Trump's Education Pick Gets Schooled

By:  @perrie-berlin-halpern, 2 months ago
Comments: 73 ..


Having taught public school for over 20 years, I am greatly disappointed by Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Education.  His choice of having the billionaire, Republican donor Betsy DeVos serve in this position under his administration, is beyond the pale. In addition to her lack of previous experience in public service, DeVos has actually advocated for the disassembly of the public education system, suggesting it be replaced by a voucher system.  This is a direct contradiction of the position to which she has been appointed. If that were not bad enough, this is her tweet from Trump's inauguration. 

Screen Shot 20170123 at 12.01.24 AM.png

















Now take a minute and read that tweet. Do you see any problems? Here let me help.

Screen Shot 20170123 at 12.03.02 AM.png




















Now I thought that Trump promised "Drain the Swamp". Besides the fact that DeVos is unqualified for the position, she can't even string together a tweet, without grammatical mistakes. Oh and when it came to her attention, she tweeted that it was her staffer's fault. Does that sound familiar?

So much for the swamp.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 02:53:31PM @perrie-halpern:

This is the individual who will handle my tax dollars for education. Sorry, but she is unqualified on so many levels and wants to dismantle public education, which serves all.

I am not saying that we don't have issues with public education, but I would like to know that the person who is going to take this on, actually cares about the system, and can actually write. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:15:26PM @perrie-halpern:


President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team acknowledged Friday that Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, omitted a $125,000 political donation from disclosures she submitted to a Senate committee in advance of her confirmation hearing, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Dean Moriarty
link 01/23/17 03:06:17PM @dean-moriarty:

She is one of my favorite picks. Looking forward to see what she can accomplish. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:13:27PM @perrie-halpern:

So you think it's fine that the education sec, can't type out 140 characters without making 4 mistakes...

Let's not even discuss her position on public education. 

Dean Moriarty
link 01/23/17 03:25:28PM @dean-moriarty:

If I don't have my glasses on I too make a lot of typing errors when using my phone or even an IPad. She also tweeted it was a staff members mistake. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:42:18PM @perrie-halpern:


You have been on the site for years, and I can honestly say, that I don't remember you ever making any mistakes. But you are a smart guy, so I wouldn't expect you to. 

Nowhere Man
link 01/23/17 04:12:46PM @nowhere-man:

Wow, didn't realize you were such the Grammar Nazi.....

What is happening here?

This election is turning normal sane intelligent peoples brains into mush?

Must be.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 05:38:46PM @perrie-halpern:

You are kidding me NWM. This woman is going to be the Sec. of Ed and she can't put together a 140 characters, and you think that I am being a grammar Nazi? If your kid's teacher sent home a homework assignment full of bad grammar, you wouldn't complain to your school? BTW, that was a rhetorical question. Of course you would, and rightfully so. 

Nowhere Man
link 01/24/17 12:13:07AM @nowhere-man:

Actually sweets, I was yanking your chain a bit. But come-on, seriously?

Analyzing tweets from a phone as the basis for judging qualifications?

That seems a little over the top for you...

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/25/17 11:48:02PM @perrie-halpern:


Actually not. When my kids were getting prepped to enter their junior year of high school, there was a special assembly for families to attend. There they told us, that whatever they put on facebook, twitter, etc, can and would be looked at by universities to show the quality of their writing skills and interpersonal skills. If we expect that from kids, you should at least expect that from someone who wants to head education.  

link 01/26/17 01:13:15AM @cerenkov:

If typos disqualify someone from government service, we'll drain the swamp even faster than our president promised. 

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 01:39:43AM @nowhere-man:

And, how many kids actually get to go to higher education?

How many actually graduate being able to read?

Even me, if I want to go to the local university I need to take reading tests and math tests just to make sure I do not need any remedial education. Without the basics, they will tell you that you will fail cause you will not be able to understand what is being taught and refuse to admit you.

When I inquire about this, they clearly and unequivocally state than the kids they are getting plain flat can't read. They turn away more than they admit to classes cause they basically can't handle it. And that is a community college.

