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Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos to Be Considered by Senate Next Week

Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos to Be Considered by Senate Next Week

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will be officially considered for the position by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee on January 11.

The confirmation hearing will likely provide much insight into where DeVos stands on a number of education issues— especially those she has not spoken publicly about.

According to The Washington Post, the hearing will be a good opportunity to find out how DeVos plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as head of the Department of Education.

The HELP committee chair, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has spoken out in support of the nominee as he believes she will implement ESSA without misusing federal powers. After her nomination, he used Twitter to refer to her as an "excellent choice."

DeVos is not likely to get the same support from the committee’s Democratic members. DeVos, like many political figures in this election season, has proven to be a divisive character due to her staunch support for facilitating national school choice programs and her track record of pushing charter school development in her home-state of Michigan. Education advocates have also expressed dismay at the fact that DeVos has no experience working in a school setting, creating fears that she will be too detached from the typical educator and student to make sound decisions.

"By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities," said National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García in response to DeVos' nomination.

The Washington Post says Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), HELP's ranking member, will be sure to address the concerns of students, parents and teachers by asking DeVos questions that identify how she plans to "ensure the safety and respect of all students, of all backgrounds, all across this country."

To find out more about Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, see here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

1/5/2017

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