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Betsy DeVos nominee Secretary of Education

Source: The Washington Post / Getty


You may believe that the entire situation is laugh-out-loud funny—a woman who is a long-time advocate for using public funds for private schools being poised to head the Department of Education. But before you brush the whole thing off as tragically hilarious, pay attention to a few wtf words that Betsy DeVos said during her confirmation hearing yesterday (January 17).

To go through all of the SMH moments would take until Inauguration Day, so instead, the top winners of the worst.

RUNNERS UP: It’s not just what DeVos said, but what she did not know a thing about that warrants a tearful chuckle. The nominee seemed to be clueless—looking like a lost deer in the headlights when the topic was brought up and staying silent—that there was an ongoing, longstanding debate in the education community as to whether test scores were an acceptable way to measure student proficiency or growth. After asking the question, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) used her non-answer as a teachable moment, telling DeVos, “It surprises me that you don’t know this issue.” Ignorance apparently is bliss…even when you are about to be in charge of the education of America’s youth.

BRONZE: “I may have confused it.” This is what DeVos said when asked if she had not understood that IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which requires schools to provide all students with disabilities with a free and appropriate education) was a federal law. As anyone who has ever taken a test can tell you, when you confuse a thing, it means you got it wrong. As in, an F.

SILVER: Though Trump thinks grabbing pussies is the “locker room”-appropriate talk of all men—and the lifestyle of the rich and famous—DeVos disagrees. When asked  if the actions described by Trump on the leaked NBC tape (kissing and touching someone’s vagina without consent) were sexual assault, DeVos kept her answer simple: “Yes.” Perhaps the smartest thing she said the entire hearing, although it seems to go directly against the beliefs of the President-elect. However, when it comes to the sexual safety of students, DeVos believes colleges should not face potentially lose federal funding if they don’t investigate campus sexual assault.

GOLD: “I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.” Not a typo…she said “grizzlies.” Trump is considering ending gun-free zones around schools and though DeVos said her heart “bleeds” for any family who has lost anyone to gun violence, she also thinks one school in Wyoming may have weapons to protect itself from cranky bears.

A GOLDEN OLDIE: Back in 2001, when asked if private school should have to use private dollars only, DeVos said, “Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.” Hard to explain this one because what does any of this have to do with anything relevant???? Separation of church and state—and non-private, government funding is a state issue—are something that DeVos should have learned about during her own schooling.

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