"Senator Al Franken came to today's hearing on Betsy DeVos' confirmation as Education Secretary armed with facts and figures and basic knowledge of education policy.
Sadly, Mrs. DeVos did not, as Franken soon exposed.
At one point, her answers showed she did not understand the difference between proficiency and growth when evaluating student's performance on standardized tests.
Growth is the measure of how much a student learns year-to-year compared to his or her peers. Proficiency is the attainment of specific objective benchmarks, usually determined via standardized testing. There's a huge difference between the two, and the debate is one that heavily influences public education policy.
Franken let DeVos know he wasn't impressed, chiding, "It surprises me that you don't know this issue."
(Committee chairman Lamar Alexander limited the hearing to one round of questions per Senator, 5 minutes each, claiming that it was precedent from past hearings. Despite Democratic senators' protestations, he held to that standard. )
Franken also tried to nail DeVos down on conversion therapy, asking if she supported it for LGBT students.
"I have never believed in that," DeVos replied. "I fully embrace equality and believe in the innate value of every single human being and that all students should be able to attend schools and be free of discrimination."
Unfortunately, this doesn't square with her family's gifts to organizations like Focus on the Family and other anti-LGBT organizations who actively advocate for conversion therapy.
When DeVos was confronted by New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan on the Prince Foundation's donations to Focus on the Family, DeVos denied having any position on the board of that foundation and said her mother makes her own grants to other organizations without any input from her.”*
Read more here: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/01/sen-franken-exposes-betsy-devos-ignorance
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