Help me Lobby Against Betsy DeVos

Normally, I don’t bring up politics here. The few times I have, it’s been fairly clear I would like our elected officials to represent the peoples’ will and not their personal ideologies. I’ve also pushed for them to actually be in session more days out of the year.

Today, I change that by talking about Betsy DeVos. On Tuesday, she returns to Congress for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for the vote on her candidacy to become Secretary of Education.

Watching her testimony confirmed teachers’ worst fears about her. She was ignorant of the current pedagogical debates and appeared not to understand federal laws regarding students. She had no compelling vision to share so we just have her track record to work with. For more, see this New York Times story and this Washington Post piece.

I am all for a spirited debate over charter and private schools versus public schools. Vouchers have proved to work in some places, but not everywhere. So by all means, let’s have that conversation.

You should know that the charter schools she has been most closely allied with in Michigan also have been rated poorly, proving that private does mean it’s a panacea. For details, check out this Washington Post story.

But the Secretary candidate lacks:

  • An Education degree
  • Classroom teaching experience
  • Curriculum design experience
  • School administration experience
  • Never served on a Board of Education
  • Has never needed to apply for a college loan for herself or her children
  • Empathy for public school teachers, the people she will effect

As a teacher, I find this appalling.

Apparently, her most redeeming quality is that she has a long history of good relations with the LGBT community, which will certainly help students.

Sen. Al Franken had the best exchanges with her over substantive issues.

She is facing a panel of Senators that have displayed no discomfort at the notion many have received campaign contributions from her or her family. Not a single one has recused themselves for fear of appearing biased, which I find reprehensible. Her own financial disclosure issues also call into question her ability to manage a large bureaucracy. And now she may be in violation of Ohio state election laws.

I also find Chairman Lamar Alexander’s limit of five minutes per senator and only one round instead of two for questioning unfair to the Senators who will vote on a person whose work will impact every child in the country. None of my senators are involved in this but I am urging any reader to reach out to those in your state or call Chairman Alexander and ask them not to approve DeVos.

Chairman
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
(202) 224-4944 (Washington, DC)
(423) 752-5337 (Chattanooga, TN)
(731) 664-0289 (Jackson, TN)
(865) 545-4253 (Knoxville, TN)
(901) 544-4224 (Memphis, TN)
(615) 736-5129 (Nashville, TN)

Ranking Member
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
(202) 224-2621 (Washington, DC)
(425) 259-6515 (Everett, WA)
(360) 696-7797 (Vancouver, WA)
(509) 453-7462 (Yakima, WA)
(206) 553-5545 (Seattle, WA)
(509) 624-9515 (Spokane, WA)
(253) 572-3636 (Tacoma, WA)

Majority:
Sen. Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.)
(202) 224-3424 (Washington, DC)
(307) 261-6572 (Casper, WY)
(307) 772-2477 (Cheyenne, WY)
(307) 527-9444 (Cody, WY)
(307) 682-6268 (Gillette, WY)
(307) 739-9507 (Jackson, WY)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
(202) 224-3154 (Washington, DC)
(828) 350-2437 (Asheville, N.C.)
(336) 631-5125 & (800) 685-8916 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
(888) 848-1833 & (910) 251-1058 (Wilmington)
(252) 977-9522 (Rocky Mount)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
(202) 224-3643 (Washington, DC)
(770) 661-0999 (Atlanta, GA

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
202-224-4343 (Washington, DC)
270-782-8303 (Bowling Green, KY)
859-426-0165 (Crescent Springs, KY)
502-582-5341 (Louisville, KY)
270-689-9085 (Owensboro, KY)
270-885-1212 (Hopkinsville, KY)
859-219-2239 (Lexington, KY)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
(202) 224-2523 (Washington, DC)
(207) 622-8414 (Augusta, ME)
(207) 945-0417 (Bangor, ME)
(207) 283-1101 (Biddeford, ME)
(207) 493-7873 (Caribou, ME)
(207) 784-6969 (Lewiston, ME)
(207) 780-3575 (Portland, ME)

