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New Teacher Center Statement on DeVos Approval by Senate Committee

Today, New Teacher Center released a statement regarding the vote by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to support the President’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary.

At New Teacher Center our commitment to students and the support of educators has not wavered. We understand that the opportunity for a high-quality education is not a reality for many children across our country. That is why we strongly urge Betsy DeVos, whose nomination as U.S. Education Secretary was just approved by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, to quickly address critical questions that remain about her vision to end educational inequity and strengthen educator effectiveness. Ms. DeVos’s answers to many questions in her testimony and written responses submitted to committee members leave more uncertainty than clarity about the future of our nation’s public schools.

Unanswered questions originally proposed by New Teacher Center include:

  1. How will you use the regulatory and rhetorical power of the Education Department to cultivate effective teaching and support our nation’s classroom teachers?
  2. How can the Education Department work to improve opportunities for even the most promising or effective teachers to improve on the job through rigorous, instructionally focused coaching and mentoring?
  3. What is your position on the use of Title I funds to support educational equity in urban and rural schools that teach significant populations of low-income students?
  4. What is your position on Title II funding and how it helps to strengthen classroom instruction?
  5. What is your position on continued funding for programs like Education Innovation and Research (EIR) that cultivate an evidence base of educational programs and interventions that work?

New Teacher Center recognizes that a continued federal investment in ESSA programs, a strong partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and a set of shared values about the important role of our nation’s public school educators is critical to providing equal educational opportunity to every child in America. Our continued hope is that the Senate and Ms. DeVos will take the time to listen to the millions of American public school educators, students and parents in an effort to work in partnership with all who seek to ensure that each and every child – regardless of their zip code – receives a quality education.

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Yael Bailey