Shall We Stop Educating Our Children?

Betsy DeVos served under the former administration as Secretary of Education.  Ms. DeVos brought no qualifications in the field of education to the position – her only qualification was the huge sum of money (reported to be in the multi-million dollar range) she and her husband, Dick, had donated to the former guy’s campaign in 2016.  Ms. DeVos was no more qualified than I for the position, and did an even worse job than I would have, but that is all water under the bridge, for she and her corrupt boss have left the federal government … or have they?

It seems these days that anybody and everybody who served in the former administration feels qualified to write a book, and they believe that we will pay money to read their first-hand experience, or drivel, which is what most of these books are.  There are a few exceptions, such as Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin, which I am currently reading.  However others, like One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General by former Attorney General William (Bill) Barr are merely ego trips for the authors.  The latest in the batch, slated for release on June 21st, is Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child by none other than Betsy DeVos.

Apparently Ms. DeVos defines ‘education freedom’ differently than I do, and hopes for an entirely different future for today’s children than I would wish for.  During a tour this week to promote her upcoming book, Ms. Devos made this statement:

“I don’t think the Department of Education should exist.”

My jaw dropped … she was, after all, paid $199,700 per year from our hard-earned tax dollars to lead the very department she now claims should not exist.  I read two articles about her ideas, why she believes the Department of Education should be shut down, and in my view she didn’t make one bit of sense.  She drones on about how ‘children are political pawns’ and “how poorly the system is serving children,” but offers no facts upon which she bases her opinions.  She apparently does not believe that every young person should have the opportunity to go to college, for she said …

“There are millions of great jobs going unfilled that don’t require a college degree.”

And regarding President Biden’s proposed student loan forgiveness program, she believes …

“It’s a horrible idea, and I don’t know how anyone can defend it. All you’re doing is buying a bunch of political goodwill.”

Way back in 2017, when DeVos was first made Secretary of Education, I posited that the goal she and Trump had was to ensure that only the children of the wealthy would ultimately be able to afford or qualify for a college education, that the other 99% of us would remain the proletariat, doing the heavy lifting for subsistence wages while those wealthy kids went into politics and managed their family’s multi-million dollar corporations.  Seems I was right.

Now, I consider her to be irrelevant and wouldn’t waste my time writing about her, except that … her ideas are becoming the ideas of the entire Republican Party that wants to diminish the education our kids are getting by failing to teach them facts, teach them history, teach them what they need to get into college and learn to think for themselves.  What if … perish the thought … the former guy somehow avoids the long arm of the law and is allowed to run for president again in 2024, and what if he were to win?  Would he follow DeVos’ advice and demolish the Department of Education?  And what would it be replaced with?  The Department of Christian Learning?  Will forced school prayer return to our schools, replacing such things as Biology, Literature, and History, all of which are seemingly being given the axe in many states today.

From banning books to refusing to teach about such things as slavery – the true cause of the Civil War – and the Tulsa Race Massacre, and the Civil Rights Era, and how white people treated the original owners of this land, we are turning education upside down and not in any good way.  I hope, I truly hope, that Ms. DeVos is never again in charge of anything in our government, but there are other equally noxious people in the Republican Party like Ron DeSantis who support the dumbing-down of our children.  What will this nation look like in 50 years if they succeed?

40 thoughts on “Shall We Stop Educating Our Children?

