DeVos Confirmation Hearing Confirms She is Unqualified (5 Videos)

If you read our earlier piece, Act Now to Oppose An Unqualified Public School Privatizer, you would be well informed about how unqualified Betsy DeVos is to lead the US department of Education. If you watched her confirmation hearing performance yesterday, you would realize we didn't go far enough.

Seldom have we ever seen someone so lacking in basic knowledge be put forward as an education leader. There are better qualified candidates on school boards in Ohio.

For those who didn't follow the hearings, let us document the myriad of examples of Betsy DeVos demonstrating her complete lack of understanding and knowledge of the department she is wishing to lead.

Example 1: Asked by Sen. Murphy if guns have any business in schools

Pressed on whether she could say "definitively" if guns shouldn't be in schools, she referred to an earlier remark by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) who mentioned an elementary school in Wapiti, Wyoming, that had erected a fence to protect children from wildlife.

"I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.

Example 2: DeVos did not Know what (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was

Example 3: Unable to state is all schools should meet the same accountability standards (this one gets awkward), and what IDEA means

Kaine: “If confirmed will you insist upon equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives taxpayer funding whether public, public charter or private?”

DeVos: “I support accountability.”

Kaine: “Equal accountability?”

DeVos: “I support accountability.”

Kaine: “Is that a yes or a no?”

DeVos: “I support accountability.”

Kaine: “Do you not want to answer my question?”

DeVos: “I support accountability.”

Kaine: “Let me ask you this. I think all schools that receive taxpayer funding should be equally accountable. Do you agree?”

DeVos: “Well they don’t, they are not today.”

Kaine: “Well, I think they should. Do you agree with me?

DeVos: “Well no . . . ”

And once again failed to understand the importance of IDEA

Kaine asked her if she believes that all schools that receive federal funding — whether public, public charter or private — should be required to meet the requirements of IDEA.

She responded: “I think they already are.”

Kaine: “But I’m asking you a should question. Whether they are or not, we’ll get into that later.” He then repeated his question.

DeVos said: “I think that is a matter that is best left to the states.”

Kaine responded: “So some states might be good to kids with disabilities and other states might not be so good and, what then, people can just move around the country if they don’t like how kids are being treated?”

Devos repeated: “I think that’s an issue that’s best left to the states.”

Example 4: DeVos did not understand the difference between Growth and proficiency

Understanding the difference between these 2 simple concepts is a prerequisite. Not knowing this is dangerously ignorant.

Example 5: Finally we get to the real reason DeVos was sitting in that chair, and about to be the least qualified Secretary of Education in the nations history.

Sanders: “Mrs. DeVos, there is a growing fear, I think, in this country that we are moving toward what some would call an oligarchic form of society, where a small number of very, very wealthy billionaires control, to a significant degree, our economic and political life. Would you be so kind as to tell us how much your family has contributed to the Republican Party over the years?”

DeVos: “Senator, first of all thank you for that question. I again was pleased to meet you in your office last week. I wish I could give you that number. I don’t know.”

Sanders: “I have heard the number was $200 million. Does that sound in the ballpark?”

DeVos: “Collectively? Between my entire family?”

Sanders: “Yeah, over the years.”

DeVos: “That’s possible.”

Sanders: “Okay. My question is, and I don’t mean to be rude. Do you think, if you were not a multi-billionaire, if your family had not made hundreds of millions of dollars of contributions to the Republican Party, that you would be sitting here today?”

DeVos: “Senator, as a matter of fact, I do think that there would be that possibility. I’ve worked very hard on behalf of parents and children for the last almost 30 years to be a voice for students and to empower parents to make decisions on behalf of their children, primarily low-income children.”

After listening to her testimony, it's pretty clear there is zero possibility she would be a nominee for this position without her political financial ties, and to go one step further, she has admitted this herself in the past

“My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee,” she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. “I have decided to stop taking offense,” she wrote, “at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.”