Betsy Devos confirmed as Secretary of Education, bringing an unfavorable education policy


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Betsy DeVos is a wealthy lobbyist who supports charter schools, and has been lobbying in favor of them since 2001. Now, she is the Secretary of Education and is poised to promote charter schools across America.

Alexander Howe, Staff Writer

The Senate, with help from Vice-President Mike Pence, confirmed Betsy DeVos in Washington on Feb. 7 as the new Secretary of Education, despite Democrats holding an all-night protest the night before.

DeVos was a charter school lobbyist in Detroit, Mich. As the Secretary of Education, she supports students having a choice of schools and expanding charter schools throughout America.

Her plan may seem beneficial to most people, but most Democrats think it is a bad idea for children. While her plan to spread charter schools throughout Detroit succeeded, it also dealt a devastating blow to Detroit’s public schools, which saw a drastic decrease in attendees, as well as the closure of many public schools.

A substantial number of charter schools are for-profit institutions which value money over the education of their students. Since these institutions receive government funds for student attendance, they often provide false attendance records showing that all their students are in school, when in reality, most are not. In one example from the Dayton Daily News, only around 30 out of 459 kids went to school on any given day. Providing modified attendance records suggests that these schools are trying to maximize their government subsidies, and thus make a profit.

While around 95 percent of Detroit’s charter schools do match or outperform their public school counterparts in terms of academic success, it should be noted that Detroit’s public school system is among the worst in the nation, with more than half of students not being ready for college when they graduate.

There are a few ways to fix DeVos’s plan. First, the government could put regulations on for-profit schools. This would prevent corruption in the administration of these schools so that they don’t lie about attendance or close in the middle of the school year. Another option is for the government to fund programs to increase teacher pay. This would reward teachers who usually get paid less than $50k a year nationwide, and would help draw in smart people who would otherwise do better-paying jobs.

Betsy DeVos wants to provide students with a choice of schools and provide vouchers for students to freely enter private institutions; however, her lack of experience with public schools will probably lead to a disaster in the education world, where subpar schools need assistance, not elimination.