Elizabeth Warren gives a preview of the DeVos confirmation hearing in a scathing 16-page open letter to Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education

Apparently, it’s not just Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow that’s decided to come out aggressively against Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, in advance of the Amway billionaire’s Wednesday confirmation hearing. Earlier today, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who sits on the Senate committee that will be considering Devos’s nomination, sent the candidate a scathing 16-page open letter, outlining in exquisite detail why, in her opinion, the advocate for dismantling public education in America is the wrong person for the job. I’d encourage you to read the whole letter – especially the 41 questions that Warren tells DeVos she’d better “come prepared to fully answer” – but here are three quotes that I wanted to share.




As I said the other night, there are a lot of truly terrible nominees that are going to be considered over the coming days, but this one is on us, Michigan. DeVos is someone who we know, and it’s incumbent on us to make sure the world knows what she did to Michigan, and what she’s likely to do to public education across the United States if given the opportunity. So, if you haven’t already, please read my last post about DeVos, share it with everyone you know – especially public education advocates – and ask them to call their Senators and demand that they join Stabenow and Warren in voting against her. If nothing else, this most recent election proves just how important it is that we educate our young, and, given her track record here in Michigan, we just can’t allow someone like DeVos to be the person calling the shots and setting the course forward… If you agree with me, please make at least one phone call, or tell at least one person, OK?

And, here, in case you need a reminder as to what DeVos has done in Michigan, is a short clip from Warren’s 16-page letter.


update: It shouldn’t stop us from calling our elected representatives and telling our friends, but word just came down that DeVos’s confirmation hearing, which had been scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 AM in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been postponed by a week due to pressure from the left. [Maybe those 41 questions posed by Warren spooked them.] Here’s a clip from the Washington Post.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary.

DeVos’s hearing, originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning, has been rescheduled for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., according to a joint statement from the HELP committee chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and ranking member, Patty Murray (D-Wash).

The move comes after Democrats raised concerns about the fact that the Office of Government Ethics, which has said it is overwhelmed by vetting Trump’s nominees, has not yet completed its review of DeVos’s financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest…

This is great news. And it shows that we’re having an impact. Please keep calling.

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  1. jean henry
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    16 page detailed critique is a hell of a lot better than holding up a sign of a Trump tweet. This is good news. I hope the DeVoss nomination gets more press.

  2. Lynne
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I got a little lazy this morning and just sent an email to my senators but hey, that is still something :)

  3. Vivienne Armentrout
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    This article in today’s NYT also gives a good perspective on DeVos.


  4. Anonymous
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Let’s say we are successful. Who will Trump appoint next? Michelle Rhee? I don’t want to talk you out of fighting DeVos but really what’s the point?

  5. Lynne
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    She really is awful. I hope we can fight her appointment but worry that if it isn’t her, it might be someone worse.

  6. Morbid Larson
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    “really what’s the point”

    The point is to be heard.

  7. Gary McCririe
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m not suggesting Betsy DeVos is the right choice but should we be examining the return on investment that the pubic system is delivering to us and our children. I have one child who graduated from a public HS and one who graduated from a Charter. Each child had a different style of learning. I will never forget my son looking at me in 10th grade and saying, ‘Dad, I feel like I am drowning.’ (In the public HS). That was all I needed to hear. I moved him the next week. On the other hand, my daughter thrived in the public setting.

  8. Vivienne Armentrout
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Not all charters are successful. Also, they have a history of very selective admissions. The impetus was to eliminate or cripple our public system that has been a major vehicle for our merging from many isolated cultures into one American culture. That, of course, is what the religious fundamentalists dislike.

    Your argument reminds me of the reasons many upperclass Ann Arborites have supported Community High School over the years. Selective schools with more resources do benefit students who need a particular environment. But there are public policy issues.

    (I went to the only high school in a small rural town, so no comparable experience.)

  9. Amy Sumerton
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Supporting public schools goes beyond what works/worked for your own children: it’s about giving ALL children in our country access to free, quality, public education.

  10. Lynne
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    There can be benefits to charter schools but unfortunately the way they have been implemented in Michigan has been harmful for students overall, even though some are good. Others are really bad and they drain resources from public schools. Sometimes fraudulently. For instance they often promise the parents of special needs kids that they can provide for them and then, somehow after the count day, they can’t. So the parent moves the student back to public school but the money for the student stays with the charter.

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  1. […] state to make sure that this becomes a central part of tomorrow’s hearing, right along with those 41 questions of Elizabeth Warren’s, and the news that broke a few days ago about how DeVos had neglected to mention a $125,000 […]

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