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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING – DeVos Earns Praise From Reform-Minded Leaders While Union Puppets Defend Failing Status Quo (Vol. XIX)

As Democrats continue their show of political theater on the Senate floor tonight in hopes of impressing their union donors, bold reformers that want to put students first and improve America’s education for all children spoke out today in support of Betsy DeVos’ plans to challenge the failing status quo:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “The nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos is a well-qualified candidate who earned the support of 20 Governors and several education groups from across the nation.”  

  • “As education secretary, she’ll be our students’ foremost advocate, working to improve our education system so that every child has a brighter future. Importantly, she also understands that our teachers, students, parents, school boards and local and state governments are best suited to make education decisions, not Washington bureaucrats.”
  • “I have every confidence that Ms. DeVos will lead the Department of Education in such a way that will put our students’ interests first while also strengthening the educational opportunities available to all of America’s children. So I would urge colleagues to join in confirming Betsy DeVos so she can begin the very important work before her without further delay.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn: “What this fight over this well-qualified nominee is all about, it’s about power, as so many of these fights in Washington, D.C. are about, and the desire to keep power over public education in all of our states all across the country right here inside the beltway.”

  • I believe President Trump chose wisely, not because he chose another education bureaucrat that knows all the acronyms and knows the arcania know to people that have been brought up in that establishment. Instead he chose an outsider, someone much like himself, but someone more interested in results, rather than paying homage to and feeding the education establishment here in Washington, D.C. and retaining the power over the important decisions that should be handed back down to the states, down to teachers and parents and students as they choose how best to get — to accomplish our universal goal of making sure every child has a good education.”

Senator Deb Fischer: “So, I was assured, and reassured by Mrs. DeVos, that she is not looking at any kind of federal mandate that would take away that local control we so value in Nebraska, and I’m sure all across this country.”

  • “And I look forward to working with her on implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act that we passed in 2015. I was one of 85 senators, bipartisan, that voted to pass that and in that, I was able to get an amendment passed that, again, emphasized the importance of local control and I want to have a Department of Education here at the federal level that steps back, doesn’t mandate on our states and local communities and our local school boards. And I believe that Mrs. DeVos has given me those assurances. She understands the importance of that and I look forward to working with her.”

The Boston Herald, Editorial: “DeVos Merits A ‘Yes’

  • “She has also devoted more than two decades of her life supporting public charter schools in her home state of Michigan.”

Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post: “The Talk-A-Thon Means Very Little.”

  • “Senate Democrats’ promised talkathon is actually a sign of the relatively meager amount of power the party has these days when it comes to curtailing the president’s wishes.”
  • “Yes, Democrats can hold the floor all night and all Tuesday morning in advance of the confirmation vote on DeVos. But what they almost certainly can’t do is stop her from becoming the secretary of education.”
  • “Politics is a results-oriented business. Trying hard is no substitute for winning. And, unless something very unforeseen happens while Senate Democrats talk on the floor for the next 18 hours or so, they are going to lose on DeVos right around noon Tuesday.”

Neal McCluskey, The Cato Institute: “Democrats Should Be Heartened By Betsy DeVos”

  • “As she stated repeatedly in her confirmation hearing, she would not use federal power—and certainly not secretarial power—to impose anything, including school choice, on unwilling states and districts.”
  • “Here’s why the decimation accusation is nonsensical. First, DeVos said that she would not attempt to expand choice unilaterally, but through Congress, where laws are supposed to be made.”
  • “If Democrats fear what a Trump administration might try in education, they ought to be encouraged by Betsy DeVos, who made one thing clear in her confirmation hearing: she does not think she should be calling the shots.”
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