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
(202) 224-5824 (Washington, DC)
(225) 929-7711 (Baton Rouge, LA)
(504) 838-0130 (Metairie, LA)
(337) 261-1400 (Lafayette, LA)
(337) 493-5398 (Lake Charles, LA)
(318) 324-2111 (Monroe, LA)
(318) 448-7176 (Alexandria, LA)
(318) 798-3215 (Shreveport, LA)

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)
(202) 224-5623 (Washington, DC)
317-226-6700 (Indianapolis, IN)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
(202) 224-5251 (Washington, DC)
(435) 586-8435 (Cedar City Office, UT)
(801) 625-5672 (Ogden, UT)
(801) 375-7881 (Provo, UT)
(801) 524-4380 (Salt Lake City, UT)
(435) 634-1795 (St. George, UT)

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
202-224-4774 (Washington, DC)
(620) 227-2244 (Dodge City, KS)
(913) 451-9343 (Overland Park, KS)
(785) 295-2745 (Topeka, KS)
(316) 263-0416 (Wichita, KS)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
(202)-224-6665 (Washington, DC)
(907) 271-3735 (Anchorage, AK)
(907) 456-0233 (Fairbanks, AK)
(907) 586-7277 (Juneau, AK)
(907) 376-7665 (Mat-Su Valley, AK)
(907) 283-5808 (Kenai, AK)
(907) 225-6880 (Ketchikan, AK)

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
(202) 224-6121 (Washington, DC)
(803) 771-6112 (Midlands, SC)
(864) 233-5366 (Upstate, SC)
(843) 727-4525 (Low country, SC)

Minority
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
(202) 224-5141 (Washington, DC)
(802) 862-0697 & (800) 339-9834 (Burlington, VT)
(800) 339-9834 (St. Johnsbury, VT)

Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.)
(202) 224-6324 (Washington, DC)
(215) 405-9660 (Philadelphia, PA)
(570) 941-0930 (Northeastern, PA)
(814) 874-5080 (Erie, PA)
(717) 231-7540 (Harrisburg, PA)
(412) 803-7370 (Pittsburgh, PA)
(814) 357-0314 (Central, PA)
(610) 782-9470 (Lehigh Valley, PA)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
(202) 224-5641 (Washington, DC)
(218) 284-8721 (Moorhead, MN)
(218) 722-2390 (Duluth, MN)
(651) 221-1016 (Saint Paul, MN)
(507) 288-2003 (Rochester, MN)

Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.)
202-224-5852 (Washington, DC)
303-455-7600 (Denver, CO)
719-587-0096 (San Luis Valley, CO)
970-241-6631 (Grand Junction, CO)
970-259-1710 (Southwest, CO)
970-224-2200 (Northern, CO)
719-328-1100 (Pikes Peak, CO)
719-542-7550 (Arkansas Valley, CO)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
(202) 224-2921 (Washington, DC)
(401) 453-5294 (Providence, RI)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
(202) 224-5653 (Washington, DC)
(715) 832-8424 (Eau Claire, WI)
(608) 264-5338 (Madison, WI)
(920) 498-2668 (Green Bay, WI)
(414) 297-4451 (Milwaukee, WI)
(608) 796-0045 (La Crosse, WI)
(715) 261-2611 (Wausau, Wi)

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.)
(202) 224-4041(Washington, DC)
(860) 549-8463 (Hartford, DC)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
(202) 224-4543 (Washington, DC)
(617) 565-3170 (Boston, MA)
(413) 788-2690 (Springfield, MA

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
(202) 224-4024 (Washington, DC)
(434) 792-0976 (Danville, VA)
(276) 525-4790 (Abingdon, VA)
(804) 771-2221 (Richmond, VA)
(757) 518-1674 (Virginia Beach, VA)
(540) 682-5693 (Roanoke, VA)
(703) 361-3192 (Manassas, VA)

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
(202) 224-3324 (Washington, DC)
(603) 622-2204 (Manchester, NH)

 

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