Teachers, their students and local communities have been out in force in the US to protest against President Trump's choice of education secretary, billionaire Betsy DeVos. In Los Angeles for instance teachers demonstrated under the banner of the California Teachers Association, which said in a statement: 'Her blatant extremist, anti-public school political agenda violates every student’s civil rights at the most basic level. Social justice for all begins with a quality, free public education.'
Apart from being a cheerleader and major funder of campaigns for privatised charter schools and for a voucher system of education, DeVos has no experience in education. At the senate hearing to debate her nomination, she showed herself unable to answer simple questions about pedagogy and unwilling to declare any determination to support the federal rights of children with disabilities. She also refused to rule out privatising public schools, and opposed a gun ban in schools, saying they might be needed to shoot 'grizzly bears'.
Protests took place in many towns, including Washington where crowds gathered outside the Capitol, holding banners and chanting: 'Toss DeVos!' and 'Betsy is a Threatsy!' The Senate are due to rule on her nomination on Tuesday.