On January 17, the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee conducted the nomination hearing for Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos as the Secretary of Education. Based on DeVos’s performance, hundreds of national and local organizations have organized to support, voice concern, or oppose her nomination. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) agreed to sign with 52 state and national organizations to express “deep concern” over DeVos’s nomination.
The letter was sent on Monday, January 30, to members of the HELP Committee and to the press. A vote is tentatively scheduled in the HELP Committee on Tuesday, January 31, where she is expected to be voted on as the nominee along partisan lines. A vote by the full Senate could happen as early as this week.
Our core beliefs, our mission, and our multitude of position statements regarding what quality education in literacy should contain are in direct opposition to those views presented by the nominee. NCTE’s Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, the NCTE Executive Committee’s Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee Chair Alfredo Celedón Luján, and the NCTE Presidential Team have all been in contact on this issue over the last few weeks and feel that signing on to this letter is a worthwhile effort for us as an organization.
The letter and those organizations that support it can be found here. I welcome any questions or comments you might have. This letter can be used by you, our members, in ways that will be beneficial to further the causes that we uphold and endorse.
Susan Houser, NCTE President