Posts Tagged ‘Betsy DeVos’

If Donald Trump won’t man up, meet with teen, maybe Betsy DeVos will

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

President Donald Trump ought to give Jackie Evancho the meeting she asked for. He owes her bigly.
The sixteen-year-old musical prodigy performed the national anthem at Trump’s inauguration, adding a huge dose of class to the festivities and sparing a grateful nation from another round of DJ Ravidrums, Toby Keith and Three Doors Down.
Evancho’s political skills are right up there with her astonishing vocal chops. In the wake of Trump’s mean-spirited withdrawal of federal protections for transgender students, she took to Twitter, and to television, to politely ask Trump to meet with her, and with her 18-year-old transgender sister, to learn about what life is like for children whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had at birth.
That’s a lot for a sex-obsessed 70-year-old man to wrap his head around. But we’d like to think that Trump would have done it if any of his five children had felt utterly out of place in the pink or blue blankets in which they were first swaddled.
The Evancho family, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the mother of a transgender son and a congresswoman who has refused to pander to uninformed and uncurious culture warrior constituents, and every other family with a transgender son or daughter has had to choose between educating themselves and supporting their loved one, or throwing the child to the wolves.
The alternative to unconditional love is to give license to self-appointed gender police, and to the Mean Girls, Bully Boys, and Bathroom Bill Brigades who make life so miserable for transgender kids that one out of three of them will attempt suicide.
Too many of them succeed, which perhaps explains why Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tried to talk Trump out of telling transgender kids that they’ll be happier — and definitely safer — with homeschooling. If Trump doesn’t have the guts to

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ProPublica hit piece will deliver ‘inaccurate, untruthful’ attack on Orlando charter school

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Searching for the best way to teach our nation’s children, many communities see charter schools as one of the most effective ways to help students otherwise struggling to make it in public education.
Nevertheless, the pursuit of alternative solutions does not sit well with some, particularly those in the media who view charter schools a disruption of the status quo.
With the election of President Donald Trump and his provocative nomination of Betsy DeVos — a longtime school-choice advocate — as U.S. Secretary of Education, charter schools nationwide are bracing for the inevitable onslaught of negative media, despite many charter schools having proven records of successful student outcomes in reading and math growth, among others.
One such target of journalistic bias is Accelerated Learning Solutions (ALS), an Orlando charter school program servicing at-risk Orange County students who have, for a variety of reasons, fallen off‐track for graduation.
Most students who attend the ALS-run Sunshine High School have been referred by public school educators for academic intervention. Many students at Sunshine have previously dropped out of the public-school system, electing to re-enroll to salvage their academic careers.
Recently, Sunshine has found itself in the crosshairs of ProPublica, the New York-based investigative newsroom that seeks to produce deep-dive journalism in what they proclaim as the “public interest.”
As a startup, ProPublica received millions of dollars from the Sandler Foundation — created by Bay Area philanthropists and Democratic donors Herbert and Marion Sandler to fund progressive organizations. In 2010, ProPublica received a two-year grant from the Open Society Foundations, part of a network of international foundations primarily funded by billionaire George Soros, also as a method of supporting progressive causes.
This financial influence shows in ProPublica’s editorial slant.
Nevertheless, in the instance of Sunshine — which has been both transparent and forthcoming with ProPublica reporter Heather Vogell — such public interest may have fallen by the wayside,

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Activists march at Marco Rubio’s Tampa office, calling to reject Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Last month, Marco Rubio had harsh words for Rex Tillerson when he came before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Donald Trump‘s pick for Secretary of State. But the Florida senator ultimately went ahead and supported the former ExxonMobil CEO anyway.
Now protesters are hoping Rubio won’t cave on Betsy DeVos.
With the Tillerson turnaround fresh on their minds, more than two dozen activists gathered in front of Rubio’s Tampa district office Monday, urging him to reject DeVos as the next Secretary of Education when her name comes up for a vote Tuesday.
But they are not expecting him to do so.
“Betsy DeVos is totally uneducated, and she’s totally biased,” said Sue Jenkins, a former Wisconsin schoolteacher who spends winters in Port Richey and summers back in the Midwest. She blasted DeVos for her dedication toward vouchers and privatizing education.
“We privatize the schools; we pay them money. Somebody’s going to make a profit.”
Many of those at the protest want Rubio to recuse himself from the vote because he received campaign contributions from DeVos. Then again, so have a lot of other Republicans in Washington.
DeVos admitted as much in her one confirmation hearing, saying “it’s possible” that she and her husband (Dick DeVos Jr.) have given $200 million to candidates over the years. That includes $2.7 million to GOP candidates in the 2016 election cycle alone, including $5,400 to Rubio.
“She’s clearly not qualified,” argued Pam from Madeira Beach. “The only clarity we got from the confirmation hearing is that she’s against public education.”
Last week Rubio tweeted that “many Democratic colleagues tell me they have heavy pressure from left-wing radicals to opposed everything before they know what it is,” irking some of the protesters.

