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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Department of Education  |  Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:18 pm
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Today Betsy Devos was confirmed as Secretary of Education. Never before has such an unqualified person been confirmed for this position. Her appointment by Trump is in direct conflict with his desire to "bring together the best and most qualified people." She has absolutely not qualifications for this position, seemingly she bought this position by donating to his campaign and to Republican Super PACs.

Quote:
Betsy DeVos has personally donated 115,000 USD to the current crop of Republican senators since 1980. Those lawmakers received more than 950,000 USD from the full DeVos family over the same period. The family has further donated 8.3 million USD to Republican Party super PACs in the past two election cycles.

And those numbers only scratch the surface.

During her confirmation hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked DeVos whether it is true that her family had donated $200 million to support the Republican Party going back over the years.

“That’s possible,” she answered.


In addition to this being pay to play corruption at its finest, she also believes that teachers are overpaid and supports creationism through her opinions about private and charter schools. She is a major threat to the education of present children and potentially children for years to come. Although she is potentially less of threat than Jerry Falwell Jr leading an education task force. Falwell is an outspoken creationist. Ugh. This is the result of the anti-science movement that has been happening for the last two decades.

Am I being too doom and gloom? Or is this a justified concern about our education system in the US?

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Last edited by iNow on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Replaced $ with USD due to unresolved latex error


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:28 pm
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AGAINST: 46 Democrats; 2 Republicans; 2 Independents
FOR: 50 Replubicans
TIE BREAKER: Republican Vice President Pence (FOR)

On a brighter note, stupid people everywhere are suddenly recognizing they can be extremely powerful and get elected to massively important offices.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:14 am
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iNow wrote:
AGAINST: 46 Democrats; 2 Republicans; 2 Independents
FOR: 50 Replubicans
TIE BREAKER: Republican Vice President Pence (FOR)

On a brighter note, stupid people everywhere are suddenly recognizing they can be extremely powerful and get elected to massively important offices.

If only one of those 50 Republicans that voted FOR had a spine and voted against her. Although I wonder if she had been rejected who would have been the next selection?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:02 am
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Confirmation that Rs choose party over country

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:08 am
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Huh?

AGAINST:
2 of 52 Republicans
46 of 46 Democrats

Which party is in lock-step?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:41 am
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In lock step, with agreement from others from other parties because they supported the correct stance of blocking a uniquely unqualified person from controlling and drastically diminishing the education of some 74 million of our kids.

Perhaps in my disgust and worry over my children's future I chose my words poorly. Thanks for the correction.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:01 am
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so what's the chance that there's going to be a DofE after 2018 ?

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:05 am

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It's not just the US, here in the UK we have an annoying habit of putting incompetent buffoons in charge of our education system too... Here most teachers (at least I and the ones I've worked with) ignore them (as much as we can, we still have to jump through some of the hoops).

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:52 pm
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marnixR wrote:
so what's the chance that there's going to be a DofE after 2018 ?

Much like her confirmation vote, I'd say it's 50/50, and if that vote also goes to our Vice President to break a tie, I'm confident that he'll once again fall to the wrong side of history. He believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old, that Noah's flood really happened, that evolution is a fairy tale, and much the same with climate change and a woman's right to .... well... have equal rights.

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pineapples
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:27 pm
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I’ve deep concerns about Trump (and Bannon) but I’ve not had time to worry about the others in his crew yet. I’d never heard of DeVos until I saw Kate McKinnon portray her on SNL, which by the way was a funny sketch with Sean Spicer.

So what’s the worst case scenario for the US Education system under DeVos? Is there now a threat that creationism will become part of the science curriculum? Can and would she do that?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:46 pm
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Many schools badly lack funding. Old/outdated books. No supplies. Teachers spending from their own paychecks to get things like pencils for kids. 30-40 kids in a room with a single teacher... Despite this, DeVos wants to move existing funding away from public schools to instead give vouchers for private and religious schools. While a tiny handful of kids may benefit from this, it's helping the 1% at the expense of the other 99% to take such an approach.

They could indeed work to eliminate the DoE completely and allow states to decide locally what to and what not to teach. That means kids in Alabama won't get taught evolution while kids in West Virginia get taught that coal burning is great for the atmosphere.

The introduction of creationism is also a very real risk given the power the religious right has on this administration. That's something they've been pushing for decades... they want religion taught in public schools... erm... sorry... they want THEIR religion taught in public schools, not others and not a comparative religion class.

I'm sure there are other risks. These are a few off the top of my head. Even if none of the above were true, though, DeVos doesn't understand the education system itself... being unable to even answer a question about whether students should be advanced to the next grade based on proficiency (knowing how to do something / understanding the concept) or improvement (being better at it than when they started, even if they still don't understand).

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iNow

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pineapples
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:01 pm
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I’m not informed in the US education system as it currently stands so can’t comment too much but going on what you’re saying then yes I can understand your concerns.


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:08 pm
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Thank you Inow for posting a concise list of concerns over her nomination. One aspect I would like to add is that most teachers here in the US (the ones who have become teachers in the last decade at least) are still paying off student loans. So between making payments on those loans, paying for their own classroom supplies, and the cost of living most teachers are just barely scraping by. DeVos is opposed to the teachers union and she is a proponent of charter schools which pay their teachers less for more hours of work.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:20 am

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pineapples wrote:
So what’s the worst case scenario for the US Education system under DeVos? Is there now a threat that creationism will become part of the science curriculum? Can and would she do that?


No chance of doing that directly because the Courts have been pretty consistent in keeping it out of publicly financed schools.

==
I also largely disagree it's as much about overall funding as about even distribution of funds and putting into the right places. Baltimore schools are one of the best financed in the nation, but put huge fraction of their funding into largely frivolous sports stadiums. US schools have a bad habit of putting much of their funding into technology, despite study after study showing very little gain as compared to what even more studies show time and time and time again--put the money towards training effective teachers. Here's were some of the Republica ideas are spot on such as getting rid of bad teachers regardless of time teaching.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:42 pm
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Lynx_Fox wrote:
I also largely disagree it's as much about overall funding as about even distribution of funds and putting into the right places. Baltimore schools are one of the best financed in the nation, but put huge fraction of their funding into largely frivolous sports stadiums. US schools have a bad habit of putting much of their funding into technology, despite study after study showing very little gain as compared to what even more studies show time and time and time again--put the money towards training effective teachers. Here's were some of the Republica ideas are spot on such as getting rid of bad teachers regardless of time teaching.

This is a problem, and one I too would like to see addressed. Had DeVos commented on this topic, I suspect she'd have a lot more support than she currently does(n't). To all our dismay, her responses to senate questions amounted to little more than, "derp derp, duh...I dunno. Can I lead now?"

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Department of Education  |  Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:18 pm
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Here's a fairly good list of what DeVos can and cannot do in her new role: http://www.vox.com/2017/2/10/14550262/b ... n-vouchers

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