U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is calling on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to resign over a decision to eliminate school discipline regulations formed under the administration of President Barack Obama.
“What Betsy DeVos did that I object to and find disgusting is she rescinded civil rights policy and cherry-picked racist research to back it up,” Clark said Monday morning on MSNBC.
The call for DeVos to resign comes days after Clark, a Melrose Democrat and House Democratic Caucus vice chair, questioned the education secretary last week on her decisions to rescind the regulations.
The Melrose representative clashed with DeVos last week over a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights which reported data on school disciplinary measures. Clark has responded to the dispute on Twitter, using hashtags “#FireDeVos and #ResignDeVos.”
The “Rethink School Discipline” guidelines in question are a 2014 regulation that asks schools to reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions of students of color and students with disabilities, and a 2016 regulation that standardizes methods for how states measure the threshold at which the number of black students are categorized as disabled -- a statistic that impacts federal funding for school districts.
Both regulations created under the Obama administration aim to curb the “school-to-prison pipeline" for students of color and disabled students who, according to data from the Department of Education, suffer disciplinary actions at disproportionately higher rates.
A December 2018 report by Devos’ federal school safety commission describes the regulations as creating “a chilling effect on classroom teachers’ and administrators’ use of discipline by improperly imposing, through the threat of investigation and potential loss of federal funding, a forceful federal role in what is inherently a local issue."
Clark criticized DeVos’ decision as being rooted in “racist research." The education secretary backed her claims using research published in the Journal of Criminal Justice by John Paul Wright, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, and four others, according to U.S. News.
Original story here.