Experts available to comment on DeVos


David Ruth

Rice University experts available to comment on DeVos

HOUSTON – (Feb. 7, 2017) – Rice University education expert Linda McSpadden McNeil and political scientist Mark Jones are available to comment on education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos prior to and after the U.S. Senate’s confirmation vote today.

“DeVos is unprepared and unqualified to head the Department of Education,” said McSpadden McNeil, professor of education and director of Rice’s Center for Education. “She lacks the basic knowledge of what the department is tasked to do and advocate for.

“She has been pursuing a ‘long game’ for years by funding politicians to do her bidding to destroy the public’s schools, to weaken the teaching profession for its voice in education policy and its previous fairly reliable votes for Democrats and their pro-public education policies. Her long game is to divorce the education of children from the control of their parents and the people their parents elect,” McSpadden McNeil said.

McSpadden McNeil writes extensively about Texas and national education issues on her blog, Educating. All Our Children.

“The Trump administration arrived in Washington with the belief that it has a mandate to break up the status quo and change things up,” said Mark Jones, chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science and a fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. “Certainly Betsy DeVos would bring to the Department of Education a very different perspective and agenda than we’ve seen from our most recent secretaries of education.”

For more information or to schedule an interview with McSpadden McNeil, contact her directly on her cellphone at 713-870-5556. To interview Jones, contact him directly on his cellphone at 832-466-6535.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.


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About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.