BATs Board of Directors Statement on Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education
The Badass Teachers Association, a network of over 80,000 teachers and education activists throughout the United States, are appalled that Betsy DeVos has been selected Secretary of Education. We want to be clear as an organization, we will mobilize on a national level, at the state level, and the local level to STOP her agenda to dismantle public education in this nation. We will fight for our communities to have strong, sustainable, and well-funded public schools.
Betsy DeVos brings NO education experience, but she does bring a disturbing record of attempting to dismantle public education. She has used her family money and influence to push an agenda that will hand public tax dollars over to unaccountable for-profit corporations; she will promote vouchers schemes that have, according to research, no value in improving education, and she will funnel public money to church-sponsored schools. Students and families across the nation will pay for her lack of understanding that it is the responsibility of elected officials, and the public, to provide a quality public education for all children.
“Public education is not a business. Public education is not a competition. In competition and business there are winners and losers. Public education should be about nurturing our most valuable resource – our children. Our children deserve a Secretary of Education who is an advocate for public education not privatization.” – Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs
“Children whose parents lack the means or ability to select a school and provide transportation for a child to a school far away from their neighborhood are left with little “choice.” This will certainly be harmful to the most vulnerable children and families and will fall especially hard on those in poverty and those in isolated rural communities”. – Kathleen Jeskey, Oregon BAT and BAT Co-Director of State Administrators.
“Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education solidifies and makes tangible the very real concerns many in Public Education have about the disrespect shown and the callous disregard for our profession. It appears that the President-elect has doubled down on the efforts to privatize and commodify one of the cornerstones of democracy. Trump has in fact spat in the face of all who work tirelessly for the many children in public schools throughout the country by appointing someone with little regard for the work we do. As a public school teacher, I am committed now more than ever to bringing attention to the many challenges we face in trying to save Public Education from the greedy hands that seek to profit from our children and our communities. With this selection, Trump has revealed his true feelings and intentions when it comes to the students, families, and educators that comprise our Public Schools.” – Gus Morales, BAT Board of Director Member
“Great! A Republican mega-donor who never held a job in her life will be the next Education Secretary. She’s a perfect choice for Trump’s plan to bribe state government to increase charter and voucher schools with our tax dollars.” – Steven Singer, Director BATs Research, and Blogging.
” Why on Earth would someone who has no experience working with and for the public in our school system be appointed to oversee the same system they never worked within. Is the goal of this administration to improve Public Education or is it to pilfer the coffers that should be allocated for all the children of our country. This is unfathomable.” – Becca Ritchie, NEA BAT Caucus Chair
“After the constant failure to deliver the promised results of improvements and closing of achievement gaps, BATs consider such a nomination as unacceptable. Public schools and teachers have seen and suffered for almost two decades the same dogmatic ideology she professes and its destructive policies.” – Sergio Flores, BATs Board of Directors Member
“My teacher friends here in Michigan know that the choice of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education shows just how much we have to be concerned about in a Trump administration. Ms. DeVos is not just a charter cheerleader–her goal is to destroy our system of public education and turn a public good into a private profit center. Based on her track record in Michigan, we can expect an alarming lack of transparency and an unbecoming level of arrogance coming from a DeVos-run Department of Education. We must all be vigilant, and make a move from public school advocates to activists. It’s that important.” – Mitchell Robinson, associate professor and chair of music education – Michigan State University
BATs around the country will continue to advocate and fight at the federal, state, and local level to sustain our public school system and to make sure that every child in this country has a strong, sustainable community public school in their neighborhood. Betsy DeVos is unqualified and unfit to be Secretary of Education. The children, families, and teachers of this nation deserve better.