Well, it looks like Mr. President has done it again.
I was hoping he would prove us all wrong and exceed our exceptionally low expectations, but no… With the appointment of Betsy DeVos and nomination of Scott Pruitt, I have absolutely no idea what to expect anymore. Honestly, I’m still hoping that on April 1st the U.S. government will reveal that this has all been some sort of elaborate April Fool’s prank.
Let me begin with the facts. Betsy DeVos is a woman with absolutely no experience working in the field of education, and she does not understand the idea behind Pell Grants, financial aid, student loans, or special education. This is an irrefutable statement because this is a simple fact. From interviews we also know that Ms. DeVos is completely opposed to public education, believes that we should hold guns in schools in case the “grizzlies come” (direct quote), thinks that states should be able to decide whether or not they follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (which by the way, is a federal law), and needed clarification on the proficiency and growth debate. So far, once again, I have only stated facts.
First of all, I would like to know how anyone can justify the nomination of someone who does not believe in public education to the position of Secretary of Education. Yes, as many DeVos advocates have pointed out, by definition, the job of the Department of Education is not to support public education, but to “improve overall education.” However, by supporting the privatization of schools, DeVos is limiting the availability of education to only those who can afford it and therefore not improving “overall” education.
DeVos has also stated that she supports guns in schools because in some states they may need them to protect themselves from the “grizzlies." Yes, you read that correctly. Not only does she support guns in schools, but she also doesn’t possess any valid reasoning to back her beliefs. She believes that guns should be allowed in schools -- not because she wants to protect students against other intruders who may be armed, but because of the dangers of grizzly bears. Please give me one example in which guns and schools have been a positive combination.
Furthermore, our new Secretary of Education believes that states should be able to choose whether or not to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This, by the way, is a federal law, meaning our Secretary of Education was unaware that one of the most important education acts in history is a federal law. Furthermore, the fact that she believes states should choose whether or not to follow this law means she does not believe that students with disabilities should have an equal opportunity to receive a quality education.
She also needed clarification on the difference between proficiency and growth, the most prominent debate in the field of education. How can you be the Secretary of Education and not know what an individual means by “growth” and “proficiency?" I'm not even an education expert, and I can tell the difference between the two without any need for clarification.
If this woman who only supports education for those who can afford to pay and attend unregulated private schools doesn’t scare you enough, let me just go into Mr. President’s pick for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Scott Pruitt is the predicted head of the EPA, a government agency whose mission is to protect human health and the environment. On its website, the department has a specific section dedicated to the effects of climate change and global warming. However, Mr. Pruitt does not believe in global warming. He does not believe in a scientifically proven fact. He does not believe in what the EPA, his potential agency, aims to solve. How can he even begin to direct an effort to mediate climate change when he does not even believe it exists? What does that mean for our environment? Please explain to me how this makes sense because I cannot even imagine what is going through Donald Trump’s mind right now.