Betsy DeVos: The Controversial Secretary of Education

AMY STEL | FEATURES COLUMNIST 

On Feb. 7, Betsy DeVos was voted the new United States Secretary of Education. A lot of Americans are torn between whether or not she actually was the best candidate for this position.

Many people believe that Betsy DeVos is not qualified for the job, because she lacks experience with the U.S. Public School System. When President Donald Trump announced that she would be his choice for next Secretary of Education, many teachers unions criticized and opposed her. Many people supported her, because of her dedication to promoting charter schools and the voucher program. She barely won the vote, only being nominated after Vice President Mike Pence came to cast a vote and break the tie.

DeVos really only has experience with promoting school choice, school voucher programs and charter schools. These are all connected to private, for-profit and religious schools, not public schools. Therefore, she has a great lack of experience with public schools in general, which is what her new position will be completely based around. On top of not being familiar with public schools, she is also somewhat unaware of the laws protecting students. Her focus toward expanding parental choice in education and improving funding for the voucher program did make her a logical choice for Trump. During his campaign, his education platform included a voucher initiative aimed at low-income students.

For many it will be hard deciding to support or oppose Betsy DeVos. Obviously she has almost no experience with the public school system itself, but she does at least have experience with other school systems. She may instill both good and bad changes while Secretary of Education. Although several of her ideas such as possibly dismantling the effort Obama made to investigate and end sexual assault on college campuses, may seem to change things  for the worse, this may not be the actual case. There is always a possibility that none of her proposals will actually go into action.

Despite the fact that DeVos has become the nation’s Secretary of Education, people will continue to oppose her. A new president always brings changes. Some turn out to be good and some bad. Hopefully the nation’s schools will see more good outcomes from Betsy DeVos. The future of schools could be changed completely, and unfortunately, all that schools and colleges, like our very own St. Norbert, can do is patiently wait.

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