For those of us who believe that there is no more significant factor in the peace and prosperity of the U.S. than the success of its educational system, the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education comes as both a respite from the past and a promise for the future.
It is hardly necessary to chroncle the deterioration of the U.S. educational system in recent years, from K-12 to the halls of Ivy. Even with ESL schools, propaganda has largely replaced basic learning. On my way to teaching a group of innocents whose wealthy Asian parents had the naïve notion that their children might be exposed to the three Rs, English division, I was thrust a video of the latest Michael Moore film as a pearl of great price. I politely refused this great gift and silently resolved to play The Fountainhead in my next movie class.
My brother, an independent who would fight to the death identification with any popular political affiliation, once served on the Board of his local school. After a while, he gave up believing that his struggle to advance the cause of students was hopeless in the face of the opposing force of teachers and their unions.
DeVos is most clearly identified with the concept of school choice. I find it highly ironic that “choice,” which has energized legions of women, turning many of their leaders into raving harridans, somehow runs out of gas when it comes to schooling.
Knocks on DeVos, which have blissfully proved totally unavailing in Congress, include her totally verifiable wealth and her alleged inexperience.
Use of money to achieve political prominence is so totally universal as to require no comment whatsoever. George Soros, anyone? Not to mention the Kennedys.
Inexperience? Thank God. DeVos would be totally inexpert in teaching how to print using carved raw potatoes dipped in fruit juices. She and Trump were not elected to operate within the present system, but rather to shake it up, or to use Obama’s favorite phrase, to transform it.
At any rate, DeVos is in and the public breathlessly awaits what’s out as a consequence.