DeVos on Education: Her Greatest Hits

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Two weeks before the end of the Trump administration, Betsy DeVos, the highly unqualified billionaire Secretary of Education for the past 4 years, finally resigned. She cited recent violence at the Capitol and Trump’s role in it as the reason for her resignation. She also suggested that the president’s behavior was not a good role model for the children in America (If I had the chance, I would ask her about the previous 4 years, but I digress).

In her statement condemning the president’s behavior she remarked that: “we should be highlighting and celebrating your administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people.” I reflected on her personal “accomplishments.” Here are just some of her greatest hits:

  1. She eased restrictions on for-profit colleges who are known predators.
  2. She was fined $100,000 in 2019 for violating a judge’s order to stop debt collection efforts of bankrupt for-profit college Corinthian.
  3. She officially declared that the Department of Education would not investigate complaints from transgender students about access to bathrooms and harassment complaints.
  4. She attempted to expand school vouchers for students to attend private schools.
  5. She gave public money to charter schools that were to be founded and run by people with no experience in education.
  6. DeVos responded to a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead not with a focus on gun violence or reducing access to guns but instead on curbing policy that would reduce the suspension and expulsion of minority students.
  7. Notably, DeVos is the most sued Secretary of Education, having been sued 455 times during her tenure.
  8. During much of her tenure as Secretary of Education, DeVos touted virtual learning and online schools. She has a long history of it. As Politico pointed out: “DeVos also touted “high-quality virtual charter schools” as “valuable” option during her confirmation process.” So, when schools were forced to go virtual at the beginning of the pandemic, DeVos was one of the first to shout hurrah. By summer she was singing a different tune. She called for schools to reopen at all costs, yet the administration did nothing to support such a statement.

DeVos’ early resignation is four years too late. She is just one more representative of the community of people (Zuckerberg, Gates, Reed to name a few) who have no experience in education but think they know everything. May DeVos ride off on her broom never to be heard from again.

For more on DeVos’ exit, check out curmudgucation’s latest post – biting as always.

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