February 3, 2017

A Senate panel is scheduled to vote Monday or Tuesday on President Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

Dr. Karen Effrem, Eagle Forum’s Education Issues Chair, encourages continued opposition to DeVos’ nomination. “She contradicts President Trump’s promises to stop Common Core, reduce or eliminate the federal education footprint, protect student privacy, and fight radical Islamic terror,” Karen stated. “DeVos had no documented opposition to Common Core until the day she was nominated, never met with and strongly opposed the grassroots stop Common Core efforts in her home state, funded pro-Common Core candidates in several states, and her great advocacy of school choice is only highly regulated laws and programs that require Common Core for private and charter schools by mandating the state Common Core tests, an issue Phyllis understood well.” Karen has a handout about data mining along with summarized information on Common Core on the Education Liberty Watch website. The HELP Committee vote in the Senate is Tuesday. Only one Republican needs to switch on the committee and three in the whole Senate. “Please try to do what you can,” Karen stated.

GOOD NEWS: Karen shared two important federal education victories!

First, blockage of the Strengthening Education Through Research Act or SETRA that is the re-authorization of the federal data mining apparatus that wanted to federally codify social-emotional research on children. It started early in 2015, passed the Senate by unanimous consent right after ESSA and could have gone on the consent calendar in the House any time. This was a national coalition of organizations and we are grateful for Eagle Forum’s strong participation and support in this effort.

Second, she participated with a whole slew of conservative organizations and analysts to point out the ineffectiveness and harm of nanny state government (pardon the redundancy) preschool programs. Even some more liberal organizations were pointing that out. It all resulted in Congress not even trying to take up Head Start re-authorization. Karen states, “My opposition to preschool began with reading Phyllis’ classic, ‘Who Will Rock the Cradle’!”