A Democratic freshman just exposed Betsy DeVos' literacy hypocrisy to her face. And it was beautiful.

DeVos’ wants massive cuts to programs that teach children to read.

Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images

According to Concordia University-Portland, more than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third-grade level.


The World Atlas ranks the United States 125th out of 197 countries, saying just 86% of U.S. residents are able to “sufficiently read and write.”

If the United States had a functioning executive branch, this would be an issue the Secretary of Education would care about. However, Betsy DeVos has proposed over $200 million in cuts to literacy programs in the U.S.

That’s a small drop in the bucket compared to her overall goal of eliminating 29 educational programs, totaling $7 billion in federal funding.

Democratic Representative Josh Harder from California took DeVos to task on Wednesday, April 10, at a hearing over her department’s policies and priorities before the House Committee on Education and Labor.

In a video which has since gone viral, Harder accuses DeVos of being hypocritical for posing in photos reading to children, while proposing massive cuts to programs that teach them to read.

“If you go on the website of the Department of Education right now, the picture is you reading a book to a kid, and that’s phenomenal,” Harder said. “And you’ve gone around the country reading books to kids, talking about the importance of literacy,” he added.

“But then you get back to Washington, you go into the cloak of bureaucracy in a back room somewhere, and you cut every single program, and indeed, you actually eliminate every single program fully developed and fully dedicated toward addressing the problem that you’re actually saying needs to be solved.”

“And I think that hypocrisy is disappointing, shocking, and, frankly, really heartbreaking at a time when we have some real challenges in our educational system,” the congressman said.

DeVos’ response was to claim that federal programs are ineffective.

“If these problems had been solved by the federal government, we would have seen different results in the last 50 years,” she said. “We have not.”

If DeVos gets her cuts, we’ll learn the effectiveness of these programs the hard way, when the literacy rates drop further because they’re not around.

Articles

We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less
Lifestyle