The schools your talking about, get their pick of the best and brightest. and That is what they are communicating to the students and parents, WE pick YOU, not the other way around. They have the luxury of judging a potential students character issues.

For the average school with open enrollment and average student?

It doesn't work that way.

And you know it doesn't.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/26/17 02:13:07AM @perrie-halpern:

First of all, not all kids should go on to college. Many would do far better off in trade school. This is one of the biggest myths perpetrated. There is no shame in trade and often they make more than their college counterparts. 

Literacy varies from state to state, and this often depends on how public education is paid for.

For instance, in California, all public schools are paid from state money. There is only so much money in the kitty, so that dictates the level of excellence (which is not very good).

In NY, (NYC excluded), we pay school taxes, town by town. When you buy a home, you are actually buying into the school system. So while I paid high taxes to get my kids into one of the best systems in the nation, I didn't have to. It was a personal choice. Over 90% of the kids are college bound, but that has as much to do with the households they came from, as much as the system they came from.

Also NYS is the only state in the union, that always had a level of excellence exam, called, "The Regents Exam". You can't graduate from high school without taking this exam and if you fail, you don't get a Regents diploma, which means you are not college bound without additional help. 

I was never a teacher in your state, so I can't tell you exactly why your state is having so many problems. In my state, and especially in NYC where I taught for over 20 years, class size did matter. But so does what happens after they leave the classroom. We try to mitigate what we could and it did help. As for my union, it did nothing for me. Any pay raise I got, came with a give back, usually in extra time teaching. In fact, by the time I left, I was making the same amount of money per hour as if I didn't get a raise. But then again, in NYS teachers can't strike. We have the Taylor law, so teaching is a labor of love. Maybe that is the difference. 


Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 02:22:48AM @nowhere-man:

Well, it was one of the biggest shocks for me coming out here from the CT school system and the excellent education I got back there.

I do know this, the more we allow the government to dictate, (and yes progressive governments always dictate) we are not going to make any headway.

the courts have orderd the state government to fully pay for education in this state. the democrats are using that to push for a state income tax, which 75% of the citizens have rejected at the polls 7 times in a row. And the last governor to run on an income tax platform lost BADLY by like 73%

It's going to get push to shove, something has got to break. cause this state although paying more than most states for education, is getting less and less out of our money.

Charter schools here was a golden ray of hope, and worked well until they were squashed like a bug by the unions.

link 01/26/17 09:28:05AM @johnrussell:

n California, all public schools are paid from state money. There is only so much money in the kitty, so that dictates the level of excellence (which is not very good).

In NY, (NYC excluded), we pay school taxes, town by town. When you buy a home, you are actually buying into the school system. So while I paid high taxes to get my kids into one of the best systems in the nation, I didn't have to. It was a personal choice. Over 90% of the kids are college bound, but that has as much to do with the households they came from

This system is good for the kids from better off families, and makes basic education dependent on what family you are born into, doesn't it? 

link 01/23/17 03:17:02PM @pepe:

Grammatically picking apart a tweet? I know you never make those types of errors.

It's Petty Perrie!

You didn't mention all of her other tweets without grammatical errors. LOL Wait, did I post a Perrie comment?

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:27:10PM @perrie-halpern:

Unlike your single protester acting out like an vandal, this individual will actually have an effect on policy. So yes, she better be capable of 140 characters if she is going to head public education. 

link 01/23/17 03:28:30PM @pepe:

I would spell check before a tweet. She should too. Has the great school teacher ever made multiple grammatical errors in a tweet or chat or emailt? Um oh um never mind.

Despite your spelling I think you are very smart.

Dean Moriarty
link 01/23/17 03:32:03PM @dean-moriarty:

She isn't the one who tweeted a staff member did using her account. 

Apologies for the earlier error, everyone. Proof our staff members are only human! :)

link 01/23/17 03:33:50PM @pepe:

Both should be fired.

 Appoint Dr. Ron Paul.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:37:19PM @perrie-halpern:

I can go for that. The man is a at least educated. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:33:50PM @perrie-halpern:


I said that in the article.

She blamed a staffer. 

Doesn't that sound like something you would say about Hillary?

Dean Moriarty
link 01/23/17 03:35:17PM @dean-moriarty:

Hillary would have had the FBI and NSA scrub the tweet and smash the phone. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 03:43:21PM @perrie-halpern:

I am sure DaVos will be doing that to her "staffer". 

Dean Moriarty
link 01/23/17 03:49:10PM @dean-moriarty:

Didn't you yourself say you had some type of dyslexia problem that made some elementary tasks difficult at one point in your life?

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 04:22:45PM @perrie-halpern:

I am dyslexic, which is why I am so careful about what I put out there,and especially in the classroom.  But I am also not in an important position like her, so I am sorry.. one mistake.. OK. Four? Give me a break.

link 01/23/17 03:21:51PM @johnrussell:

Trump said 

Who do we know that gave us a lot of money and is interested in education?

Betsy DeVos? Ok, make her Secretary of Education.


That was the extent of his decision making process in choosing her.  

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 05:47:31PM @perrie-halpern:

Pretty much.

link 01/23/17 04:32:04PM @kavika:

I believe that her numerous grammar errors were the result of her twerking while she was tweeting. Or she could have been tweeting while she was twerking.

Either way, it's a bad combo.

In an unconfirmed report the staffer has been ''retired'' and sent to Cuba to teach Spanish.




Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 04:40:26PM @perrie-halpern:



Hal A. Lujah
link 01/23/17 04:36:35PM @hal-a-lujah:

All one needs to do is watch her getting grilled by Senator Franken at the confirmation hearings to know she is dead wrong for the position.  She was clueless, even though she had a month to prepare.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 05:48:48PM @perrie-halpern:

I watched those and cringed. As a educator, I was most interested in her pick and very upset after she was confirmed. 

Hal A. Lujah
link 01/23/17 06:23:56PM @hal-a-lujah:
She hasn't been confirmed yet.

Not sure why that link isn't working, so you'll have to paste it into your browser.

Something would be very fishy about the administration insisting on such an unqualified individual, particularly in light of the ethics conflicts. Either naked cronyism or useful idiot.
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/25/17 11:49:30PM @perrie-halpern:

I'm going with cronyism, given her deep pockets.


link 01/25/17 11:57:42PM @randy:

She was clueless, even though she had a month to prepare.

Clueless is an understatement. He asked her very basic questions about education laws and she had no idea about what the laws she was supposed to enforce even were! It was the first time she'd ever heard of them and just kept bleating out that the enforcement of them should be up to the states when they are Federal laws that the school systems, public and private are required to follow! She was a complete idiot about the very job she is supposed to do!

link 01/23/17 04:37:31PM @dowser:

I'm sooo glad that my son goes to college next year!  IF we still have them...

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 05:51:09PM @perrie-halpern:

IF we still have them...

Good question.


link 01/23/17 05:54:52PM @cerenkov:

We had public schools and colleges long before the Department of Education existed. It should be demoted again.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 06:13:49PM @perrie-halpern:

We had public schools and colleges long before the Department of Education existed. It should be demoted again.

Cerenkov, the question isn't if we should have a Department of Education. It's that she doesn't believe in public education. That is a conflict of interest.

link 01/26/17 01:08:04AM @cerenkov:

No, it's not. She answers to the POTUS.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/26/17 01:12:15AM @perrie-halpern:

Please answer this question. Given that she has no experience in education, other than being a proponent of vouchers for christian schools, and being an amway billionaire, what qualification do you think Trump saw in her? Was it a large donation, or her beliefs? 

link 01/26/17 08:59:23AM @cerenkov:

I never said she was qualified.

link 01/23/17 05:53:08PM @cerenkov:

Grammar mistakes in a tweet!? Lord, not only is she not qualified, she should be deported! 


Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/23/17 06:11:12PM @perrie-halpern:

Silly, because she is a conservative... major news if she was a dem. 

link 01/26/17 01:10:12AM @cerenkov:

Nope. Claiming that typos on a tweet are a disqualification is ridiculous. There are plenty of adult, rational reasons why she is unqualified. This isn't one of them.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/26/17 01:15:33AM @perrie-halpern:

So she doesn't even have to meet the qualifications that is expected from our high schools students? Please refer to comment here:

OK, let's go with she has no degree in education, or in administration, or in government. 

Now I have given you 3 more. 

link 01/26/17 09:00:42AM @cerenkov:

I already said she was unqualified. Grammar mistakes on twitter however are irrelevant. 

link 01/23/17 06:19:41PM @aeonpax:


I want to see this nomination go down in flames. Aside from being grossly unqualified, her direct financial ties with the far right christian school consortium's, makes her particularly dangerous to public schools.


link 01/23/17 06:22:29PM @kavika:

Bingo Aeon, school vouchers for religions schools.

link 01/23/17 07:37:20PM @aeonpax:

I have nothing against Christian schools, per se. I got my degree at a Jesuit run university, where my oldest daughter is now a senior.  My two younger daughters have chosen to be enrolled in a Catholic high school. Religious classes at both schools are optional.  DeVos is heavy into Christian schools where religion is a non-optional part of their core curriculum.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/25/17 11:50:36PM @perrie-halpern:

DeVos is heavy into Christian schools where religion is a non-optional part of their core curriculum.

I totally concur with your analysis, but especially this.

link 01/23/17 06:24:18PM @johnrussell:

She is probably the most unqualified cabinet nominee, but there is a lot of competition. 

Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom1
link 01/24/17 03:35:00AM @sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom2:

Now here is a woman that can clear a room just by picking up a microphone.  Her billionaire father-in-law founded Amway.

Also interesting is that she and her husband Richard DeVos Jr., donated $2.8 million to conservative causes and campaigns in 2016.  Talk about an in-your-face cabinet nomination purchase.

link 01/24/17 12:12:09PM @dowser:


Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/25/17 11:41:47PM @perrie-halpern:

Spot on with that sister. 

link 01/25/17 11:39:18PM @randy:

I was born and raised in Michigan where she is from and where her husband Richard and Jay Van Andel made their fortune in the Amway pyramid scheme. Many times her almost rabid support of Christian schools to the determinant of public schools (with which she has absolutely zero experience) led her to say that Christian schools were unsustainable because they could not continue to grow on contributions alone and needed money redirected from the public school system. Her stated goal back then was to eliminate the public schools system and to privatize the entire American school system, with an emphasis on Christian education. I have no doubt that is still her goal and she refused to rule that out at her confirmation hearing.

Of course at first there will be vouchers. However does anyone really believe the vouchers will keep up with the costs of sending poor and lower middle class students to decent private schools? Not a chance. Soon the vouchers will shrink and then disappear completely after being labeled an "entitlement" and only the upper class will be ale to give their children an education and everyone else will fall into illiteracy, which is her goal and the goal of the right wing of the GOP. A massive, illiterate lower class, being led (owned as little more then serfs) by an educated wealthy ruling class.

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 01:16:53AM @nowhere-man:

How is that any different than what we have today, kids graduating school and cant even read?

Your arguments seems more like an indictment than support for public schools.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/26/17 01:24:55AM @perrie-halpern:

That is not the case in NY. But here is an interesting article about what's going on in Washington State:

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 01:50:36AM @nowhere-man:

Some of that is very true, but they gloss over what my own experience and questioning on the school level tells me.

The education system has a serious problem teaching the basic skills needed for college.

Not the schools ion the wealthy districts public or private, they seem to manage very well. It's the average or below average income districts.

And a union that can't seem to get away from wage hikes and the phony arguments about class size to get at the actual problem of doing the job.

WE have heard the class size arguments for over 30 years, no matter how much money is thrown at the class size problem, they ALWAYS come back each and every year demanding more for class size reductions, and the average class size remains constant, hasn't changed in 30 years.....