  1. Pingback: Shall We Stop Educating Our Children? – Site Title

  2. Each statement from the Right emboldens someone else of the Right to make another equally or more extreme one.
    It would seem their general consensus is to dismantle the entire apparatus built up over the past fifty years and to replace it with some mash-up of twisted nostalgia for a White Evangelical system. This apparently will work if the USA is reduced to a collection of very small towns and a group indoctrinated in selected of Fran Capra’s movies is employed to oversee the project. (And they also must see all of D W Griffith’s Birth of a Nation)
    Whereas the imagery may seem extreme, there is here everything that any previous regime be it right of left from recent ages of revolution would recognise. Be it Nazi Germany, Communist Russia of the early decades, China of Mao’s various initiatives, Iran’s Shi’ite Islamic Revolution and so on.
    The problem with tearing everything down and hastily building it up is that no one manages to really get to build anything beneficial to the well-being of the population.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Betsy’s positions — and lack of facts to support them — are not a surprise at all. Each effort that we’ve seen in red states regarding education for the masses or public education insists on bridling the truth, curtailing critical thinking, and limiting exposure to the full history. All of this seems driven toward several ideas: one, to maintain a pliable and easily manipulated class of angry voters which the GOP steers through misinformation and fear; two, a mass of people to serve as essentially slaves for corporations and the wealthy. Yet, they — the GOP and conservatives — are surprised that the U.S. is sliding backward in technology, becoming less tolerated, angrier and more divided and resentful. They don’t understand that the results we’re seeing is the fruit of their efforts.

    Hugs and cheers, M

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make some really good points, Michael! I’m glad I was born when I was, and was the beneficiary of a reasonably good education, taught to think, to reason … things that today’s youth are not being taught, for it threatens the ‘status quo’. There will be a price to pay. Hugs and cheers, dear friend!

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  4. Pingback: SHALL WE STOP EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN? |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. Pingback: Shall We Stop Educating Our Children? | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  6. For as long as I can remember, conservatives have been saying that there should not be a federal department of education.

    The department was created by Jimmy Carter, toward the end of his presidency. The next presidential terms were by Republicans (Reagan, Reagan and Bush). They could easily have killed that new department. But they didn’t. So maybe the conservative criticism of the department was never more than talk.

    On the loan forgiveness thing, I guess I’m a big loser. I saved up for my children’s education, so that they would not need loans. Nevertheless, I support the loan forgiveness program. We should not be requiring young people to go into debt so early in their lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Think of it this way, Neil. If they make post-secondary education free, even in part but it should be in whole, you can either treat yourself or your children to an unexpected experience of some kind that you thought you could never afford. Would that be wonderful?
      Or, on the other hand, you could afford the food and gasoline that so many people are struggling to pay for these days. Charity begins at home, I’m told.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I did not realize that the Republicans had historically been calling for the demolition of the DoE … but WHY??? I know why DeVos and Trump want it gone, but why would past generations of Republicans have wanted to be shed of it? Or, as you say, perhaps it was just a talking point.

      Having paid for your children’s education does NOT, by any means, make you a loser! It does, however, mean you were luckier than some, including myself. My daughter still owes a large student loan … there was no way I could pay for her college, as I was struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table. And college costs have gone so high that there really are few people today who can simply pay for college without going into debt. But, thumbs up to you for having done so, Neil!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Having paid for your children’s education does NOT, by any means, make you a loser!

        I agree that I’m not really a loser. My children are now adults, and they are doing well.

        Conservatives often accuse my of being a materialist. But it seems to me that they are more concerned with their material well being than I am with mine. I’m a loser in the way that conservatives measure, but not in terms of what is important.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve read enough of your comments and a few of your blog posts (I’m terrible at getting around to reading other blogs!!!) to know that you are NOT materialistic! You have a good mind and are an astute observer of human nature. Conservatives seem to measure everything in dollars, and to me, there are many more important things in life. You’re a good man, Neil.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Jan. 6 Panel Has New Ginni Thomas Evidence: Report

    Sources tell the Washington Post that the panel has obtained emails between Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—and John Eastman, a former Thomas clerk who supported Trump’s election fraud claims and spoke at the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. The Post’s sources say the emails show Thomas’ efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known.

