A black congresswoman appeared visibly annoyed as she questioned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about the DOE’s civil rights policies and was met with responses suggesting the secretary is uninformed on the rights of students.
“I am concerned about the low performance of your civil rights office” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) noted during DeVos’ Tuesday hearing. “Could you please just state for me the mission of your civil rights office?”
“The office for civil rights is committed to protecting the civil rights as determined under the law of this land,” the education secretary responded, “and we do so proudly and with great focus each day.”
“That’s not the mission statement,” the Ohio congresswoman said. “Do you know what it is?”
DeVos said she had “not memorized” the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights mission statement, to which Fudge shook her hand and said “that’s ok,” appearing exasperated. She asked the secretary to explain her understanding of “vigorous enforcement” of civil rights in schools.
“It would be following the law and enforcing the law as stated,” DeVos responded, to which Fudge simply sighed and said “OK.”
Fudge asked the education secretary if the OCE was enforcing laws put in place with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When DeVos responded “yes, indeed,” the congresswoman pressed on — but the education secretary’s only response is that she is “confident” about it.