Jan 16, 2017
ELW

National Coalition Concerned About DeVos Grows & Receives Major Coverage

Do not forget to contact the U.S. Senators on the HELP Committee (Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions)! Betsy DeVos’ rescheduled conformation hearing takes place tomorrow, January 17th at 5 PM EST with coverage available on C-SPAN.

Since that hearing was postponed, the national coalition letter’s list of signatures has rapidly grown to include 15 national groups and publications and 61 state level organizations and experts from 28 states.

It has also received national coverage from Dr. Susan Berry at Breitbart News which extensively quoted Dr. Effrem’s summary of the letter as follows:

1) From all the evidence we can find, her statement when she was appointed on November 23rd was her very first against Common Core. Her statements and record via organizations that she has founded, funded, chaired, or on whose boards she has served and her political contributions have all been in support of Common Core and pro-Common Core candidates. Her statement and her interview with Donald Trump focused on “higher standards” which is a euphemism for Common Core, even though there is abundant evidence that the Common Core standards are anything but high.

2) Her American Federation for Children group has been strongly in support of state voucher laws in Indiana and Louisiana or federal Title I portability that imposes or would impose Common Core on private schools via the federally mandated state assessments. The education savings accounts that she touts could well place government regulations on home schooling for “accountability” purposes.

3) Although a strong supporter of charter schools, it appears she has never financially supported classical charter schools like the Hillsdale model in her own home state, only charters that require the teaching and testing of Common Core.

4) The Philanthropy Roundtable that she chaired until her appointment put out a report that is strongly in favor of extensive data mining of children without transparency of what data is collected and who receives it or parental consent and never mentions the word “privacy.”

5) We are also concerned about continued expansion of invasive, subjective social emotional learning programs at the federal level and need to know her position on those.

Additionally,  Sunshine State News, a major statewide news and political website also discussed the nomination and hearing. Allison Neilsen clearly explained parent groups’ concerns quoting Dr. Effrem as executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition:

Other groups have suggested DeVos’ views and Trump’s campaign promises don’t match up, specifically on the controversial Common Core State Standards.

“Her statements saying that she opposes Common Core are really new [and came out] basically the day she was appointed,” Education Liberty Watch president and Florida Stop Common Core executive director Karen Effrem told Sunshine State News Wednesday. “Her record and the record of the organizations she founded, funded or chaired is strongly pro-Common Core and that’s a real concern given President-elect Trump’s promise to get rid of Common Core.”

Effrem told SSN she hoped committee members would pose questions to DeVos, pushing her to lighten the federal footprint in the country’s classrooms.

“I would hope she would vastly scale back federal control over states in education,” Effrem explained.

While DeVos wasn’t Effrem’s first choice for Ed Secretary, she said she hoped DeVos would team up with Trump to make good on his promise to abolish Common Core.

“Compared to some of the other people Trump could have chosen, I’m greatly disappointed, but I have to trust that he will keep an eye on her and make sure that she fulfills the promises that he made on the campaign trail,” Effrem said.

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