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Jerry Falwell Jr. To Lead Higher Ed Task Force For Trump

President Donald J. Trump has named Religious Right favorite son Jerry Falwell Jr. to lead a committee tasked with finding ways to deregulate higher education.

Falwell, president of the fundamentalist Liberty University his father founded in Virginia, was an early supporter of Trump’s presidency. Falwell previously said he was offered but declined the position of secretary of education, a job that instead went to school privatization proponent Betsy DeVos. The task force will work under the direction of the U.S. Department of Education.

Defeating DeVos: Our Job One Is To Block Dangerous Voucher Schemes

Americans United and other advocates of church-state separation put up a spirited fight, but voucher advocate Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. secretary of education Feb. 7.

It was a close vote. The Senate tied 50-50 on DeVos, and she got the job only because Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie. It was the first time in history that a cabinet secretary appointee received a tie vote.

Bad Choice

School privatization proponent Betsy DeVos is the new secretary of education, but her con­firmation process likely was rockier than President Donald J. Trump anticipated.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, citing concerns about DeVos’ lack of qualifications for the job, broke party lines and joined all 48 members of the Democratic caucus in opposing DeVos’ nomination.

The Studies Agree: Voucher Plans Simply Do Not Work

The New York Times recently ran a story about researchers being surprised by the “dismal” results school voucher programs have so far produced.

As The Times notes, “[A] wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling – the worst in the history of the field, researchers say.”

Things To Watch For In Trump’s First Address To Congress

President Donald J. Trump will address a joint session of Congress tonight. Technically not a State of the Union address (the President does not give a State of the Union address until his second year in office), Trump will be setting out his vision and goals for his new administration.

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