Children will pay the price for DeVos’ confirmation

R Gray
Opinion Section Editor
rgray1@unca.edu

 

In a recent 50-50 vote, with a tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education. This is the first time in history a vice president was required to break a tie, with her very nomination being extremely controversial, as are all of President Donald Trump’s nominees.

Betsy DeVos is a lobbyist and has no experience in education. Her website states she chairs the American Federation for Children, which promotes charter schools and claims to allow parents to choose the school their children attend rather than by zip code.

It all sounds very good, until one looks a little deeper. In fact, the charter schools that her position has helped to establish, which do cost money to attend, have some of the lowest test scores in Michigan. Hope Academy, for example, scored the the lowest possible percentile in testing.

The individuals who run charter schools are the primary benefactors especially in terms of monetary gain. In Brightmoor, Detroit, a superintendent by the name of Sharon McPhail made around $130,000 a year despite the school she worked at having some of the lowest test scores in the state. DeVos does not see, or refuses to see, charter schools as unviable options, especially for families who cannot afford it.

DeVos also admitted several concerning things during her confirmation hearing. Among them claiming she would not rule out defunding public schools, her family donated around 200 million dollars to the GOP and of course her comment that guns in schools should be allowed in case of a grizzly bear attack.

She is not suited to be at the helm of our country’s education. Someone who wants a position of authority for personal gain, who does not truly care what happens to the children of our nation and has no real qualifications should not have the future of our children in her hands.

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