Betsy DeVos - businesswoman, billionaire, political campaign contributor, and grizzly-phobe - is the new United States Secretary of Education. She is, of course, the bogeyman, striking fear in the hearts of teachers and parents across the country.
She lacks classroom experience, school administration training, or really any background in education. She has never taught in a public school, nor attended one, nor sent her children to one. It also seems unlikely that she has ever spoken to anyone who has. She has no relevant credentials or experience that would have prepared her for a position directing and controlling the almost 70 billion dollars in education funds this country doles out to public schools each year, not to mention the lives of more than 50 million public school students.
But what a lot of people don't understand, or have conveniently forgotten, is that the Department of Education has long been an agent of destruction, that the country's public education system has a history of harming our young people through systematic failure.
Just in case you need some reminding:
- According to the 2015 Nation's Report Card, only 25% of high school seniors are proficient in mathematics, while only 37% show proficiency in reading.
- The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that the United States ranks 23rd among developed nations in science literacy, 30th in mathematics literacy, and 20th in reading literacy.
- More than a quarter of 2012 college-bound high school graduates fell short of college readiness benchmarks that the ACT set for english, math, science, and reading, while 60 percent of students tested missed the mark in at least two of the four subjects
- Only 27% of American eighth graders tested at or above proficiency level in geography.
- 12% of high school seniors demonstrate a proficient understanding of their country's own history.
- One-third of high school graduates never read a single book after graduation.
If it isn't glaringly apparent that the entire U.S. system of public education is failing and failing hard, you're lacking some major critical thinking skills... which we can likely blame on your public school education.
The system is already failing our children, and it didn't need Betsy DeVos or Donald Trump to do it.
Let's be honest, what's the worst thing that an incompetent, grossly inexperienced billionaire could cause?
Only the complete and total collapse of the Department of Education.
Yeah... that's the "worst" thing that could happen.
Or is it really the best thing?