If U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came to the Conservative Political Action Conference in order to establish her street cred with conservatives, she probably succeeded. “I am, perhaps, the first person in America to tell Bernie Sanders that there is no free lunch,” she told the audience at CPAC.
Perhaps more importantly, she showed the audience of college students that in current and upcoming battles over free speech on campus, she has their back. “The faculty, from adjuncts to deans, tell you what to do and, more ominously, what to think,” she said at CPAC.
She urged the students to take a page from her boss’s book and “e-mail, tweet and snapchat every politician who thinks the status quo is okay.”
The National Education Association (NEA) teachers union famously opposed DeVos’s nomination. “Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades working to dismantle public education and privatize public schools, is dangerously unqualified and lacks the experience we should all demand in America’s secretary of education,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García stated in January. “If confirmed, she would become the first secretary of education with zero experience with public schools.”
Nevertheless, the head of the other teacher’s union—the American Federation of Teachers—did reach out to her, and gave each other an interesting challenge. “I will go to a public school Randi Weingarten selects and she will go to a choice school.”
You can watch Betsy DeVos’s speech below: