Two congressional lawmakers are asking the Trump administration to restore a missing U.S. government website that helps families navigate a complex federal law on students with disabilities. They also want U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ assurance that the site won’t be stripped down during her tenure.end of update
Education advocates late last month noticed that the site, idea.ed.gov, had been shut down. It has since reappeared, but in the past few days it has linked to a generic page offering information about the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
But the hearing unleashed concerns from special education groups — in a Jan. 26 letter to lawmakers, Denise Marshall, executive director of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc., an advocacy group, said DeVos “manifested an appalling lack of knowledge of educational concepts, the difference between the federal and state statutes that govern education, and basic facts about public education. Specifically, her lack of knowledge of the IDEA is disturbing and offensive to us.”
Marshall said DeVos’ stance, whether due to confusion or ideological belief, “is unacceptable and clearly indicates that Ms. DeVos is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education.”
No, no and no.
From the Washington Post, Influential conservative group: Trump, DeVos should dismantle Education Department and bring God into classrooms
A policy manifesto from an influential conservative group with ties to the Trump administration, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, urges dismantling the Education Department and bringing God into American classrooms.Further,
The five-page document produced by the Council for National Policy calls for a “restoration of education in America” that would minimize the federal role, promote religious schools and homeschooling and enshrine “historic Judeo-Christian principles” as a basis for instruction.
Names of the council’s members are closely held. But the Southern Poverty Law Center published a 2014 membership directory showing that Stephen K. Bannon — now chief White House strategist for President Trump — was a member and that Kellyanne Conway — now counselor to the president — served on the council’s executive committee.
It also says states should encourage K-12 public schools to post the Ten Commandments, teach Bible classes and recognize holidays such as Easter and Christmas; promote instruction “from a Judeo-Christian perspective”; and remove “secular-based sex education materials from school facilities.”And
It calls for the termination of the Common Core academic standards and an end to the government collection of student data, which has generated concerns among activists on the right and the left.
The goal, it says, is a “gradual, voluntary return at all levels to free-market private schools, church schools and home schools as the normative American practice.”
The document proposes demoting the department to a presidential “Advisory Council on Public Education Reform,” a sub-Cabinet-level agency that would serve as a consultant to states. New employees should subscribe to the educational worldview of the Trump administration, it says, “from assistant secretaries to the mailroom.”
Really? Would there be an oath to work in that agency? A litmus test?
And DeVos said this at her confirmation hearing:
“My faith is very important to me and informs my work. In education, it teaches me that every child is special and deserves the best we can offer them,” she wrote in response to Franken’s question. “That said, I do not believe in imposing my faith on others and, if confirmed, I will implement the laws as intended by Congress. That includes the provisions about the prohibition against religious instruction in schools.”Ah, but if Congress changed those laws on religious instruction in public schools, Ms. DeVos?
“I can’t tell you today what’s being done that’s unnecessary, but I can guarantee that there are things that the department has been doing that are probably not necessary or important for a federal agency to do,” she told Michael Patrick Shiels, a Michigan radio host, this week. “Really, when it comes down to it, education and the provision of education is really a state and local responsibility to a large extent.”She doesn't even KNOW anything about the department she wants to run/dismantle? Points for being honest, minus points for being ignorant.