- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Supporters of Betsy DeVos, the school-choice crusader President-elect Donald Trump picked for education secretary, fired back Tuesday at one of her chief critics: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

As Mrs. DeVos faces a confirmation hearing Tuesday, the union watchdog Center for Union Facts ran a full-page ad in Roll Call defending her record as a school reformer and slamming Ms. Weingarten.

The ad features a photograph Ms. Weingarten’s face beside text that reads: “hubris [hyoo-bris] exaggerated pride or self-confidence … synonyms: arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, hauteur, pride, self-importance, egotism, pomposity, superiority … See: Randi Weingarten, President American Federation of Teachers.”

Beneath the photo, the ad continues: “Our schools are falling behind the rest of the rest of the world. The United States ranks 40th in math, 25th in science, and 24th in reading behind countries like Estonia and Poland.”

“Yet Randi Weingarten has the audacity to attack Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos — a proven education reformer. Apparently, holding on to power is more important than education reform,” it says.

Mrs. DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and GOP megadonor, is one of the Senate Democrats’ top targets for slowing or derailing the confirmation process.

Ms. Weingarten has helped lead the charge.

In a speech last week in Washington, Ms. Weingarten called Mrs. DeVos “the most anti-public education nominee in the history of the department.”

Betsy DeVos lacks the qualifications and experience to serve as secretary of education. Her drive to privatize education is demonstrably destructive to public schools and to the educational success of all of our children,” she said.

Richard Berman, executive director of Center for Union Facts. said that Ms. Weingarten is choosing political power over educating children.

“Union bosses are scapegoating Betsy DeVos for one reason: Political power,” he said. “They see education reform as a threat to their public-school monopoly, which guarantees a steady stream of monthly dues at the expense of students in failing schools.”

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