Over the objections of angry Democratic Senators (Bernie, Al Franken, and Elizabeth Warren), the Republicans would only commit to one round of questions for Betsy Devos’ confirmation hearing as Secretary of Education, limited questions to five minutes per Senator. On the seat for only three hours (while Rex Tillerson got two days of hearings), Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander slammed the gavel and ended the hearings, saying that Obama set the precedent of one round of questions for his Education Secretary nominee (who was much more qualified).
Educators, parents, and anyone who has any interest whatsoever in public education exploded on Twitter. There were hundreds of tweets like this:
It was so obvious that Senator Alexander was protecting DeVos from answering more questions because she's wholly unqualified and it shows.— Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017
Senator Alexander is protecting DeVos from the major scrutinity that is duly needed for this nominee #DeVosHearing— Caeyenne Brown (@Shiny_b1) January 18, 2017
senator lamar alexander— Nancy Z (@NancyZ10) January 18, 2017
Your behavior is absolutely disgraceful! What are you hiding? This is criminal!!
@SenBobCasey because she is not capable and senator Alexander is trying to cut it off that's why p.s. Obamas current secty has PHD in ed— GCS (@Landesigner) January 18, 2017
Senator Alexander is looking ridiculous. Don't want any more questions for the public to hear. #BetsyDeVos— Karen Norton (@nortnik) January 18, 2017
Does Senator Alexander have something else more important than the future of education in our country going on tonight?#DeVosHearing— g7 (@GordonElgordo) January 18, 2017
In the limited amount of time we did have, here’s what we found out about Betsy Devos.
She and her family have donated over $200 million to Republicans, which Bernie Sanders strongly suggested is the only reason she’s up for the job.
She has no f*cking idea what “proficiency” means, even though proficiency vs. growth has been a subject debated in public education for years (and Al Franken lets her know)
Sen. Al Franken discovers Trump Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos doesn't know the difference between proficiency and growth. pic.twitter.com/QFQchwHhuc— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 18, 2017
Neither she nor her children have ever attended public school, though she would be in charge of running the nation’s public school system.
Tim Kaine: You and your children have never attended a public school, correct? Betsy DeVos: Correct.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 18, 2017
She’s anti-gay. She and her family have given over $10 million to Focus on the Family, which advocates conversion therapy.
Betsy DeVos lied repeatedly during this hearing. She was VP of her mom's foundation when they poured money into anti-gay organizations.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) January 18, 2017
Though she will be in charge of overseeing a trillion dollar student loan bank, DeVos has no experience overseeing banks, no experience managing a comparable program, no experience participating in such a program. She’s never taken out a student loan, nor have her children. She has no personal experience with financial aid.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren finds Betsy DeVos has no experience managing student loan programs, never took out a loan & never had a child who did. pic.twitter.com/nuhGMYAebm— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 18, 2017
She would not commit to preserving funding for public education, aka, she was open to defunding public schools.
She has no interest in standing up for kids with disabilities (or saying “I think that issue is one best left for the states” is her version of, ‘I don’t understand the question and don’t have the knowledge to answer it.’)
Betsy DeVos isn’t going to stand up for students with disabilities. She just said so: pic.twitter.com/UQ8oXREIs7— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) January 18, 2017
She has no experience whatsoever.
There is no precedent for a @usedgov secretary with the lack of experience in public education that Betsy DeVos has.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 17, 2017
OH OH OH. She also wants to allow guns in schools because GRIZZLY BEARS.