Donald Trump has officially chosen billionaire Republican donor Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education in his administration. The pick comes after Trump spent a campaign season promising to eliminate the department or, at the very least, cut it “into shreds.”
I am honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again. The status quo in ed is not acceptable.
— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVos) November 23, 2016
The DeVos choice also appears to be a huge departure from the Trump campaign promise to “get rid of” common core.
According to conservative news site Red State:
DeVos has been an avid supporter of Common Core, and is also a major booster of school choice programs, particularly voucher systems. It is unclear what Trump’s policies toward education in the United States will be, considering DeVos’s past support of Common Core and his own rantings against it.
Trump’s pick is just the latest indication that his campaign rhetoric was non-binding and he intends to hedge on – or totally reverse – many of the major pledges he made over the past year. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s supporters will notice or care.
One positive aspect to Trump’s choice is that it managed to bring together two groups – Breitbart and teachers unions – that often disagree on everything.
After Trump announced his pick, Breitbart published a story blasting DeVos and calling her “pro-common core.”
“Anti-Common Core grassroots groups of parents and teachers urged Trump to abandon DeVos as his choice” https://t.co/AFUyBGEUAl
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 23, 2016
Randi Weingarten president of the American Federation of Teachers also expressed strong disapproval on Twitter shortly after the nomination was announced:
Trump has chosen the most ideological, anti-public ed nominee since the creation of the Dept of Education. https://t.co/4NwFn5fzvx
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) November 23, 2016
National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia also joined the chorus of opposition to DeVos, saying she has “consistently worked against” access to public education for students of all backgrounds and circumstances. Garcia said the pick is the latest proof that the incoming Trump administration is “out of touch” with respect to education policy.
In one choice, Trump managed to abandon yet another campaign promise, while upsetting teachers unions and some of his most loyal right-wing supporters.