Many Democratic colleagues tell me they have heavy pressure from left wing radicals to oppose everything even before they know what it is
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio)

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Andrew Gillum says he stands with Florida teachers in opposing Betsy DeVos

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Tallahassee Mayor and potential 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum says America’s kids deserve someone better than Betsy DeVos to serve as education secretary.
The U.S. Senate voted early Friday to advance President Trump‘s choice at education to a final confirmation vote, expected Monday. The vote was 52-48 along party lines.
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has already announced that he will oppose DeVos, as have Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. No other Republican Senator has joined them, however.
In his statement, Gillum says “the attack on our teachers must end,” adding that DeVos responses during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Education Committee earlier this month, “fell woefully short of the kind of leadership we need to ensure that all Floridians have a quality education.”
National teachers unions have mounted an aggressive campaign against DeVos, contending that she is an ideological extremist with a record of undermining the public schools her department would oversee.
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest teacher’s union. It boasts over 140,000 members statewide, and getting their support in a statewide race would be a huge boost for any Democrat.
Here is Gillum’s full statement:
“Public education changed the trajectory of my life. I can still hear my grandmother’s voice telling me to ‘Go to school, mind my teachers, get my lesson, and bring that education home — for my brothers, my baby sister and the kids down the street.’ It was a reminder that if we were going to get anywhere; we would get there together. As a student at Westwood Middle School, I never thought I would excel in challenging courses until a teacher named Ms. Alexandria encouraged me to try my hand at an honors class.
“The attack on our teachers must end, because it hurts the ability of the vast majority of our kids to get an education

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Betsy DeVos clears Senate hurdle toward becoming ed secy

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Betsy DeVos cleared a major hurdle in the Senate to become the next education secretary despite vigorous opposition from Democrats.
Senators voted 52-48 to cut off debate at dawn Friday, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote next week on President Donald Trump‘s nominee.
DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor, has faced fierce criticism from labor unions for her promotion of school choice. Democrats and labor unions have accused her of seeking to dismantle public education and divert funds to charter schools and have criticized her support for taxpayer-funded private school vouchers.
Two key Republican senators have vowed to oppose her nomination, throwing it into jeopardy. If Democrats all vote against DeVos, they need only one more dissenting Republican to kill the nomination.
Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised DeVos’s work in reforming the school system through charter schools.
“Teachers have more freedom and parents have more choices, they are public schools and Betsy Devos is in the forefront of helping create that opportunity for public education,” Alexander said shortly after the vote. He added that DeVos will seek to diminish federal control over education and give more power to states and locales.
“We will be swapping a national school board for what she believes in, which is a local school board,” said Alexander, who served as education secretary under President George H.W. Bush.
But Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the committee, said she strongly opposes DeVos because of her tangled finances and potential conflicts of interest, her lack of experience in public schools and knowledge of basic education issues. Murray complained that her confirmation hearing was rushed and that DeVos didn’t answer all the questions from Democrats.
“Betsy DeVos is committed to privatizing public schools, and diverting public funds into private taxpayer-funded vouchers

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Environment Florida wants Bill Nelson to reject Scott Pruitt as EPA head

