What are we going to do with you, Betsy?
To thoroughly understand what is going on with the educational system in United States, one must go back to a few months ago. Donald Trump, the then presidential candidate of the Republican party, and who was underestimated by them as well, won the presidency making him the 45th president. Let’s be clear, he did not win by popular vote but rather by choice of the Electoral College. Oh, the wonders of being part of an electoral system that doesn’t believe in the popular vote.
Before taking office, Mr. Trump and his transition team managed to fill each cabinet position. The appointees needed to be confirmed by Senate before being able to officially assume their positions. It was then popularly known that Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos was nominated to serve as education secretary. People from all over the country opposed her nomination and, unless you’ve been living under a rock, these are the reasons why.
The official Betsy DeVos page states that “(she) is a proven leader, an innovator, a disruptor, and an advocate”. Pretty standard up to that point but if you keep on reading you’ll stumble across, “in education, in business, and in politics. Betsy has been a pioneer in fighting to remove barriers, to enact change, and to create environments where people have the opportunity to thrive”.
Let’s analyze that for a second.
In her Vero Beach 32963 profile she claims that both “social justice and economics are both issues to me”. Well, the DeVos family own multiple real estate, including a 22.000 square feet mansion and a vacation home in Florida that is known for having various luxuries on the premises. If we talk about economics being important to her, one must recall that Betsy Devos has given money and served on the board of the Action Institute, an organization that promotes domination theory. Domination theology, how it’s also known, is the concept of wanting to institute a nation governed by Christians based on religious understandings of biblical law.
Have she ever heard of separation of church and state?
DeVos affirms that she seeks to strip society of barriers that are harmful to it’s citizens. One may assume that she means economic differences between genders, especially speaking about the wage gap, or social problems involving minorities and homosexuals. After doing some research, The Washington Post affirms that there is proof that states that both her parents and in-laws have supported anti-gay marriage movements in the past. I’m not really seeing her tearing down barriers, as she stated it, but rather placing new ones and setting us back 50 years.
Let’s say that DeVos is just a woman with radical ideas but has plenty of experience in the political realm. Wrong. She has no experience whatsoever. Unlike John King,Jr., who was a former teacher and a public school administrator, “Betsy” has never held any sort of professional position in an area pertaining to education; she neither studied education in college. For her lack of experience she has been criticized by peers like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. On the other hand, quite shockingly to be honest, DeVos has the support of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
In my opinion, the only extraordinary thing that you can say about Betsy DeVos is that she is a philanthropist. Back in 2013, she stated that at Potter’s House Christian School in Michigan some of the children’s parents didn’t posses the financial stability to afford their kids tuition. Both the billionaire and her husband stepped in and started financially supporting individual students so that that economic burden could be lifted off the shoulders of various families.
Now, the best for last. The DeVos family has been a strong advocate for privatizing education by instaling a school voucher program, charter schools, and “digital learning”. Basically, the funds that used to go to public schools would be diverted to private and religious schools. Our dearest “Betsy” has never attended public school and nor have her children. It seems as if she doesn’t realize how vital the public school system is for our great country. It has been the backbone of our nation and it cannot simply cease to exist because of a politician with no experience.
Quite simply put, she is a billionaire that felt as if she could do anything just because she helped a couple kids go to school. Don’t get me wrong, doing such a heartfelt and selfless thing is wonderful but, at the same time, it does not give you the right to be in charge of the country’s educational system.
Sadly, on February 7th, Mike Pence had to act as a tiebreaker and DeVos is officially the head of the Department of Education. We, both as Americans and citizens of the world, must hope that the new education secretary is aware that children deserve the highest level of education, regardless of their economic means, while veering from a free market approach that is so common in Elizabeth DeVos’s speeches.