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The future of education

posted Jan 23, 2017, 9:08 AM by Jessica Mies   [ updated Jan 23, 2017, 9:10 AM ]

Even before President Trump was sworn in as president, Senate hearings for his administration were starting to take place. One that particularly stuck out to me was Betsy DeVos, the prospective candidate for secretary of education. After reading up on Mrs. DeVos, my first thought was “Why her?”.

According to The Washington Post, DeVos is a Michigan billionaire, businesswoman, and philanthropist. She is a former Republican Party chairwoman and is a chair on the pro-school-choice advocacy group American Federation for Children. Not only that, but she is for the movement to privatize public education and pass laws that require the federal government to use public funds to pay for private school tuition in a system known as vouchers. According to Forbes.com, quoted from DeVos herself, her family has “possibly” donated $200 million to the Republican Party over the years. In addition to her anti-public school advocacy, the worst thing is that she has zero experience in public education.

DeVos is a highly unqualified candidate for secretary of education; to allow someone who has never worked in or even attended public schools, doesn’t have a basic understanding of educational concepts like growth and proficiency, and, as Senator Elizabeth Warren pointed out during the hearing, has no experience in banking, which the Department of Education deals with when it comes to student loans and federal aide, is an insult to the future of education.

Students and parents should be concerned about someone who is overseeing an entire department of public education when she herself has no experience in it. I understand that DeVos won’t have the freedom  to do anything she wants because we have a separation of powers in our government, but with Republicans as the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is more likely that laws that do not benefit public education could be passed.

    What people need to remember about DeVos and the rest of President Trump’s administration is that if they are doing things that aren’t in the best interest of Americans, we the people need to keep them accountable for their actions. If that is the case, we shouldn’t just let it slide; we need to take action, especially we students, who will possibly be directly affected in either USD 356 or our continued education.
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