be better than Trump, that is provided you support a murderer whose corruption puts trump to shame and lets not forget the body count associated with her and her husband.

        1. What is your source of this information, AHP1081? Please check your facts against reputable fact-checking sites– (funded by the Annenberg Foundation who were staunch Republicans). Politifact, or SNOPES.

        1. I recall a 2012 bumper sticker that read: Last time you voted to prove you weren’t a racist, this time vote to prove you are not stupid, Didn’t happen in 2012 but seems that intelligence won out this past election. Many of those who said they would vote just because Hillary was a woman turned around once her true character was revealed. Trump is not a perfect choice but he is the upsetting force needed to shake and rattle the establishment from its state of corruption and complacency.

          1. Bob – Intelligence didn’t win out. This election was a protest vote against globalization and shrinking blue collar jobs. Trump paid a bit more attention to those concerns and Hillary didn’t. If a hamster could talk and had campaigned for the working man, it would have beaten Trump. Don’t flatter yourself too much.

            1. I do not need to flatter myself, you do it. You just agreed that intelligence won out. People are intelligent and recognized Hillary would not get it done, so they voted for Trump. I am fearful that you have been indoctrinated by socialists thoughts that people are dumb and must be lead by the government, forgetting they are the government. Hamsters are not eligible for election, unless they are 35 years old: I don’t think they live that long.

              And a talking hamster would have a hell of a lot more influence than any president.

          2. Bob – No intelligent person would think Trump is anything but a dumpster fire. Even people who I know voted for Trump don’t like him. This was an election where worry over lost jobs and economic issues outweighed decency, decorum, inclusion, empathy, and the attention to facts. Intelligence didn’t win out, frustration won out.

            1. I actually agree with you. Trump has already improved the job situation and is working on the rest of it.
              Like him or not you have to give him credit for winning an election without any political experience.
              I also agree that Hillary was the worst candidate the left could have run against Trump. I believe that Bernie could have done much better if Hillary and the gang had not stolen his chance.

    2. Trump is appointing people who will accomplish what he wants to get done. My understanding is that he wants to improve education. It is amazing that his every move is rejected. Why don’t we sit back and see what happens?

      Anybody read the violent, crass, politically incorrect comments made by the man who will become the SecDef? Another person, perfect for the job to undo all the waste and destruction wrought by Obama and company over the past 8 years.

      1. Why don’t we just sit back and see what happens? What I’ve seen and heard at every turn is already so beyond the pale that it’s irrevocable. Trump has squandered more chances than most of us will ever have.

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