Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
HomePoliticsSecretary of Education Betsy DeVos in Alaska

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in Alaska

The country’s 11th Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is in Alaska this week and today is doing a walk-through tour and panel at Mat-Su Central School, which is a K-12 program of individualized learning based in Wasilla. She will be at education meetings this week with Alaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson, Gov. Michael Dunleavy, and other education thought leaders.

DeVos is an advocate for charter schools, is a former board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, served as  board chair for Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute, and was at the heart of All Children Matter, a political action committee. She served as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

In 2017, she was confirmed by the Senate in a 51-50 tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence. Although Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted to move the nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote, Alaska’s senior senator voted against DeVos’ confirmation after receiving pressure from Great Alaska Schools, whose leader was Alyse Galvin. Galvin is running for the second time to unseat Congressman Don Young.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Am waiting for the day when Lisa Murkowski joins the Democrat Party. Hope it’s sooner rather than later. She opposes almost everything these days against her constituents’ wishes.

    • “She opposes almost everything these days against her constituents’ wishes.”
      That, of course, explains why she keeps getting re-elected. The stupid is strong today.

      • Yes, stupid sure is strong today, Bill. Your post proves that. Murkowski wasn’t re-elected by actual conservatives. Nor did she win the very first time from conservatives. Murkowski has a strong base amongst Alaska Natives and union workers.
        Your nonstop ridicule of people you disagree with seems so familiar….let me think….oh, that’s right. You’re using Trump’s own tactics! You must really be a secret Trump fan, aren’t you, Bill?

        • Pretty sure she’s going to lose some of her native base when she hangs the fishermen out to dry on the pebble deal.

        • Her constituents are all of Alaskans in case you think she only answers to conservatives. I agree she wasn’t elected by actual conservatives, but so what?
          Barry can’t help himself with his garbage, most of the time, and it has nothing to do with my disagreeing with him it’s that he doesn’t make any sense.

          • Yip…yip. Little chiwaaawaaa Bill Yankee makes another doodle in front of everyone… yip…yip…

    • I can’t wait for the day she gets replaced or fired.

  • School choice is really a position that

    That’s my child this is my choice for school.

    We all accept that individuals have different abilities and learning styles, fewer and fewer entities are demanding cookies cutting standards of acceptance of normalcy yet in educational institutions there has been a push to one path for all. In Alaska it seems money is not the solution …. We won the race to the bottom and that’s nothing to brag about. School choice and voucher system will aid in reformation desperately needed to revamp our educational system.

    By having multiple methods developed at the same time we can speed up the time to solve our dismal current educational results by having a way to compare success rates between the different systems and methods. Yet the NEA is a major opponent against parents involvement with choices for their children.

    The educational system exist to educate our youth not simply to grow government, agencies or employment. Let us focus on the children’s needs first and centre when we work on solving the educational problems we face.

    • Jenny, you are correct. Parents have the responsibility to ensure their kids get a good education that best fits their kids. Trouble is, the NEA, AFT, Education Industry have tied the hands of parents and kids. I hold the Alaska Legislature fully accountable for the less than mediocre K12 system we have. The legislators OWN IT.

    • Jenny, I completely agree. We should have choices without having to pay extra for it. I was so thankful when Aurora Borealis Charter school opened on the peninsula several years ago and it’s still going very strong and doing quite well. It even won an award recently.

  • I sincerely hope she learns a thing or two about Alaska schools.She definitely has no educational experience.

    • What would you suggest she might learn from some of the lowest-performing public schools in the country? How not to educate kids?

  • Come on, give the guy a break. He got one thing right, Lisa is for a woman being able to kill her unborn baby, and truth be known I think she is pro Pebble, she keeps dodging that topic. She’s a fence sitter for sure and Republican by name but moderate fence-sitter by occupation. I saw a poster alongside the highway and dillingham the other day and it read Lisa murkowski where are you and it was from the Bristol Bay fisherman. I jokingly said when I read that sign that she’s on the fence that’s where she’s at. She was anti Brett kavanaugh even though Ginsberg says he’s the nicest man she’s ever known. She’s anti Trump I don’t know maybe she’s just a man hater.

  • Schools need managerial experience not educational experience. “Educational experience “ is what got us to the top on cost and the bottom on performance.

  • David, correct though the parents SHOULD have the greatest say as to what is taught and how it is taught we are stifled and informed that our role in to be limited to SUPPORT THE TEACHERS…. They have reached the point that they have created yard signs that demand that. Well, they days that it’s for the kids is over and it’s not hidden!

  • It’s probably best to let the teachers who are trained professionals teach the curriculum it has been established by the school board. Yes the most important aspect is competint School administrators, but you have to hire professionals and let them do their job. If you want to dictate what’s being taught in the classroom then run for school board or an advisory committee, or homeschool your kids if you want the ultimate control.

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