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Betsy DeVos, Pick for Secretary of Education, Is the Most Jeered

By most any measure, the secretary of education is one of the least powerful cabinet positions.

The secretary is 16th in the line of succession to the presidency. Education accounts for a paltry 3 percent of the federal budget, compared with 24 percent for Social Security and 16 percent for defense. And the most recent major federal education law curtailed Washington’s role on testing, standards and accountability, turning much of the firepower in education policy back to states and school districts.

That is what has made the protest movement against Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee to be secretary of education, all the more remarkable.

After an underwhelming confirmation hearing in which Ms. DeVos seemed ignorant of major provisions of federal education law, such as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, some Senate offices reported receiving more calls opposing Ms. DeVos than any other Trump nominee.