Betsy DeVos Is Coming For Your Children
Even among all the billionaires, ideologues, and straight-up racist goons Donald Trump has nominated for his cabinet, Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed earlier this week as the Secretary of Education, stands out for how seemingly unqualified she is. As the doomed critics of her nomination were quick to say, she has never taught in a public school, attended a public school, or sent her children to a public school.
Focusing on this, though, misses the point of what DeVos brings to her post. Unlike, say, Ben Carson and Rick Perry, who are totally ignorant of housing and energy policy and have no relevant experience in their new fields, DeVos is highly qualified to implement her vision—children using vouchers to attend Kiddie Cato Institutes in the back of churches, more or less—for America. After all, she’s done it before.
A religious wingnut of the highest order, the West Michigan native married into Amway money (her husband Dick is part owner of the Orlando Magic and the entire DeVos clan is worth over $5 billion, according to Forbes) and has made it her life’s work to wage war on public schools in her home state, with a special and successful focus on Detroit’s public-education system. Your average market-humping moron, when they talk about school choice, simply means that they want to encourage the use of public schools as profit center. DeVos, a visionary in her way, is for abolishing them entirely.
“We need to retire DPS [Detroit Public Schools] and provide new and better education options that focus on Detroit schoolchildren,” she wrote in a Detroit News op-ed last year.
The frightening thing about DeVos, though, is less how dystopian her ideas are than how successful she’s been at imposing them. She’s had her way with Detroit; now she’s coming for the rest of the country.
Hilary Young, a community activist and mother of three in southwest Detroit whose children have attended both public schools and charters, Betsy DeVos Is Coming For Your Children: