Is She Right for the Job?

In early February, the nation watched as Betsy Devos was elected as education secretary by a close vote and with the help of Vice President Mike Pence. Although elected, I can’t help but wonder whether Betsy Devos is qualified for this position or not.

Although private schools and charter schools are catching up, public schools still remain at the top of the race as the most common school institution. With public school numbers so high, we need someone knowledgeable and experienced with the K-12 public schools. I can’t help but wonder why Devos was elected considering she has never sent her kids to public schools, nor does she have any experience as a leading politician. She has more experience acting as a lobbyist by donating millions of dollars to politicians in effort to persuade them to support her main cause: conservative religious/charter/private schools.

Devos is on a mission to stop public schools and instead “advance God’s kingdom” through Catholic schools. With an idea so extreme, I can’t help but wonder how conservative her mind really is. As I had predicted, Devos and her family also supports conversion therapy, and they oppose same-sex marriage. Is someone with conservative views like this worthy of controlling the future of our education system?

As a public school student of over 11 years, I find myself nodding in agreement with those who support public schools and say that Devos is not fit for the job. Along with being uneducated in public schools, Devos also has not proposed any plans that are beneficial to public schools, but instead has proposed ineffective and old-fashioned policies harmful for public education. On top of this, Devos has stumbled over basic questions regarding education including the landmark 1975 law, the Disabilities Education Act, and proved that she knew almost nothing about it.  And for that matter, she also has not showed any interest in furthering special needs programs, and instead has proposed plans to cut these programs. How can such programs be so easily dismissed when they provide the helpful support needed for the special education population?

I may only be 16 years old, but as a public school advocate, I know when someone provides a serious threat to our public schools. Betsy Devos is not the key player on this strong team we call public education, but rather the reason this team will not be successful.