More than 300 Citizen Activists Urge Alexander to #DumpDevos

January 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Good Government, Recent Blog Posts

More than 300 parents, teachers, and community members stood outside in the cold early evening in front of Senator Lamar Alexander’s Nashville office to urge the Senator to oppose the confirmation of Education Secretary nominee Betsy Devos.

The demonstrators, a number of whom also took the time to express their concerns to the local staff in the Senator’s office, noted that during her confirmation hearing, DeVos suggested schools should not be gun-free zones because of the threat of grizzlies and refused to offer a full-throated endorsement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), instead initially suggesting that enforcement of IDEA should be left to the states.

DeVos has also expressed support for using taxpayer dollars to fund private, religious schools in spite of a lack of any clear evidence such voucher schemes actually produce any significant academic improvement.

As an education “reformer” in Michigan, she donated millions to candidates and won approval for an experiment in absolute free market school choice in Detroit — an experiment that has been likened to the “Hunger Games” for schools. 

For his part, Alexander has taken to creating a set of alternative facts about why opposition to DeVos is growing. So far, Alexander has been unrelenting in his support for the apparently unqualified pick to head the Department of Education.

Alexander’s support for DeVos baffled those in the crowd today. The Tennessean reports:

“We’re here because we’re schoolteachers, because we’re parents,” said Jenee Peters, a sixth-grade math teacher in Washington County. “She never went to public school, her children never went to public school. She knows nothing about public school, and that was very clear during her confirmation hearings.”

DeVos is scheduled for a vote before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee chaired by Sen. Alexander on Tuesday.

Representatives of the Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE), Tennessee Education Association, Metro Nashville Education Association, Statewide Organization for Community eMpowerment (SOCM), and Middle Tennessee Coalition Advocating for Public Education (Mid-TN CAPE) were among the attendees. The demonstration began at 3:30 PM and lasted until 6:00 PM.


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For more on politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNCitizenAction



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  1. […] yesterday, at Senator Lamar Alexander’s office in Nashville, hundreds of people showed up in the cold to protest the DeVos nomination (see here, here, and here as well). Again, I […]

  2. […] More than 300 Citizen Activists Urge Alexander to #DumpDevos […]

  3. […] More than 300 Citizen Activists Urge Alexander to #DumpDevos […]

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