The moment Betsy DeVos became Secretary of Education, the world laughed at us and I felt completely heartbroken for the future of education in the United States. Mrs. DeVos has shown that she has no experience in public education at all. Her children never received a public education, she doesn’t hold a Bachelor’s degree, and she is a billionaire. These are FACTS, I’m not bashing her by any means, but the education of innocent children is going to be in the hands of a woman who cannot relate to the vast majority of children who attend public schools.
I often wonder if Ms. DeVos actually visited an inner-city school? I attended an inner-city school in Dayton, Ohio for about one year and let me tell you the experience wasn’t good. My whole 4th grade year, I learned nothing. I hardly cracked opened a book and there was rarely any homework for me and my classmates to do. Moreover, there were many disadvantaged minorities who suffered with aggression and family problems, which led to outbreaks of fights with other students and disrespectful interactions with teachers. It was in this school, where I learned curse words and was taught to be “tough”. My brother who was just down the hall from me ended up getting stabbed with a pencil by a fellow student. He also was subjected to the cycle of no homework, no reading, and students with behavior issues. This school provided my brother and I with a PUBLIC EDUCATION, and it’s clear that education wasn’t a primary focus for the educators or principal. With my first-hand knowledge of attending a public school, I know exactly what needs to be done because I’ve experienced it. There needs to be updated learning materials, strong emphasis on reading, and homework that is substantial and effective. In order to fix something, you have to experience it and look at from a perspective that isn’t your own.
With all the media surrounding DeVos, I have yet come across an article in which she has visited an inner-city school. I highly doubt that she has stepped a foot in a deplorable school building that has textbooks that are 25 years old. I also doubt that she has interacted with the parents of these disadvantaged children, who so desperately want their child to receive a quality education. This is what frustrates me about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, she hasn’t experienced or communicated with educators, parents, or children in public schools to actually see the deterioration of the public school system. Even though, I feel disheartened and discouraged by our government’s choice, I often wondered where my brother and I would be had we stayed in public schools. Would we become a “stereotype” of what many think black people are? Or would be the “select few” who made it out of a racially-disadvantage system? Personally, I can’t answer that because my brother and I were very fortunate to finish the rest of our schooling in a suburban public school that had a good education. I often wonder what happened to the students that I attended class with, I often hope that they went off to college and are reaching for their aspirations and dreams. However, I’m very realistic and know that many are suffering due to an education system that failed them.