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USDOE Has Not Updated DeVos’ Schedule in Three Weeks.

November 6, 2017

NOTE: USDOE finally updated DeVos’ schedule– for the week of November 06, 2017– on November 08, 2017– midweek.

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The US Department of Education (USDOE) has a page that allows the public to access US ed sec Betsy DeVos’ schedule a week at a time.

However, when I clicked on the link on November 06, 2017, I discovered that DeVos’ schedule had not been updated since the week of October 16, 2017– and that schedule includes no public events:

DeVos schedule 10-16-17

The latest archived schedules include this one, archived on the evening of October 02, 2017:

DeVos schedule 10-02-17

By the evening of October 09, 2017, DeVos’ schedule for the previous week of October 02, 2017, had been edited to remove her embarrassingly-canceled trip to Canada:

DeVos schedule 10-02-17b

What is noteworthy is that the above October 02, 2017, schedule was archived on the evening of Monday of the next week– October 09, 2017. Thus, DeVos’ schedule had not been updated for the week of October 09, 2017, by the evening of October 09, 2017.

It is understandable that DeVos would not want her schedule publicized. She attracts unprecedented protests because of her unpopularity.

DeVos’ plans to visit Canada at the end of the week of October 02, 2017, hit the news presumably the day it was posted: Monday, October 02, 2017.

By Wednesday, October 04, 2017, DeVos canceled the trip, reportedly over scheduling conflicts. However, dissension over DeVos’ visit was already underway:

“DeVos represents everything a public education advocate opposes,” Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Chris Cowley wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “She should keep her backwards ideas out of Ontario.”

The head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation said in a statement Monday that he was “extremely concerned” about plans to allow DeVos to visit Ontario schools.

“Ms. DeVos is a vocal proponent of programs that divert government funding away from public education and into private hands, to pay for tuition at private and religious schools,” Harvey Bischof wrote in a statement.

“The Ministry of Education should reconsider this visit and send a strong, clear message to Ms. DeVos and other proponents of privatization that public education in Ontario is not for sale.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario questioned the purpose of the visit.

“Given her record of undermining her country’s public school system, I am struggling to understand why she is coming to Ontario,” president Sam Hammond said in a statement.

At the Ontario legislature, the NDP (New Democratic Party) called on the government to not allow DeVos to tour schools in the province.

“Why is this government giving a platform to someone who believes that government should be spending less, not more, on public education?” asked New Democrat Peggy Sattler.

Then, on October 27, 2017, the New York Times put DeVos’ personal calendar from February to July 2017 under unfavorable scrutiny. An excerpt:

The detailed calendar entries suggest Ms. DeVos remains closely involved with some of the people helping to lead or advise leaders in the school choice movement. Among them are Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster, whom Ms. DeVos was scheduled to meet on June 21 to discuss language she could use to promote school vouchers without generating as much resistance to the effort, according to the notes in her agenda.

“Frank has a 60 slide deck of the words to use and the words to lose regarding parental choice, vouchers, charter schools, teacher pay and all the other issues in education reform,” the notes say.

On July 10, Ms. DeVos met with a Republican state senator from Tennessee, Brian Kelsey, according to her calendar, to discuss the “federal government’s plans for school vouchers.” In her first weeks on the job, she also had a call with former Senator Phil Gramm, Republican of Texas. The topic was listed as “School Choice in Texas.”

According to the calendar, Ms. DeVos also met with Tim Keller and Richard Komer of the Institute for Justice, a conservative nonprofit that has joined lawsuits in Montana,Nevada and additional states to defend the ability of parents to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to cover tuition for their children to attend private religious schools. The goal of the meeting: “suggest a few areas where the Department could facilitate school choice efforts and offer the Sec. help in those areas.”

However, despite DeVos’ particular devotion to school voucher choice, it seems that her ability to leverage her federal position in favor of her pet cause has been thwarted enough to raise questions regarding whether DeVos will continue long in her ed sec position. She’s even having difficulty filling USDOE positions, with, as November 01, 2017, Politico notes, “numerous Republicans turning down offers.”

Perhaps the person who updates her USDOE weekly schedule also declined to stay on the job and no one has bothered to step in to keep informed the public that DeVos allegedly serves.

Perhaps this is a strategic move by DeVos to curb public protests against her school choice agenda.

Neither option is professional.

betsy devos 6  Betsy DeVos

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

4 Comments
  1. Lisa M permalink

    Or maybe the person who updates her schedule has had their employment/position with USDE terminated. There is a buy out/early retirement plan in place. Heavens to Betsy doesn’t want/need anyone to know where she is traveling.

    • That humorously horrifying truth about the Trump game: have no clue how anything necessary to run a government works, aggressively cut everything in sight, then demand action from people and programs which no longer exist…

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