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Assessing Betsy DeVos' Rollback on Disability Rights

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President Donald Trump speaks as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos listens during a parent-teacher conference at the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 14th, 2017.(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ten months in, the damage that DeVos is doing to America's most vulnerable is becoming clear.

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In solidarity,
Dave & the Crew


David M. Perry, Pacific Standard Magazine

Oct 24, 2017 | Last January, Betsy DeVos went before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and delivered what may have been the worst performance of a potential cabinet secretary in modern history. She didn't seem to know anything about federal education policy, which wasn't surprising on its own: Her track record as a school-choice advocate in Michigan had emphasized privatization and theocracy, rather than pursuit of high-quality public education. Worse, from my perspective as the parent of a disabled child, she was specifically ignorant about special education, an arena where her prospective office has outsized influence. She got confirmed anyway, if narrowly.

Ten months into the Trump administration, the damage that DeVos and her appointees are doing to America's most vulnerable is beginning to show. A few weeks ago, she announced significant changes to the department's guidance on Title IX as it pertains to sexual assault in schools. Then, last week, the department rolled back 72 policy documents that specifically detailed the rights of disabled children in schools.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/David%20M.%20Perry.jpgDavid M. Perry is a professor of history at Dominican University, contributing writer at Pacific Standard, and freelance journalist focused on disability, parenting, history, and education.

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