Education is really screwed up in this state. some of the highest paid teachers in the nation graduating students that can't get or hold jobs....

As a homeowner I pay taxes for this mess.

link 01/26/17 01:49:55AM @randy:

Your arguments seems more like an indictment than support for public schools.

It's a call for more REAL support of public schools. If we eliminate public schools then we will end up with only parents who have money being able to afford to have their children educated and we would be creating a two class society. That would be the end of democracy in this nation and I personally would like to hold on to us being a Democratic Republic and not a nation of landed gentry, a new aristocracy and a new noble ruling class. The survival and improvement of our public school system means the survival and improvement of America for ALL Americans and not just the rich.

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 01:52:09AM @nowhere-man:

Nice ideological statement that represents your fears, not reality.

link 01/26/17 01:53:33AM @randy:

IYHO Then again you don't know DeVos. Also I'm a homeowner too, I'm a strong supporter of public schools, improving them even if it means higher property taxes and I don't even have any children in school. I just believe in protecting the future of my country from people like her.

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 02:09:35AM @nowhere-man:

The WA State Supreme Court passed down an order that the charter schools had to teach the mandated curriculum that is taught in the public schools.

Their test scores, that were the best in the state when they chose what they were going to teach, fell right into line with the public schools.

Practical reality. when the teachers and parents get to choose the standard without government interference, they ALWAYS do better. At least out here they do.

But then again, we have a supreme court that is 9-0 Seattle liberal, the lawyers that argue cases before it joke that they know the decision before the case is even heard. (and that unfortunately is not a joke in reality)

Add to that, the state and national education unions (WEA & NEA) contribute almost 95% of the judges reelection coffers, tells the whole story here in this state.

The citizens pass a charter school amendment, which was very successful, and the unions get the court to gut it.

WE know what living under a dictatorial government is all about here in Washington.

Hell we had student walkouts over the election of Trump to the presidency. The school officials claim it was a student thing their choice, the students on the other hand say it was suggested and pushed by the teachers.

Many of them felt they had no choice. (at least that is what the parents were reporting)

Heck, teachers go on strike (which is illegal in this state) and they have their students walking the picket lines with them, and it's NOT optional...

Sometime I wonder about the rest of the country....


link 01/26/17 03:39:58AM @randy:

One of my sisters has two of her children going to an "online charter high school" in Michigan. It's an option to public school. It's also a fucking joke. The state pays the school and the school basically gives them each a laptop and an internet access code to logon to do the classes. The problem is it's up to my sister to make sure they log on and do the classes and if they do and still have questions about what it is they are supposed to be studying most of the time it is up to my sister to try to figure out the answers they need to pass the tests. Of course that's not a problem because it is also my sister who grades their tests and decides if they are ready to move on to the next class. They will not even have to pass a state proficiency test to see if they are actually at a graduating high school level when they graduate, because it's up to the charter school to decide and they take my sister's word based on the test scores she submits. Most charter schools are nothing more then profit making scams in which the children learn nothing!

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 04:30:51AM @nowhere-man:

That is not the way it is supposed to be.

link 01/26/17 05:01:00AM @randy:

No. But that is the way it is. In many states chater schools are less regulated then the traffic schools you take online when you get a ticket for going through a stop sign. There are some tha open up, hire staff and teachers, claim to have 20 or 30 students to a classroom and yet don't have a single student at all and the "staff" splits the money. No one looks because no one cares because there are no real regulations on them. Not like on public schools.

Charter schools are the biggest scam since payday lenders or buy here, pay here used car dealers.

Hal A. Lujah
link 01/26/17 10:33:27AM @hal-a-lujah:

My daughter got pregnant at 15, and dropped out of high school.  She did the online HS thing, and I was actually impressed with the rigor of the program.  She was a straight A student, and not the kind of kid who wouldn't try her best.  She would agree that if you follow the program, it is definitely not a cake walk.  The problem is that not all kids (and parents) are like that, and many will take advantage of any opportunity to cheat, and subsequently dumb themselves down.

