Letter to the Editor: a response to DeVos column

IV Leader Staff

This is a response to the partisan opinion piece “Secretary of Eduation pick not as bad as she seems” written in the Jan. 26 edition of the IV Leader regarding the appointment of Betsy DeVos for the Secretary of Education. I appreciate the argument as being well thought out, with plenty of examples to merit the nomination.

Unfortunately, the deliberate praise and “let’s give her a chance” attitude fails to express the greater concern for the millions of Americans who rely on and are affected by appointing such a poor choice as the Secretary of Education.

The author mentions the social media response and the criticism many feel towards DeVos and her relevant job experience working with public education.

The author has to make DeVos appear to have some sort of association with her professional and relational life to public education, that’s quite a stretch.

What isn’t mentioned in the piece, however, is the actual results; DeVos and her husband’s involvement with the public education in their home state of Michigan. In a state like Michigan public education is the key to stronger communities, healthier students, and involved and enriched families. With school choice in effect, cities like Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids have plenty of access to the school of their selecting as well as charter options.

Yet, through the veracity of statistics we are able to acknowledge the fact that futile and privately funded Charter schools have produced the lowest average test scores across K-12 in two decades. School choice has created an environment for massive school closures which results in neighborhood anchors becoming obsolete, meaning less jobs, a reduced amount of after school activities for the youth, which all have a direct correlation to higher crime. Educators, Unions, and almost anyone with experience in public education would not in good conscious want to copy the Michigan experiment.

I think the Senator from Vermont said it best: “My Question is— and I don’t mean to be rude—but do you think, if your family has not made hundreds of millions of dollars of contributions to the Republican Party, that you would be sitting here today?”

Bernie Sanders has a legitimate point here, Mrs. DeVos is simply a lobbyist who is tasked with fixing something she has professional lifetime detesting.

With the senate deciding on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos this week, I sincerely hope they decide to listen to their impacted constituency and vote against it. Otherwise this appointment will result in an “F” grade for our future generations.