Long Island School Board Opposes Nomination of 'Amway' DeVos

At its December 19, 2016 meeting the Board of Education of the Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District voted unanimously to oppose the nomination of Betsy 'Amway' DeVos as United States Secretary of Education. The resolution called on the Senate to reject the nomination and invited President-elect Trump to a meeting with board members to discuss their concerns.

The Board Resolution (see below) condemned the nomination of DeVos because of her lack of either experience or credentials and her support for charter schools and school voucher programs. District parents are strong opponents of mandated Common Core aligned exams. In April 2016 over seventy percent of eligible students chose to opt-out of the high-stakes standardized tests.

The Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District is located on the south shore of Long Island in New York State. It is a diverse school district with a population of almost 9,000 students, about 60% are white, 32% are Latino, and 8% are Asian or Black. Almost 45% of the district's students receive free or reduced price lunch and approximately 10% are English language learners.

Whereas, the Board of Education of the Patchogue-Medford School District has been elected by the residents of the Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District to determine policy and approve programming for the students of the district, within the confines of both federal and state statutes governing education, and . . .

Whereas, this Board of Education, on many occasions, has expressed its displeasure with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the implementation of the Common Core and Annual Professional Performance Review and the high stakes testing which accompany these mandates, and . . .

Whereas, the Board of Education wants all of our students, regardless of ability, background, race, or gender, to feel secure, focusing on the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and relational growth of our students, and . . .

Whereas, President-Elect Trump has called for the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education of the United States, a candidate apparently lacking any credentials as an educator, experience in the administration and management of public schools, demonstrating a pre-disposition towards and long-history of support for charter schools and school voucher programs, which by their very nature eviscerate free and appropriate public education for specific economic, social and racial groups, and . . .

Whereas, Ms. DeVos has been at the forefront of the establishment of the Detroit charter school initiative, by all accounts an abject failure which hurt students and enriched the coffers of private companies, therefore be it . . .

Resolved, that the Patchogue-Medford Board of Education hereby, based on this record, opposes the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and until such time as the incoming Trump administration presents a formal vision for the future of public education in the United States of America and will continue to oppose such a nomination, and calls upon the incoming United States Senate to stand firm by opposing this nominee and affirming this serious need, and be it further . . .

Resolved, that the Board of Education invites the president-elect, the nominee for secretary of education or representatives of the incoming education team to meet with them to conduct a forthright and meaningful discussion about the future of public education and their strategies to affect the necessary changes.

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