Billionaire Besty DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, looked like a fool at her confirmation hearing last week. At first, I felt embarrassed and tried to give her the benefit of the doubt–maybe she was nervous. But I resigned that sentiment, as it became obvious that she is blatantly an inexperienced, unfit, visionless, uninformed, and one track minded puppet.
If we learned anything from DeVos’ hearing it’s that she does want to act on two initiatives as Trump’s Secretary of Education: decentralize federal education and privatize our public education system. DeVos seems to believe that most education policy issues should be left to the states, including whether guns should or shouldn’t be in schools. She continuously deferred responsibility to the states. This deferral of responsibility seems to act as both a way for DeVos to let Americans know that she plans on rolling back the federal government’s role in education while allowing her to avoid providing substantive answers that demonstrate her knowledge (or lack thereof) of education policy. Despite her efforts to conceal her ineptitude, senators Warren, Sanders, Murray and Kaine, to name a few, asked questions that revealed how little she knows outside the realm of right-winged charter and voucher initiatives.
So although Americans can now say that while we know DeVos is likely to try to shed some of the current federal policies currently in place to protect students, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, we dont know much outside of that. DeVos did not engage in conversations that clearly illustrated some of her goals or helped America better understand how she would execute a single initiative. Most answers were so vague, she could have applied it to any question.
It didn’t help when Chair Alexander continuously denied Democrat senators’ request for a second round. Citing precedents from Obama’s two Secretary nominees who brought with them an extensive available-to-the-public education history, Chair Alexander made an unfair decision to limit each senator to one round, five minutes. But Chair Alexander’s decision was all about politics. Anyone listening to DeVos’ answers can tell you they were shallow. He didn’t care that the reason more senators were requesting more time is because DeVos hardly answered questions and when she did, they were surface level.
Here is the complete hearing:
Here are clips from the hearing: