"Taking a look at Betsy DeVos" track record with MI schools provides a terrifying glance into what might be the future of all USA public schools. Could one imagine any of DeVos's critics arguing that Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, or NYC teacher union boss Michael Mulgrew are unqualified because they were educated at Catholic schools? Only 10 percent of high school seniors there score as "college ready" when tested on their reading skills, and a 2015 federal review of the worst-performing public schools in MI found the ratio of charters to be "unreasonably high". The new law gave more authority to the states, at the expense of the federal government, to identify and remedy failing schools.
"Closing a school does not improve the education of children in anyway and it actually causes a lot instability in the neighborhoods and communities", says Harris.
Devos, who is from the Grand Rapids area, pledged to challenge the status quo, while finding common ground to "put students' needs first". "The federal stuff hasn't crystallized enough yet to have specific concerns, but that may come".
With two Republicans joining Democrats in a marathon effort to oppose the wealthy Republican donor from MI, it took Vice President Mike Pence to break a 50-50 tie by casting the deciding vote Tuesday.
"We have a longstanding, successful relationship with the Department of Education and I look forward to advancing this relationship under the Secretary's leadership". A billionaire with no personal experience in public education and criticized for demonstrating little basic knowledge about education practices, she has represented what many in the education private sector never wanted the public to see: an industry of people motivated by profit, many of whom have never worked a day in a school in their lives. But it's her support for public funding of private schools in the form of vouchers that has Democrats and their minions so up in arms. "I hope to earn your trust and confidence as we work together".
The school board's effort follows DeVos' controversial confirmation earlier this week, and President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel among some immigrants.
"We obviously don't have the information to judge her positions and policies, but what I'm concerned about is that it is clear she just doesn't understand some key fundamental ideas of education", said Koestler. "Any students who arrive late to school are marked tardy".
"Because of Betsy's work to expand charter schools, virtual schools, school choice, tuition tax credits, and education savings accounts, hundreds of thousands of children who had been trapped in failing schools have been able to access a quality education", Toomey said in a statement.
"I've been calling my senators, and it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, so I think, you know, this is the next step".
The district will now require immigration investigators to get permission from the superintendent's office before talking to students or going into schools.
The trouble is that if Ms DeVos turns out to be as incompetent as her hearings suggest she may be, her promising ideas are likely to be implemented badly. "What Trump was talking about during the campaign for vouchers is bigger than Title I". Others bemoaned that DeVos now will be "the head of all our educators" and "running the largest school system in the world". "That sends the wrong message".
"We continue to fight", says Wytrice Harris, Imani's mom.