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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING – A True Reformer On The Path To Confirmation (Vol. XVI)

With her committee vote set to take place later this morning, it’s becoming clear that Betsy DeVos will be confirmed to lead the Department of Education and many education reformers and advocates continue to cheer this development:

Education Week: “Here’s Why Betsy DeVos Will Likely Be Confirmed”

  • “She’s gotten an outpouring of support from prominent Republicans, and even some Democrats, including former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.” 

Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post: “Apparently Senator Lamar Alexander is taking her around to moderates within the Senate and she’s acquitting herself well so the play is he’ll get her through committee, but now it’s the play to get her enough votes to get her confirmed and it looks like it’s working.” 

Former U.S. Secretary Of Education Bill Bennett: “She has no problem with good public schools, she likes good public schools, as do I.”

  • “This woman, Betsy DeVos, has dedicated her career, her energy, her professional life and her resources to improving the education of our children in all sorts of schools.”

United States Senator Lindsey Graham: “When a public school has failed our children for multiple generations, it’s time to rethink our strategy. It’s time for change and I believe Mrs. DeVos will be an agent of change in our system.”

  • “We must return control to our parents, local school districts, and states to make the best decisions for our students. I look forward to supporting Mrs. DeVos’ nomination when the Senate considers it on the floor.”

United States Senator Tim Scott: “I grew up poor, went to four schools by the fifth grade, and almost failed out of high school. I know the challenges facing so many low-income and minority students. The fact remains that every neighborhood is unique, every student learns in a different manner, and every teacher teaches in their own distinctive fashion.”

  • “I have come to the conclusion that we need to ensure students and their families have a variety of educational options at their disposal. My belief in school choice stems directly from that notion, and is a primary driver of my support for Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.”
  • “She has made it her life’s mission to help students in underperforming schools have a better educational future, and has more than 30 years of education experience.”
  • “She recognizes that we have been fighting to fix our public schools for more than 50 years, and that new innovations are necessary for our students. Being pro-school choice does not mean you want to tear down public schools, in fact the goal is the opposite. We believe that by introducing competition, we can make every school perform better. That goes for public, charter, and private schools. The notion that Betsy DeVos or anyone else wants to destroy our public school systems is flat wrong.”

Rep. Dave Brat (VA), Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), Rep. Todd Rokita (IN), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), Rep. Tim Walberg (MI), Rep. Lou Barletta (PA), Rep. Luke Messer (IN), Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL), Rep. Mike Bishop (MI), Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI), Rep. Rick W. Allen (GA), Rep. Jason Lewis (MN), Rep. Francis Rooney (FL), Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI): “Betsy DeVos is a well-respected person with strong roots in, and contributions to, her Western Michigan community. Her faith and her dedication to our country are not in question. She has a national reputation for being fair, intelligent, kind, persistent, tough, and compassionate.”  

  • “Be it homeschool, private school, charter school, public school, or virtual school, parents should have the power to do what is best for their kids.”
  • “Removing power from bureaucrats and placing it in the hands of parents should be a goal on both sides of the aisle. This will ensure students are not trapped in failing schools by virtue of their ZIP code.”

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant: “Betsy DeVos has what it takes to serve as secretary of Education: ideas, vision and leadership. For nearly three decades she has been a powerful voice for parents who simply want the ability to enroll their children in the learning environment that is right for them.”

  • “During her confirmation hearing she said, ‘For me, it’s simple: I trust parents, and I believe in our children.’ That sums up the Betsy DeVos I know.”
  • “President Trump has made the right choice in Betsy DeVos… She believes, as she said in her confirmation hearing, ‘It’s time to shift the debate from what the system thinks is the best for kids, to what moms and dads want, expect and deserve.’ I couldn’t agree more.”

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: “There are too many, too many children that are trapped in failing public schools, and Betsy wants school choice, she wants the dollars to follow the child instead of the child following the dollar. She’s showing the left, showing the Democrats to be hypocrites on this.”

  • “I commend Betsy for having the courage to stand up for her beliefs, I commend President Trump for appointing somebody who’s going to shake up to the status quo.”

Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: ““She’s right about charter schools, and the evidence says so…She’s right about helping low-income people have the same choice rich people do about where their kids go to school.”

Pennsylvania State Representative Jim Christiana: “I encourage Senator Casey to not take the company line and the  establishment line and to look at the tens of thousands of kids in Pennsylvania who have benefitted from school choice.” 

Eva Moskowitz, Founder And CEO Of Success Academy Charter Schools: “we need an outsider: someone who isn’t part of, or beholden to, the education establishment. Someone who will shake it up. Betsy DeVos not only will do that, she has already.”

