Betsy DeVos and the Uneducated States of America

On Tuesday Feb. 7, Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate as the new Secretary of Education for the United States. The vote turned out to 51-50 with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of Mrs. DeVos.Worth noting, this interjection by Pence is the first time in American history that a Vice President intervened for the appointment of a cabinet nominee.

Worth noting, this interjection by Pence is the first time in American history that a Vice President intervened for the appointment of a cabinet nominee. DeVos has become a popular topic in contemporary politics largely because she might possibly be the most unqualified person in the running for the job.

DeVos has become a popular topic in contemporary politics largely because she might possibly be the most unqualified person in the running for the job.To begin with, DeVos has never been involved in public education of any sort; the entirety of her family has attended private institutions throughout.

To begin with, DeVos has never been involved in public education of any sort; the entirety of her family has attended private institutions throughout.

Furthermore, she has never even been involved in any institution regarding education other than donating money to conservative Christian schools.

Aside from having literally no experience in the field of education, Secretary DeVos also has absolutely no idea what she is doing. During her senate hearing, she was asked a question regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by Virginia’s own Tim Kaine. This act simply says that states are mandated by the federal government to provide appropriate, free public education to students with disabilities.

The question asked was “should states who receive federal funding have to abide by the laws of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” to which our new Secretary of Education said “that should be up to the states to decide”.

In hindsight, we now have a Secretary of Education who believes that the states can literally decide to neglect disabled children, which isn’t so shocking if you remember that our President mocked a disabled reporter on the campaign trail.
Regarding the presence of guns in schools, Secretary DeVos has also said that the states should decide rather if they will allow it or not, but she also said that she would support President Trump if he banned gun-free school zones. Which of these does she really think?

I personally think that both statements are illogical and unreasonable, but either you want to give states autonomy or you don’t. Perhaps her bigger issue is the presence of grizzly bears in schools as she said in her Senate hearing that schools might need guns to protect children in the case of an attack.

Another point of ignorance that Secretary DeVos has shown is one quite relevant to us as college students; the use of federal funds as educational scholarships.
As Senator Elizabeth Warren pointed out, DeVos has never been in charge or even worked with funding on the scale of the federal programs as such. Further, DeVos has never filled out federal applications for financial aid nor have her children ever filled out such applications.

So, we have literally left the financial future of all college students for the next four years (hopefully only) to a woman who knows absolutely nothing about how financially strenuous it is for the average American to go to college.

What I find most interesting about the selection of Secretary DeVos is that there is no legitimate rhetorical defense of her being in such a position. The only thing to come up is how we as a country need to weed out career politicians and how external perspective would be good for the government.

Honestly, I believe that this is the most illegitimate argument used in contemporary politics. Who on this earth would need a professional service and not seek a professional of that service to see it done? If you needed a surgeon, you likely go to a surgeon because they know what they’re doing. If you need a teacher, you likely go to someone who understands the content you want to learn. Why is government any different?

I must say though that I’m hardly shocked that right-wing senators didn’t have the backbone to reject this candidate for Secretary of Education given that our president has no political experience, the director of the EPA thinks that climate change may be real but is not sped up by humans, and the Chief White House strategist may be the only still working politician who has said more racist things than our president himself.

– Austin Falin

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