She ultimately dropped out of the program because it was too time consuming for a new mother.  I remember doing one of her science experiments for her, because she was too exhausted to finish it.  I was up until 4am doing it, because it was that complicated.  She went on to got her GED instead, and years later got a BA in accounting from a state university, graduating summa cum laude, and is now working as an accountant at the manager level.

link 01/27/17 03:08:03PM @randy:

I dropped out of high school after 10th grade because it was boring as all hell and not flexible enough for me to learn different subjects at the level that was right for me. I joined the Air Force just after I turned 17 and got my GED when I was in. They gave me a good trade in computers, which was the coming thing in the early 1970's.

I'm still a big supporter of public schools, but they need to be more flexible. I was in a one room school from 2nd though most of 6th grade (K to 8th in one room with one teacher) and the teacher (Mrs Mayes) was able to see the weaknesses and strengths of each student and teach them each at the right level to keep them interested but not go over their heads on other subjects. I wish there was a way for all schools to be like that.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/26/17 01:20:21AM @perrie-halpern:

I am not sure if that is how people who want vouchers see it, but it could be the outcome or not. The one thing for sure is that it will not level the playing field and it was not what our founding fathers saw.

Nowhere Man
link 01/26/17 02:33:11AM @nowhere-man:

some of the founders though t that the government should pay for education through the 12th grade.

A few, Jefferson being notable, thought that government should pay for a full four year classical education.

overall, most of the founders believed it was a states issue and the federal government should stay out of it. (which was the course they actually took)

The individual states did pick up the ideal and did mandate it in most of the state constitutions. (at least through secondary education) and those that didn't immediately, eventually amended theirs to cover it.

I agree that government should be seeing to it that our children get at least an education sufficient to function successfully in our society, and by the standard set by the founders, that would require at least a four year degree today.

Our education system is going backwards not forwards.

link 01/26/17 06:03:24AM @aeonpax:

Milwaukee County has had "School Choice" (voucher) for at least 25 years now. All schools, even parochial, are eligible, however, they must have an "opt-out" when it comes to religion. Excluded from eligible schools are religious ones that DO NOT allow the option of not taking such religious classes.

link 01/26/17 06:49:39AM @randy:

For now. It's sort of like I said about Charter schools for the poor. They'll get the garbage schools, while most will get good voucher schools and opt out. Then the voucher payouts will shrink. And shrink. Until the only schools a parent will be able to afford (since by then public schools under DeVoss will be long gone) will be ones that don't offer an opt out for religion and the law will change so at least these children will be able to some get of education and make it seem like they are doing them a favor, even if it has required religious education. Eventually the vouchers for those will be gone and only some parents will be able to pay for even those and some for better religious schools and secular schools will be dead.

However what kind of religious education? Will their high school graduates have basic understanding of Geology, since it would mean understanding rock formations that go back well beyond (millions of years beyond) the 6,000 or so years the Bible says the Earth has existed? What understanding will they be taught about Biology when it comes to cells mutating in schools of faiths that don't believe in the possibility of such an evolution? What will their understanding of history be? Will they know that the Chinese history predates biblical history as does even ancient Egyptian? Will they be taught the Bible as a history book itself when it is so obviously flawed as one? Of course then there is Astrophysics which takes the study of the Universe back billions of years and teaches the truth of how all humans and all living creatures are actually descended from the very elements formed in the stars themselves. Will that be ignored or even taught as evil? Witchcraft? Ban telescopes? Earth as the center of the Universe again?

Religious schools are fine for people who want to send their children to them and for the more fundamental ones don't care if their children are ever admitted to an advanced secular university. However only free and unfettered by mythology, truly free thinking public schools can ever properly prepare our children and grandchildren and their children to make the scientific discovery's and leaps our species and even planet will need to ensure our life on Earth. To ensure our very existence in the future of the universe. Religious schools can't do that and the types of take the money and run charter schools of today can not even come close to doing that. Only free and free thinking public schools can create the humans that will perpetuate civilized and advancing life on Earth. Without free and free from religion thinking public schools we will enter another mythological religious Dark Age.


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