  • “She is somebody who has spent tens of millions of dollars of her own money to give ordinary families the same opportunities that many of the wealthy politicians opposing her nomination have.”
  • “Future generations have much to lose — but plenty to gain — in the next four years, and they will have a strong ally fighting for them in Washington, DC, when Betsy DeVos is confirmed.”

Patricia Levesque, CEO Of The Foundation For Excellence In Education: “The president won the election with the promise to shake things up… I  believe he deserves to have his nominees confirmed when they are qualified and Betsy DeVos is qualified.” 

Daniel Garza, President Of The LIBRE Initiative: “It’s time for a new approach — one that encourages schools to improve while at the same time giving families options if they don’t. By expanding school choice programs, states can do precisely that.” 

  • “Mrs. DeVos is a longtime supporter of efforts to reform and improve education in the U.S. Over the years she has generously donated to hospitals, health research, the arts, and to schools.”
  • “After years of talk about reform, families across the country may finally have the chance to take charge and build a better future for their children. Confirming Betsy DeVos would come at an important time for those who wish to translate these dreams into reality.”

Gary Wolfram, William Simon Professor At Hillsdale College: “It is difficult to think of a nominee for Secretary of Education who is more interested in the education of our nation’s children, in particular children coming from disadvantaged families, than Betsy DeVos. She has dedicated much of her life to improving educational opportunities for all children.”

  • “She understands that there is a difference between government provision of education and government production of education.”
  • “Betsy DeVos can lead the country’s education system to a place where all children, rich and poor, will be able enjoy the benefits of a quality education.”

 Nate Davis, Executive Director Of K12 Inc.: “Choice schools are often pioneers or first movers in the introduction of new learning models, new technology, and advanced pedagogy in the education space. They create new environments to test fresh concepts that, if successful, are eventually adopted by school districts, increasing opportunities for all students.”

  • “Expanding choice has helped create a renaissance in new customized education programs — from schools developed for students pursuing science and technology, career and technical education, or music and fine arts, to schools designed to serve students with special needs, at-risk youth or former dropouts.”

Richard Studley, President And CEO Of Michigan Chamber Of Commerce: “I know from personal experience that she is a good listener, always does her homework, and asks the right questions to improve organizational performance.”

  • “I have no doubt that as Secretary of Education Betsy will continue to be a strong advocate for students and parents. As an employer, she knows the importance of a strong K-12 Education system to prepare high school graduates to enter the workforce or be successful in college.”

Olivia Grady, Research Fellow At The Center For Worker Freedom: “Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Education Department, firmly believes in all types of school choice. She started a successful charter school in Grand Rapids and founded the American Federation for Children, a pro-school choice policy non-profit.” 

  • “Democratic senators are just following the labor bosses who fund their campaigns, labor bosses who want to keep the education status quo. The NEA and American Federation of Teachers represent teachers, not children.”
  • “Unlike teachers unions, DeVos has devoted her life to children and their education. She will make a great secretary of education.” 

Christian Schneider, Columnist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “The Michigan billionaire has committed the most unpardonable of progressive sins: She has financially supported efforts to allow students educational choices outside the traditional public school framework.”

  • “Of course, the Democrats aren’t afraid of DeVos as Education secretary because they fear she will fail. They shudder at the prospect she will succeed.”
  • “The idea, for instance, that DeVos is ‘anti-public education’ has no bearing in reality. Giving parents more options doesn’t mean you’re against also strengthening public schools, just as Democrats fighting to keep taxpayer dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood doesn’t mean they are against other publicly-funded women’s health centers. They simply see specific benefits in one option and want to keep it on the menu.”

Keith Crain, Crain’s Detroit Business: “Betsy DeVos surely does not need this appointment. She has been involved with education for years. To say it is her passion would be an understatement.”

  • “She has also worked tirelessly for school choice, which has created many supporters… DeVos has been supporting school choice for a very long time, without fear or favor.” 

James Hill, School Board Member, Missouri: “In naming Betsy DeVos to be his education secretary, President Trump has picked a fierce fighter who will stand up for the forgotten school children in our country who have been left behind in woefully underperforming schools.” 

  • “For nearly 30 years, Betsy DeVos has been in the trenches of the conservative education reform movement, fighting for expanded school choice and parental control to give hope to students trapped in failing public schools.”
  • “Missourians supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points on Election Day because they expect him to bring big change to Washington. Senator McCaskill should show some independence by bucking the coastal elites in her party and voting to confirm Betsy DeVos to be our next secretary of education.”

Bill Boer, Calvin College Alumni: “They’re missing Betsy as a smart person and a dedicated person and — you get to know her better – they’ll know that she cares about all kids – all families — and wants the best opportunities for those families and should that be in public schools or alternative schools, that’s her mission.”

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