Protesters throughout America are fighting against the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. It is apparent that she is unqualified for the position and has no experience in public education. Photo Courtesy of Ted Eytan via Creative Commons.
From cabinet members to secretaries, President Trump’s nominations are raising eyebrows. There have been questions about some of the nominees lacking the proper credentials for their respective positions. One of the most polarizing nominations is for the position of Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
There are numerous reasons for why DeVos is not fit for the position. She does not hold a degree in education. She was never involved in public school systems. Although she is an advocate for education reform, her work is limited to campaign contributions for those who share her similar ideologies.
Public schooling seems to be an especially contentious debate topic that is stalling DeVos from being sworn in. She does not have personal nor work-related first-hand knowledge when it comes to both lower and higher public education.
There were several warning signs when DeVos was asked about matters relating to universities. She dodged questions concerning campus sexual assaults. This is a critical matter to focus, since one in every five women and one in every 16 men are sexually assaulted on campus during their time in school.
Erika Echols, a junior sociology major, stated, “I do not believe she has the proper qualifications when it comes to education … It seems she is very biased and only looking to help charter and private school[s].”
The major worry students should have towards DeVos is not simply her relative inexperience in holding office and education positions, but the ignorance she displays towards the rapidly growing issue of student debt.
Growing up in and marrying into extreme wealth, neither she nor her family ever needed assistance. Her fortune is estimated into the billions. She is not familiar with the sometimes financially crippling student loans and the necessity of government assistance when pursing a degree.
Although personal wealth does not necessarily equate with an antagonistic view regarding student debt and government assistance, it was, however, clear in her hearing that she was uninformed about many aspects of the federal student loan program.
The federal student loan program requires trillions of dollars in federal aid. DeVos even admitted to never having any sort of experience running an agenda with such scope and intricacy as this program.
Her inadequacy for the position of Secretary of Education also comes from her lack of a starting point in education reform. DeVos has never worked her way up the relative “food chain” of educators. Instead, she has been catapulted into a nomination for our education system’s top position.
Some ideas held by DeVos are not all inherently faulty. For example, she wants to fund more charter schools, which have shown to improve the education of some students. However, her absence of any sort of training for the important job as the head of education is worrying.
The responsibilities of the Secretary of Education scale the entirety of the United States and affects nearly every family. Clearly, no thought has been put into the possible detrimental effects of appointing someone without the proper resume to such a chief government seat.