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Scott Pruitt is one step closer to being the next leader of the Environmental Protection Agency.
On Thursday, Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-0 to confirm Pruitt, who serves as Oklahoma Attorney General.
Democrats on the committee boycotted the vote.
Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, was one of 14 attorneys general suing the EPA over regulations to limit carbon emissions put in place by the Obama administration.
The entire Senate will vote on his confirmation next week and the advocacy group Environment Florida is calling on the Sunshine State’s two senators to reject his nomination.
“This country needs an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator whose top priority is protecting our air and water and our families’ health,” says Turner Lott, Environment Florida’s campaign organizer. “We need somebody willing to enforce and defend our bedrock environmental laws and a leader guided by science when creating and implementing policy.”
The organization is one of several environmental groups criticizing Trump’s choice at EPA.
While Environment Florida is calling on both senators to oppose Pruitt, Marco Rubio already declared his support.
“The next EPA administrator should be someone who understands the important balance between protecting our air, water and environment without needlessly hurting workers with excessive regulations,” Rubio said in a Jan. 10 statement. “Attorney General Pruitt ‎is the right choice to bring a much-needed dose of common sense to a department where overzealous, out-of-touch regulators have been allowed to operate seemingly unchecked. I look forward to working with him on the many important environmental issues facing Florida.”
Florida’s senior Senator, Bill Nelson, is getting lobbied from both sides to either support or oppose Pruitt. The Florida Democrat pleased liberals Wednesday by announcing his opposition to Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary.
“I will be joining my Republican colleagues Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski in voting ‘no’ against Betsy DeVos,” Nelson declared in a statement.
“Floridians and all Americans deserve an EPA administrator who will fight to protect the

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GOP pushes 2 top Cabinet picks through to full Senate

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Republicans jammed two of President Donald Trump‘s top Cabinet picks through the Senate Finance Committee with no Democrats in the room Wednesday after suspending a rule that would have otherwise barred them from taking the vote. The tactic seemed a warning shot that they might deploy brute political muscle in the upcoming fight over the Supreme Court vacancy.
With a near-toxic vapor of divisiveness between the two parties across Capitol Hill, nasty showdowns broke out elsewhere as well. One Senate panel signed off on Trump’s choice for attorney general only after senators exchanged heated words, and another committee postponed a vote on the would-be chief of the Environmental Protection Agency after Democrats refused to show up.
Busting through a Democratic boycott of the Finance panel, all 14 Republicans took advantage of Democrats’ absence to temporarily disable a committee rule requiring at least one Democrat to be present for votes.
They then used two 14-0 roll calls to approve financier Steve Mnuchin for Treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to be health secretary, ignoring Democrats’ demands that the two nominees provide more information about their financial backgrounds.
All the nominations will need full Senate approval.
Underscoring Congress’ foul mood, Finance panel Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Democrats should be “ashamed” for staying away from his committee’s meeting.
“I don’t feel a bit sorry for them,” he told reporters, adding later, “I don’t care what they want at this point.”
Trump won one major victory, as the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state. The mostly party-line 56-43 vote came with Democrats critical of Tillerson’s close ties to Russia as former Exxon Mobil CEO.
But the prospects that GOP donor Betsy DeVos would win approval as education secretary were jarred when two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, said they opposed her. Both

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Bill Nelson declares he’ll vote against Betsy DeVos, slimming her hopes

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson broke the suspense Wednesday afternoon by announcing he intends to vote against President Donald Trump’s pick to be secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, whose family has strong ties in Nelson’s Orlando hometown.
With defections of two Republican U.S. senators who announced earlier they would vote against DeVos, the Republican champion of school choice was down to slim hopes of winning the nomination, needing to hold all remaining Republicans or pick off a Democrat like Nelson.
Nelson, who’d been silent until now on the nomination, seemed to imply with his announcement Wednesday that the Republican moderates leaving Trump’s pick provided cover in the middle.
“I will be joining my Republican colleagues Susan Collins [of Maine] and Lisa Murkowski [of Alaska] in voting ‘no’ against Betsy DeVos,” he declared in a statement issued by his office.
The DeVos family officially resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., but has close ties in both Orlando and Naples. In Orlando, Nelson’s home, the family owns the Orlando Magic basketball team and is active in civic affairs.
The family, led by Betsy Devos’s parents, Rich and Helen DeVos, are huge political campaign contributors, whose family total approaches $9 million in donations since 1999. Almost all of it has gone to Republicans and Republican causes, though the family has backed the occasional Democrat, such as U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando. However, the family has never backed Nelson, and has contributed to at least a couple of his Republican opponents.
 