    The committee—which is expected in Thursday’s hearing to look at Eastman’s role in pressuring former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the election results—is now debating what to do with the Thomas emails, sources tell CBS. The New York Times, citing sources, reports that Eastman claimed to have inside information on a “heated fight” among Supreme Court justices about hearing arguments over Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results. “So the odds are not based on the legal merits but an assessment of the justices’ spines,” he wrote to pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro in a Dec. 24, 2020 email, per the Times. Chesebro replied that the odds of action would improve if “the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6.”

    https://www.newser.com/story/321810/report-jan-6-panel-obtains-trove-of-ginni-thomas-emails.html

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  8. Jill, when we fail to educate kids teaching them how to think, we should not be surprised when we go further downhill. The last time I checked, the US ranked in the twenties in math and science versus kids around the world. It is likely worse today. I recall a young student in Louisiana suing the state legislature and governor for wasting his time teaching him creationism as a science. This brilliant young man’s petition was backed by over 170 Nobel laureates. This also applies to learning about inequality and denigration in our history, so that we can avoid this going forward. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right. I just checked, and we’re now 31st in Math. I didn’t check Science, but I believe we’re slightly better in that area. I hadn’t heard about the student suing Louisiana, but good on him! Right now, I’m most concerned about two things: the whitewashing of our history, and the attempts to bring religious teaching into public schools. If I had a child or grandchild today, I would almost certainly opt to homeschool them.

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  9. Only someone from a truly privileged position can think tuition forgiveness is a bad idea. Must be nice to be on the other side. 😆

    I always find the use of the word “freedom” in political debates very interesting. In the case of “education freedom,” I think some forget how lucky Americans are to be able to have access to something kids in many countries don’t readily have access too.

    Anyway, I just woke up and reading about her rants has made me a little cranky. 😆

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed, it must be! I’ll never know.

      The world ‘freedom’, like so many others these days, has come to mean whatever a specific group wants it to mean. I think the worst of it was in the middle of the pandemic when over 1,000 lives were being lost every day, and people refused the vaccine only because they said it was their ‘right’ to do so, that it was their freedom from tyranny, or some such nonsense. But, in refusing the vaccine, they were taking away the rights, the freedom of others …. so, where is the line drawn? You are right, we are very lucky in this country, but I think our privileges have made us arrogant and greedy.

      Sorry to have made you cranky first thing. Check out today’s music post, perhaps it will make you smile ♫ 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. They stopped teaching our kids anything worth learning a long time ago. Even when my son was in high school, (he graduated in 2011), I found myself having to teach him most of his history myself. He was being taught that Reagan was our best president ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Seriously??? That Reagan was our best president … ever? I mean, compared to the current motley crew of Republicans, Reagan was a decent bloke, but by no means our ‘best’ president! Sheesh! 🙄

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  11. It was only when Betsy deVos spoke did I ever think thsat msybe atradition of the old Faith Based School might be right. Those schools which taught according to the tenets of a partricular Saint i.e St.Lazarus where kindness to Lepers prevailed, At least the kids are taught history and the manner by which on should live ones liife in service to others. Betsy de Vos and her ilk taught service to money and those with it. Only those people should have an education for they will go on to rule. America would have plujnged straight back to Europe’s Dark Ages where you were either born to be served or be born to serve. .Being born to be served would not give you any abilities other than to keep those born to serve in their place. You might easily find King Donald VIII on the throne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are spot on … DeVos and those like her do have that mentality that a few ‘special’ people were born to be served, and the rest of us to serve them. Needless to say, with an estimated net worth of over $5 billion and the ability to throw millions at Trump’s campaign, they see themselves as among the ‘privileged few’. A good, solid education for all is a threat to them, or at least they see it as such. Yes, we might well find “King Donnie” on the throne, and if that happens, I will leave this country, else jump off a bridge.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure they lack brains so much as they lack a conscience, lack integrity. Their brains work in devious, self-centered ways and they care naught for the people they represent. As to how we voted them into office … ignorance. They told lies over and over so many times that those who aren’t deep thinkers bought into the lies, believed them, and voted for them. And now look where we are in both your country and mine.

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