The AAUP urges the United States Senate to reject Betsy DeVos’s nomination as education secretary.
Given her documented lack of qualifications and hostility to public education, DeVos is manifestly unqualified for the position. In both ideology and practice she has violated the principles of quality education that the AAUP has defended for over a century. Far from seeing our public schools as a valuable asset, DeVos understands them instead as a source of revenue to fill the pockets of corporate school entrepreneurs. Her privatization schemes have done much damage in several states, especially Michigan. They treat students as widgets in a machine to produce a profit for well-heeled investors. In Ohio, DeVos broke the law by knowingly making illegal campaign contributions through her school choice PAC, resulting in a fine of over $5 million that has yet to be repaid eight years later. This brings her personal ethics and responsibility into question.
Her policies have consistently failed, producing schools with de facto segregation, low academic performance, and a lack of local control. DeVos also supports imposing a vision of militant Christianity that enthusiastically violates the American tradition of the separation between church and state. Further, DeVos ignores the research that leads to best practices in education if that research differs from her uninformed personal beliefs.
Our students should not be pawns in an ideologically-driven gamble to profit from their education. We urge the rejection of DeVos as a dangerous choice for the future of public education in the United States.