The post Bill Nelson declares he’ll vote against Betsy DeVos, slimming her hopes appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Sean Spicer says 20 percent tax on Mexican imports just an option

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):
4:50 p.m.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer now says slapping a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico is just one of several options on the table for paying for a wall along the southern border.
Spicer says President Donald Trump has yet to make a final decision about how the U.S. will recoup the costs of his proposed border wall.
Spicer had said earlier Thursday that Trump wanted to slap a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico and predicted the tax would generate $10 billion a year.
He had told reporters on Air Force One that Trump has discussed the idea with congressional leaders and wanted to include the measure in a comprehensive tax reform package.
But Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus said later that the administration has “a buffet of options” to pay for the wall.
___
4:45 p.m.
President Donald Trump still knows how to win a television time slot.
ABC reached 7.5 million viewers for its Wednesday night interview special of the president speaking to anchor David Muir. It was billed as Trump’s first network television interview since his inauguration last week.
The special beat every other program competing at 10 p.m., according to the Nielsen company. CBS’ “Code Black” drama came in second with 5.6 million viewers.
___
4:45 p.m.
A Democratic congressman says he got a call from President Donald Trump, who wants to meet with him to discuss the price of prescription drugs.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said Thursday he received the short but cordial call a day earlier “to my surprise.”
Cummings says Trump told him they would not agree on everything, but they could find some common ground on trying to address the rising costs of prescription drugs.
Cummings says he’s looking forward to the meeting, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Cummings also says Trump asked

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Officials, others respond to school vouchers case

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision not to take up a contentious school vouchers lawsuit continued to garner reaction throughout Wednesday.
Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump‘s nominee for U.S. Education Secretary, tweeted, “Congrats to the Florida families who have a clear path toward more opportunity due to #SchoolChoice w/ today’s FL Supreme Court decision!”
Florida House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa, in a statement, called the move “a blow to our state’s Constitutional promise of  ‘a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools.’ ”
“We can all agree that the zip code of a child’s birth should not be a determining factor in their access to a high quality public education,” she said. “However, for almost 20 years now, since the passage of Gov. Jeb Bush’s original unconstitutional voucher system, Florida has diverted billions of taxpayer dollars away from our public schools in a misguided attempt at outsourcing our children’s education to for-profit corporations and fly-by-night profiteers.
“Instead, these resources should have been spent improving our neighborhood schools, focusing on options that we know have a proven success rate and a genuine benefit to the public they are meant to serve, such as the community schools model,” she added. “Unfortunately, some continue to view our children as a commodity from which every ounce of profit should be squeezed.
“Even with today’s setback, House Democrats will continue to fight on behalf of the thousands of parents and students who have been failed by legislative leaders more intent on serving an ideology of boundless privatization rather than a commitment to the educational well-being of our children.”
Her counterpart, Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran, called the court’s order “a great victory for school children, parents, and classroom teachers who want the best for their students.”
“I thank the many organizations, pastors, parents, and children who advocated for fairness and

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could mean more Florida charter schools, a lot more

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Betsy DeVos, whose children never attended public schools, may soon lead the nation’s Department of Education. Assuming she is confirmed, care to take a guess what Florida public education will look like four years from now?
Perhaps former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is DeVos’ biggest cheerleader, can provide some insight. He wrote a stirring endorsement of her in Tuesday’s USA Today, coinciding with her hearing before a U.S. Senate confirmation panel.
“Instead of defending and increasing Washington’s power, Betsy will cut federal red tape and be a passionate advocate for state and local control of schools. More importantly, she will empower parents with greater choices and a stronger voice over their children’s education,” Bush wrote.
“In the two decades that I have been actively involved in education reform, I have worked side-by-side with Betsy to promote school choice and put the interests of students first. I know her commitment to children, especially at-risk kids, is genuine and deep.”
Let’s dissect those words.
First, the biggest federal overreach in education was the No Child Left Behind program signed into law in 2002 by Jeb’s brother, President George W. Bush. It had strong bipartisan support in Congress and from the business community, which argued that U.S. public school students were falling behind those from other nations in math and science.
In the name of “accountability” for schools, NCLB mandated a battery of standardized tests for students. It also allowed students from poor-performing schools to transfer to ones with better overall test results.
There were other federal demands on local school districts, including offering free tutoring to students in need. Of course, the money that was supposed to pay for that never quite materialized in the federal budget, and many schools still struggle to provide that service today.
“Accountability” testing has become a raw spot for teachers, who can face

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Betsy DeVos will take U.S. schools down a path of failure ‘Florida knows all too well’

