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WATCH: Betsy DeVos squirms when asked if she’d send her kids to failing charter school

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President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appeared on Wednesday before a House appropriations subcommittee to testify on behalf on Trump’s new budget proposal, which makes drastic cuts to public education funding and diverts “critical resources” to for-profit and religious charter schools.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) asked DeVos if she would consider sending her own children to an underperforming charter school. Citing Wisconsin’s “failed experiment in taxpayer-funded voucher schemes and for-profit charters.”

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Students in Ohio, Indiana and Washington, D.C. received charter school vouchers only to see their test scores drop, Pocan said. He cited a number of Milwaukee Journal articles that showed charter school and voucher students performed the same or lower than public school students in math and reading proficiency.

He pointed to one military-style charter school run by Right Step, Inc. in which only 7 percent of students demonstrated English language proficiency and zero percent in math.

“I just want to ask you,” Pocan said to DeVos, “would you send your kids to a school where they have 93 percent of the students aren’t English proficient and zero percent are math proficient?”

DeVos thanked the congressman for his question and mused for a moment on how nice it was that he’s from Wisconsin.

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“I only have five minutes,” Pocan prompted DeVos.

She deflected, saying the charter schools experiment was begun by Democratic Milwaukee city councilwoman Polly Williams. Pocan replied that yes it was and the councilwoman is no longer living, but before she passed away, she declared the voucher program a failure that “failed to live up to its promises.”

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This set off a tense back-and-forth before he gave up, saying, “I can see you’re not going to answer my question.”

Watch the video, embedded below:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia training exercises at ‘The Base’: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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Oklahoma police searching for man who shot Taco Bell employee in dispute over the drive-thru

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Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot a Taco Bell employee early Saturday morning.

"The employee was shot in the leg after asking the customer to pull forward in the drive-thru," KFOR-TV reported Saturday. "The customer argued, but eventually pulled forward, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot the employee."

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CNN

‘Not surprised at all that the president sides with the white nationalists’: Native American Congresswoman

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One of the first two Native America women blasted President Donald Trump for siding with white nationalists on Saturday.

Following the fatal "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, Trump claimed there were "fine people" on both sides when he defended the alt-Right and Neo-Nazi event.

Two years later, Trump has gone even further, blaming only the anti-fascist activists confronting far-right marching in Portland, Oregon in a way that reminds many of the invasion of Charlottesville.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1162726857231544320

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) was asked about Trump's tweet by CNN's Ana Cabrera.

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