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DeVos v. Education

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 20, 2018 20:14

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While Donald Trump grabs the headlines, Betsy DeVos is smothering American education with a pillow behind the scenes.

When it comes to the Trump Administration, the leader hoards the accolades. President Trump -- and his endless quest to taint American democracy and warp its culture into a pseudo-alternate history "golden age" as-written-by-Bethesda -- regularly comprises headlines and column inches, so much so that "what asinine thing did Trump do today?" has become a common refrain for many who are still paying attention daily.

But causing just as much harm as the president is Betsy DeVos, the Barbara Hutton of Amway. She is quietly destroying American education from the inside.

DeVos' Blackwatering of American education has been largely under reported since she assumed her role as Secretary of Education in 2017. That's not to say the media has been ignorant of her. Some of her exploits have made their way into news reports.

However, considering Secretary DeVos' efforts are effectively morphing the quality of education in the United States to something akin to the quality of baseball played by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, the fact is she is failing to keep headline pace with the rest of the insanity in the Trump Administration is confounding.

Recently, for example, Secretary DeVos has started re-writing Title IX guidelines. Just weeks after we all watched the United States Senate practically say "to hell with #MeToo" and ascend Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, DeVos is starting to implement new guidelines that raise the burden of proof needed in reporting sexual harassment and assault complaints. The new guidelines also relax the consequences for schools that fail to report or document these accusations, and subject victims to cross-examination by their attackers.

Secretary DeVos has gutted regulations that protect students from predatory student loan lenders, thanks largely to lobbying efforts by the for-profit college industry.

Secretary DeVos has moved the focus of the Department of Education away from the systemic issues within school systems, wantonly dismissing civil rights complaints at a time where violence and harassment of black, Latino, and immigrant students have spiked, while seventy-five percent of LGBT+ students feel unsafe in school.

As if her failure to even acknowledge civil rights issues in education wasn't enough, DeVos' silence when asked by Leslie Stahl in a March 2018 60 Minutes interview whether race played a role in black students receiving worse punishment for the same transgressions as white students spoke volumes. It was deafening.

And we should be talking more about it.

But hey, perhaps the systematic dismantling of education in America isn't nearly as important as Trump shrugging off Elizabeth Warren's DNA test and reneging on the $1 million dollars he promised to donate, right?

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 20, 2018 20:14

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Source: WashPost

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before Congress on May 24 on the Trump administration's proposed education budget.

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