This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as the worst public school in Clay County, and one of the lowest performing in the state.
“You claim to support civil rights and oppose discrimination, but your actions belie your assurances,” wrote the senators, who said that the secretary’s recent moves to curtail civil rights efforts heightened their longstanding concerns about her commitment to protecting students from discrimination and harassment.
A self-made Vermonter, Glenn Bowman has sent both his children to out-of-state prep schools. His son plays lacrosse and football at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and his daughter studied advanced dance at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, DeVos formally announced Jackson’s position as deputy assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights, a role that does not require Senate confirmation. The 39-year-old attorney will act as assistant secretary in charge of the office until that position is filled. DeVos has not yet selected a nominee, who would have to receive Senate confirmation.
On the day Taylor Hansen resigned, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)., sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, citing ProPublica’s reporting. “Mr. Hansen’s recent employment history clearly calls into question his impartiality in dealing with higher education issues at the Department of Education, and raises alarming conflict of interest concerns,” she wrote.
Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick as secretary of education, has funded groups that champion “intelligent design,” a sophisticated outgrowth of creationism. Science educators worry that she could use her bully pulpit to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools.