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.
“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?!