President Donald Trump’s controversial Secretary of Education pick, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed last Tuesday as Vice President Mike Pence broke the first ever Cabinet nomination tie. The appointment of DeVos comes after weeks of criticism regarding her capacity to complete the job as well as her lack of experience in a public school setting.
Ironically, DeVos opposes the public education system. She has been an advocate for school voucher programs and charter schools, donating over $200 million to religious schools in the past. That is not the only place she invested money prior to her nomination. She donated thousands of dollars to 21 Republican senators, who unsurprisingly voted to affirm her nomination. She also contributed millions of dollars to Trump’s campaign. When Trump nominated her for the position in November, he called her “a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” but many disagree.
During her confirmation hearing, she shocked many senators by being unfamiliar with many of the laws that govern public education, like the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. She commented that, in some cases, guns are necessary in schools. She also made note of her belief that public money should be used for school vouchers.
Many of Trump’s Cabinet picks have been controversial due to their lack of experience, and DeVos is undoubtedly an example of this. Along with the many senators, students and teachers oppose her confirmation and believe that she is unqualified for the job.
Not only does she have no experiencein the field, but the fact that she has economic ties to senators who voted to confirm her is really concerning. One might wonder if they were voting for her because they believe she is the best fit for the job or if they were motivated by the financial contributions she has given and may continue to give to their campaigns.
Even the way she responded to simple questions during her confirmation hearing made her seem unfit for the job. While she is clearly unfamiliar with basic federal school laws, it is even more troubling that she believes that in some cases, guns are necessary in schools.
Enough innocent lives have already been lost in school shootings, and we don’t want another incident like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to ever happen again. Our country has a serious gun control problem and she has the nerve to say that they are necessary in our schools. Schools shouldn’t be filled with guns. They should be filled with a diverse grouping of students all there to learn together.
However, DeVos’ past actions and recent comments led many to believe that she does not have the best interest of American students at heart. Instead of giving parents the choice to send their kids to high-quality schools, I think DeVos should work to make all schools high-quality learning institutions.
Students should not receive an inferior education due to their families’ resources. All kids should be given equal educational opportunities, and allowing students to use taxpayer monies to go to private schools does not ensure that.
DeVos knows that she is under fire for her controversial comments and lack of experience, but she has been pretty calm as she has been backed by nearly all of the Republican party.
The criticisms continued when, on her first day on the job, DeVos tweeted a picture of herself in her new office with the caption, “Day 1 on the job is done, but we’re only getting started. Now where do I find the pencils?” This tweet infuriated many as DeVos jokingly referred to her lack of classroom experience. Rather than finding it humorous, she was dragged through the mud by the Twitter community and insulted for her failed joke.
Along with the rest of the Trump Administration, her decisions will impact students, teachers and both public and private educational facilities for years to come. Many individuals have simply grown tired of Trump and those in his administration and therefore have tuned out the news regarding his administration completely. They are missing out on major news like this appointment.
Trump has filled his Cabinet with his closest friends and allies without a concern for how fit they are for the job. This is very dangerous as our country may suffer damage in different sectors long after the Trump administration is gone.
From the economy to education, only time can tell what awaits us. For now, the future doesn’t look bright. Our nation’s leaders are billionaires who have no idea of the great power their roles possess or what they’re doing. In the end the only people who will suffer are us, we the people.