Home > Uncategorized > Atlantic Magazine: DeVos is NOT the Only Problematic Cabinet Nominee for Public Education

Atlantic Magazine: DeVos is NOT the Only Problematic Cabinet Nominee for Public Education

Yesterday Diane Ravitch wrote multiple posts opposing the nomination of Betsy DeVos. They included a lengthy and thoughtful missive from Randi Weingarten, a letter from 200 deans of education, and numerous blog posts— including one carefully researched analysis of the DeVos family’s devastating impact on MI public education.

I read these thoughtful and well written posts after reading an Atlantic article by Hayley Glatter describing how five other cabinet posts could have an impact on student related policy. The five in question and their potential impact is outlined below:

  • Jeff Sessions, attorney general designee, whose civil rights record and opposition to special education was described in an earlier post on this site.
  • Tom Price, nominee for secretary of health and human services, whose record in Congress shows he opposes spending on these issues and whose potential harm to public schools was described in an earlier post as well.
  • Rex Tillerson, nominee for Secretary of State, whose department oversees multiple overseas study programs, many of which could be subject to budget cuts in a Trump administration.
  • Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior designee, whose department administers the Bureau of Indian Education, which provides life long education opportunities to Native Americans
  • Ben Carson, Trump’s HUD nominee, whose belief in bootstraps as opposed to helping hands and opposition to publicly supported housing makes him, like DeVos, a cabinet head who is more likely to dissemble his department than build it up.

This list could clearly go on. Andrew Puzder, Mr. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, for example. He opposes minimum wages, labor unions, and such “givens” as sick leave, paid vacations, and overtime. His appointment will clearly have an impact on children being raised in poverty and the collective bargaining agreements that currently provide a floor for the wages and working conditions of teachers.

As indicated above, there many fronts to fight against. In the ALL publicly funded programs are targeted for privatization, the environment is imperiled, women’s rights are under siege, Jim Crow laws could be restored, workers are likely to see their rights eroded, and who knows what cases the new Supreme Court will overturn.

These appear to be dark times… but if progressives stick together and take on all of these simultaneously we could come out ahead of where we started. Maybe, like the only businessman-turned-President Herbert Hoover, Trump will be a one-term President who will pave the way for a reformer to emerge.  That optimistic thought enables me to sleep soundly.

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