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

In an interview last week with FloridaPolitics.com, Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, blasted Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary.
Weingarten compared DeVos’ zeal for school-choice vouchers on par with what former Gov. Jeb Bush was all about during his reign in Florida.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz agrees.
Hours before DeVos is scheduled to appear before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the South Florida congresswoman lashed out at DeVos, saying in a statement that “based on her long record of activism, she will take our nation’s schools back down a path of proven failure that Florida knows all too well.”
Critics like Weingarten have accused Trump of effectively campaigning on a pledge to dismantle public education as we know it, referencing his (little known) campaign vow to spend $20 million on school choice, which would come from “reprioritizing federal dollars.”
“President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary has displayed one consistent value: an open hostility toward public schools and teachers,” Wasserman Schultz said Tuesday. “Betsy DeVos champions ‘reforms’ that basically defund, undercut and privatize public education, with a goal of turning it over to loosely-regulated, for-profit charter schools. She’s spent millions of dollars and decades pushing this cause, the same one that’s failed in Florida.
“Former Gov. Jeb Bush touted the same voucher-happy, test-crazed ‘reforms,’ and they have largely been abandoned,” the past DNC Chair adds. “The billionaire Republican fundraiser that Trump wants to lead our nation’s education system has been one of the biggest proponents of these ‘accountability’ reforms in her home state of Michigan, saddling public schools with burdensome mandates that private schools are mostly free to ignore.”
Bush has been effusive in his praise for DeVos, saying she was an “outstanding pick” by the president-elect.
 
The post Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Betsy DeVos will take U.S. schools down a path of

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Florida House leaders support Betsy DeVos in letter

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and state Reps. Jose Oliva and Jose Felix Diaz have signed on to a letter supporting Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump‘s pick for Education Secretary.
They’re among nearly 150 “state-level elected leaders in all 50 states” who say they support DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor who carries financial and political clout.
Oliva is expected to become speaker in 2018-20 following Corcoran; Diaz chairs the House’s Commerce Committee. Both are Miami-Dade Republicans.
The letter, dated Tuesday, is being sent to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It will hold a confirmation hearing on her at 5 p.m.
“(W)e must have a Secretary of Education committed to the needs of all of our nation’s children,” the letter says. “Betsy DeVos has made it her life’s mission to find, support and push for education solutions in her home state of Michigan and across the country. She is an advocate and ally for all children, and we write to you today to express our support for her nomination to this important position as her confirmation hearing approaches.”
DeVos, a charter school advocate, is widely expected to push for expanding school choice programs if confirmed as education secretary, prompting pushback from teachers unions.
Democrats and activists also are raising concerns about how her conservative Christian beliefs and advocacy for family values might impact minority and LGBT students.
“Her support for an all-of-the-above approach to K-12 education – from charter schools, to public, private and online education – defines the school choice movement that has helped countless children across many of our states,” the letter says.
“By advancing these innovative solutions from the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos will put children first and empower not only states to lead the way in making critical education decisions, but also empower

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Women slam Donald Trump in Tampa as part of a national day of protest

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Approximately thirty people gathered in Tampa’s Lykes Gaslight Park on Monday to participate in a protest by women and their “allies in solidarity” against what they call Donald Trump’s hate.
The event was one of at least two dozen being held around the nation. In New York, protesters were gathering at Columbus Circle at 2 p.m., where they were then scheduled later in the day to march to Trump Tower to speak out against the president-elect.
“Part of the objective was to do this before the 19th to try to get the attention of the electoral college voters, however far fetched that might be,” said Suzanne Young, the organizer of the Tampa event.
December 19 is when the 538 members of the Electoral College will cast their ballots for president. Those electors are picked by their political parties, and in the states where Trump took the popular vote like in Florida, the Republican party’s slate of electorate will get to vote.
But a group of rogue electors known as the Hamilton Electors have been engaged in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump from becoming president. To do they must convince at least 37 of the 306 Republican electors currently pledged to Trump to instead support a moderate Republican alternative. Democratic electors have taken the lead in this long-shot effort, which if successful at denying any candidate 270 electoral votes could ultimately throw the presidential election into the hands of the House of Representatives.
“I have a fear for their own safety, because they can’t vote their conscious,” said one anonymous demonstrator about the electors at the Tampa rally. She told this reporter she feared retribution from her boss if she said her name while attending the event.
Others at the rally spoke in dark terms of what a Trump presidency could mean for the nation.
“I’ve lost a lot of elections, but I always had the security

