Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Badass Teachers Association
MARLA KILFOYLE, Executive Director BATs
MELISSA TOMLINSON, Asst. Executive Director BATs

BATs Board of Directors Statement on Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

The Badass Teachers Association, a network of over 80,000 teachers and education activists throughout the United States, are appalled that Betsy DeVos has been selected Secretary of Education.  We want to be clear as an organization, we will mobilize on a national level, at the state level, and the local level to STOP her agenda to dismantle public education in this nation.  We will fight for our communities to have strong, sustainable, and well-funded public schools.

Betsy DeVos brings NO education experience, but she does bring a disturbing record of attempting to dismantle public education.  She has used her family money and influence to push an agenda that will hand public tax dollars over to unaccountable for-profit corporations; she will promote vouchers schemes that have, according to research, no value in improving education, and she will funnel public money to church-sponsored schools.  Students and families across the nation will pay for her lack of understanding that it is the responsibility of elected officials, and the public, to provide a quality public education for all children.

"Public education is not a business.  Public education is not a competition.  In competition and business there are winners and losers.  Public education should be about nurturing our most valuable resource - our children.  Our children deserve a Secretary of Education who is an advocate for public education not privatization."  - Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs

“Children whose parents lack the means or ability to select a school and provide transportation for a child to a school far away from their neighborhood are left with little “choice.”  This will certainly be harmful to the most vulnerable children and families and will fall especially hard on those in poverty and those in isolated rural communities”.  - Kathleen Jeskey, Oregon BAT and BAT Co-Director of State Administrators.

"Trump's choice for Secretary of Education solidifies and makes tangible the very real concerns many in Public Education have about the disrespect shown and the callous disregard for our profession. It appears that the President-elect has doubled down on the efforts to privatize and commodify one of the cornerstones of democracy. Trump has in fact spat in the face of all who work tirelessly for the many children in public schools throughout the country by appointing someone with little regard for the work we do. As a public school teacher, I am committed now more than ever to bringing attention to the many challenges we face in trying to save Public Education from the greedy hands that seek to profit from our children and our communities. With this selection, Trump has revealed his true feelings and intentions when it comes to the students, families, and educators that comprise our Public Schools."  - Gus Morales, BAT Board of Director Member

"Great! A Republican mega-donor who never held a job in her life will be the next Education Secretary. She's a perfect choice for Trump's plan to bribe state government to increase charter and voucher schools with our tax dollars." - Steven Singer, Director BATs Research, and Blogging.

" Why on Earth would someone who has no experience working with and for the public in our school system be appointed to oversee the same system they never worked within. Is the goal of this administration to improve Public Education or is it to pilfer the coffers that should be allocated for all the children of our country. This is unfathomable." - Becca Ritchie, NEA BAT Caucus Chair

"After the constant failure to deliver the promised results of improvements and closing of achievement gaps, BATs consider such a nomination as unacceptable. Public schools and teachers have seen and suffered for almost two decades the same dogmatic ideology she professes and its destructive policies." - Sergio Flores, BATs Board of Directors Member

"My teacher friends here in Michigan know that the choice of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education shows just how much we have to be concerned about in a Trump administration. Ms. DeVos is not just a charter cheerleader--her goal is to destroy our system of public education and turn a public good into a private profit center.  Based on her track record in Michigan, we can expect an alarming lack of transparency and an unbecoming level of arrogance coming from a DeVos-run Department of Education. We must all be vigilant, and make a move from public school advocates to activists. It's that important." - Mitchell Robinson, associate professor and chair of music education - Michigan State University

BATs around the country will continue to advocate and fight at the federal, state, and local level to sustain our public school system and to make sure that every child in this country has a strong, sustainable community public school in their neighborhood.  Betsy DeVos is unqualified and unfit to be Secretary of Education.  The children, families, and teachers of this nation deserve better.


Please consider donating to BATs at so that we can continue to fight for children and public education.  You can make a one time donation or be a $10 a month subscriber.  BATs is a 501c4 so donations are not tax deductible.  You can also send a check made out to The Badass Teachers Association, Inc.  Send it to P.O. Box 1390, Bellmore, NY 11710.


  1. The only comment I have is one that you might sit back from for a moment.

    There is no reason that DeVos should be marked down for never working a professional job. AKA - a job where she got a paycheck. Here's why. Her family and the circles they live in have an expectation for the women in their families. They expect the women to run the foundations or sit at home caring for the home. And that's quite alright. It is a choice, a valid one.

    But then this should not have happened: "Great! A Republican mega-donor who never held a job in her life will be the next Education Secretary."

    Who cares if she's never worked a day in her life for money. Who cares if her experience is all volunteer work. Who. The. Heck. Cares. Because if this is what is important, why aren't we checking on how many years in school have made Ben Carson eligible for Housing and Human Develpment? Specifically the part where he is in charge of pretty much all the projects and low income housing that's avaialbel

    Saying someone isn't qualified because "she" hasn't worked a day in their life may be true. BUt it's also sexist

    You want qualified women - open schools to teach them then require then to work a certain number of months before they are allowed to leave the position. Women are some of the best in the goverment and should be utilized regardless of which party they are on.

  2. Please provide evidentiary sources that will allow your readers to confirm as facts the assertions made about Ms. DeVos in paragraph 2 above. Also, you should provide the links to those facts within your Facebook posts. Without voluntarily providing to your readers the sources of facts that backup your assertions and commentary, then everything you say or publish in print is mere rhetoric. Thank you for showing this consideration for the analytical intelligence of your readers and of those whom you seek to agree with and support your mission.

  3. I have already written to my State Senator, David Perdue, urging him not to support his appointment. Billionaire wives with no education background have no business calling the shots on America's education system.

  4. I hear a lot of platitudes & empty rhetoric. One question: How is it working now? It's not.... Capitalism works; perverted Capitalism destroys... The elite attitude of the left justifies their arrogance & empty benevolance of the pretentious concern...

  5. So...this is what Republicans voted for? Well...It's always good to pick someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

  6. None of DT's nominations make any sense so far. It's like the worst of the worst are coming out of their swamps and getting another opportunity to lie steal and kill in the name of Democracy.

  7. A politically uneducated pres-elect,possile potential naxi radical alt-right chief strategist and now a clearly inexperienced in educational knowledge for secretary of Education!!!! How many more IDIOTS has don lined up to demolish America!!! Stand up and say "NO!!!,I REFUSE TO BE A PART OF THE DIMISS OF MY FREEDOM AND HUMAN KIND!!!

  8. Did any of you here apply for the job?

    1. Exactly. And, no, teacher's unions are not the problem.

  9. If the Teacher's Union is so dead set against Trump's pick for Secretary of Education, she must be just the right person for the job. The TEA is the main problem with our public education system. Always want more tax money for their socialist agenda.


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