January 13, 2017[Milwaukee, Wis…] The MacIver Institute and five other Wisconsin organizations sent a joint letter on Friday to U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in support of Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education.
The letter states in part, “As you know, Wisconsin is home to the nation’s oldest school choice program. We have witnessed firsthand here the need for dramatic reform of a status-quo education system and we can testify to the incredible impact empowering parents can have on a child’s education and their future…Mrs. DeVos has worked with local advocates for education reform in Wisconsin for decades to give parents a greater say in the education of their children.”
The MacIver Institute is joined by School Choice Wisconsin, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Hispanics for School Choice, and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce in urging the timely confirmation of DeVos.
The full letter follows and can be downloaded here:
The Honorable Lamar Alexander, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Alexander,
We write today to support President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education.
As you know, Wisconsin is home to the nation’s oldest school choice program. We have witnessed firsthand here the need for dramatic reform of a status-quo education system and we can testify to the incredible impact empowering parents can have on a child’s education and their future.
Mrs. DeVos has worked with local advocates for education reform in Wisconsin for decades to give parents a greater say in the education of their children. Mrs. DeVos has been a relentless fighter for all of our children, regardless of their skin color, where they live, their economic status or what type of school they attend.
Simply put, Mrs. DeVos has pushed to make the education ecosystem better in Wisconsin so every child has a chance to be successful in school and every child has a chance to pursue their dream after graduation. We believe she is the right choice to reform our nation’s education system.
Clearly, our nation needs Mrs. DeVos’ leadership and educational vision right now. According to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, less than forty-five percent of our fourth graders are proficient in reading and mathematics. Our lowest-achieving students are performing worse than ever and only about a third of our high school seniors are ready for college math and reading classes. The news is not much better on the international level. Thelatest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results show lower math scores for American students and flat scores in science and reading compared to students from across theglobe. Our PISA performance in math now ranks the United States near the bottom among the thirty five industrialized nations in the world. This is unacceptable.
We are also excited that Mrs. DeVos believes that education policy should be driven by parents and experts at the local level, not a one-size-fits-all dictate handed down from unelected federal bureaucrats on high. We need a federal education department that recognizes the importance of local control – an idea that might work in California might not work in Wisconsin – and we believe Mrs. DeVos will allow Wisconsinites to figure out how to best educate our children and prepare them to succeed in the global economy.
We believe Mrs. DeVos is an outstanding pick by President-elect Trump for Education Secretary. We ask that the United States Senate confirm Mrs. DeVos in a timely fashion so that she can get to the task at hand – turning around our nation’s education system – and give all of our children an opportunity for success and a better future.
Thank you for your consideration.
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
School Choice Wisconsin
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
President & General Counsel
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
Hispanics For School Choice
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce