As many predicted, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a disastrous first-year at the helm of the U.S. Education Department. But that didn’t stop her from giving herself high marks when asked to assess her freshman year in office.
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“I would say a solid B+ to an A-,” DeVos told Detroit News. She also admitted “there’s room for improvement.”
That’s an understatement.
DeVos, a billionaire friend of Trump, won a hotly contested confirmation battle for a position that she was unqualified to fill. She’s a fierce school choice proponent whose objective is to weaken public schools and diminish the federal government’s role in the education system.
Here are just a few of her unforgettable moments in 2017 as head of the Education Department:
Clueless about HBCUs
DeVos called Historically Black Colleges and Universities “pioneers of school choice.” What she clearly didn’t understand was that Jim Crow-era segregation laws banned Blacks and Whites from sitting in the same classrooms, effectively eliminating the choice factor.
In December, DeVos held a meeting with educators to discuss revoking a 2014 Obama-era directive that called on school officials to end the disproportionate discipline of students of color. She’s apparently laying the groundwork to turn the school-to-prison pipeline on full blast.
Disregard For Black leaders
DeVos set a tone at the Education Department in which it’s apparently no big deal to disrespect historic Black figures. After misspelling the name of W.E.B. Du Bois, an NAACP co-founder, the department carelessly misspelled its apology, too.
Student loan debt
The Trump administration has taken steps to end an Obama-era federal student loan forgiveness policy for those who were defrauded by for-profit colleges. Under a DeVos plan, fraud victims would receive only partial relief.
Campus sex misconduct
In another step backwards from a progressive Obama-era policy, DeVos weakened guidelines to aggressively investigate sexual misconduct on school campuses.
DeVos told lawmakers that it would be a good idea to allow school officials to bring guns to school due to the threat from grizzly bears. What?!
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