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.8.16 – Al Gore gets punk’d

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

For the #NeverTrumper Republicans out there, this Trump presidency might work out pretty well, after all.
Jeb Bush was seen doing cartwheels after Trump selected Betty DeVos to become his Secretary of Education.
“I’m so excited,” Bush said last week at the National Summit on Education Reform, sponsored by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which Bush founded and chairs and on which DeVos serves as a board member.
“President-elect Trump made an extraordinary choice with Betsy DeVos,” he added.
Similar hosannas are being thrown out today from the business community and Jim Inhofe’s of the world regarding The Donald’s choice of noted climate change denialist Scott Pruitt to serve as his EPA secretary.
Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, wrote in National Review in May that “the debate is far from settled” over whether human activity has contributed to the warming of the earth.

I’m wondering how Al Gore is feeling today about that?
On Monday, the former Vice President traveled to Trump Tower to discuss climate change with Ivanka Trump, but instead got face time with the soon to be most powerful man in the world.
“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect,” he told reporters afterward, describing the meeting as “a sincere search for areas of common ground.
“I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued. And I’m just going to leave it at that,” he added.
He didn’t quite leave it at that, going on MSNBC later today that Ivanka “is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world, and that was certainly evident in the conversation that I had with her.”
There have been other clues that Trump’s team will lean closer towards Pruitt’s view of the world that Ivanka’s.
The head of his EPA transition team is Myron Ebell, who has never believed in the idea of global warming.
Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders are talking tough about Pruitt when it comes to his confirmation

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Florida school choice advocates praise selection of Betsy DeVos as education secretary

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Florida leaders praised Donald Trump’s choice of education secretary, calling Betsy DeVos an excellent pick.
The president-elect announced Wednesday he tapped DeVos, 58, to lead the federal agency. The choice reinforces his pledge to make school choice an education priority. In September, he pledged to funnel $20 billion in existing federal dollars into scholarships for low-income students, an idea that would require congressional approval.
“Students, parents, and education reformers across the United States should be thrilled by the selection of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education.  Betsy is a tireless, fearless, and intelligent national leader in high quality education,” said House Speaker Richard Corcoran in a statement. “I can think of no one better to break down bureaucratic barriers, eliminate the institutional intransigence on school choice, and reduce federal costs and interference in the state and local decision-making process.”
A supporter of school choice, Corcoran railed against the state’s largest teacher’s union in his fist remarks as Florida House Speaker. The Land O’Lakes Republican said the Florida Education was “fixated on halting innovation and competition,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Corcoran pointed to the ongoing fight over the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program as an example. The program helps low-income children attend private schools. The teacher’s union has been fighting the program in the courts for years, saying it diverts money from traditional public education.
The Associated Press reported that DeVos’ support of school choice goes back more than 20 years. She was politically involved in the passage of Michigan’s charter school bill in 1993 and worked on an unsuccessful effort to change Michigan’s state constitution to allow tax-credit scholarships or vouchers. She has described that loss as her biggest setback.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush also praised Trump’s decision, saying she “is an outstanding pick for Secretary of Education.”
“She has a long and distinguished

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Donald Trump’s choice for education secretary is choice advocate

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Within minutes of being named Donald Trump’s choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos pledged to oversee a “transformational change” in U.S. education, something the wealthy Republican donor has pursued in her home state of Michigan and beyond as an advocate for school choice.
“I am honored to work with the president-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” charter school proponent DeVos, 58, tweeted after the announcement Wednesday afternoon. “The status quo in ed is not acceptable.”
Just as swiftly came the backlash — from some conservatives who warned she had previously supported the Common Core education standards that Trump railed against during the campaign, and from teachers unions fiercely opposed to the kinds of reforms she supports.
“To clarify, I am not a supporter — period,” she tweeted Wednesday as questions circulated about her position on the Common Core learning standards adopted by many states to improve student readiness for college or a career.
On her website, DeVos said the higher standards supported by governors made sense at first but “got turned into a federalized boondoggle.”
Trump called her “a brilliant and passionate education advocate.”
“Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families,” the incoming president said.
For her part, DeVos was slow to warm to Trump. She told The Associated Press in July, “A lot of the things he has said are very off-putting and concerning.” At the Republican National Convention in July, she was a delegate for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
The choice reinforces Trump’s pledge to make school choice an education priority. In September, he pledged to funnel $20 billion in existing federal dollars into scholarships for low-income students, an idea that would require congressional approval.
DeVos,

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