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GRPS School Board Members remain silent on Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

December 5, 2016


Last week we posted an article asking the question of why the Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent, Teresa Weatherall Neal, had responded so favorably to Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. 

The article was meant to raise questions and look at the what Superintendent Neal stated were ways in which what the DeVos family was doing in the Grand Rapids School District aligned with Neal’s goals.

I spoke with one GRPS board member on the phone who affirmed the analysis in the article, but two other board members felt that the article was misleading.

Last Tuesday, I sent the following e-mail to every member of the GRPS Board:

As a GRPS School Board Member, I would like to know what your reactions are to 1) the announcement that Betsy DeVos has been named as Secretary of Education, and 2) what impact might that have on GRPS?

If you could respond be the end of the week, that would be great. I plan to post your responses in their entirety on the blog.

I received two responses via e-mail. Pastor Nathaniel Moody and Monica Randles both replied with the message No Comment.

The remaining 7 members of the Grand Rapids Public School Board – Jen Schottke, Wendy Falb, Maureen Quinn Slade, Dr. Jose Flores, John Matias, Raynard Ross and Tony Baker – did not respond to our questions.screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-1-04-51-am

There continues to be a national outcry against Betsy DeVos becoming the Secretary of Education.

Lisa Graves with the Center for Media and Democracy wrote a solid piece on the Trump pick for Secretary of Education, entitled, 5 Things to Know about Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump Education Choice. 

Democracy Now, also ran an important piece last week about Betsy DeVos, with several guests, but featuring Diane Ravitch, former Education Secretary and author of several books on the privatization of public education in the US.

It is unfortunate that the Grand Rapids School Board members are unwilling to take a position on the choice of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, especially considering that it could mean further efforts to undermine the public school system throughout the country.

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