Every last one of Trump’s cabinet choices have been horrible, and as he nominated his various secretaries and directors of federal agencies, I shook my head so much that things shook loose in there and still rattle around on occasion. The worst was probably his choices to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first Scott Pruitt, then after ol’ Scott broke the law, Andrew Wheeler, former oil lobbyist. But then, there was Betsy DeVos who he put in place as Secretary of Education … a more unlikely choice could not have been imagined, but she and her hubby donated millions to Trump and the Republican Party, so she somehow had to be repaid.
Ol’ Betsy didn’t much believe in public education but thought all children should be educated in religious or private schools, and … despite having the anatomy of a woman, she did everything possible to relieve women of their rights when it came to such things as being sexually assaulted on college campuses. Whoever Joe Biden chooses to oversee the Department of Education will be a vast improvement over the ignoble DeVos.
It is reported that Biden has narrowed his choices for the position to two: The first is Leslie T. Fenwick, dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Education and a professor of educational policy and leadership. The second is Miguel Cardona, who last year was named the top education official in Connecticut. I know little about either of these two, but offhand I am leaning toward Cardona, for Fenwick is reportedly not a fan of education reform, something I think is going to become crucial in the coming months/years. However, I will wait until Biden finalizes his choice then do some research and report back to you. Meanwhile, back at the ranch …
During a departmental ‘virtual meeting’ earlier this week, DeVos spoke to the career staffers, many of whom she has fought with for the past four years …
“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist. Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first — always.”
The word ‘sedition’ has been tossed about a lot lately, and this sounds remarkably seditious to me. I wonder if all cabinet members are doing the same … urging their staff to create chaos and put up roadblocks to Biden’s agenda? Oh, and that part about putting students first? Betsy has not once done that, but has in fact done the exact opposite.
During her tenure, DeVos has attempted to halt the implementation of rules designed during the Obama administration to protect student loan borrowers. During the coronavirus pandemic, DeVos directed millions of dollars of coronavirus relief funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act intended for public schools and colleges, to private and religious schools, directly in conflict with the separation of church and state. And her most heinous crime, in my opinion, was when she repealed Obama administration guidelines for colleges dealing with reports of sexual assaults, saying that her concern was for men accused of such assaults.
Her tenure has not done anything that I can see to improve on our education system, but rather has been focused more on charter and parochial schools. Let us hope that whomever President-elect Biden chooses will be far more concerned with actual education, an area in which the U.S. has fallen behind in recent years and will be empathetic to people who are buried under mounds of student loan debt, and also to those who are victims of sexual assault. In other words, I’m hoping for the exact antithesis of Ms. DeVos.