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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

As DeVos exits, where does education go next? -

As DeVos exits, where does education go next? -
As DeVos exits, where does education go next?
Secretary of education isn’t typically a prominent Cabinet position. But the resignation of Betsy DeVos, whose tenure brought considerable controversy, is prompting discussion about where education should go from here. 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of the highest profile Cabinet members to resign from President Donald Trump’s administration, writing in the wake of the rampage at the Capitol, “Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us.” 

“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” she wrote to the president on Jan. 7.

Her departure on Friday was a dramatic finale for one of the longest-serving, and most controversial, members of President Trump’s senior administrative team – ending one of the most highly charged tenures in the history of the Education Department.

For four years, scholars say, Ms. DeVos used the bully pulpit of the department to fundamentally shift the American conversation around schools. In her dogged pursuit of what many saw as a radical, free market approach, she unraveled a decadeslong truce between Republicans and Democrats when it came to education policy. She advocated for school choice, including vouchers for private and parochial schools, and regularly attempted to cut the funding of her own department, saying publicly that she would be happy to work herself out of a job. On her way out the door she made available $2.75 billion in funds earmarked for non-public schools in the relief act signed into law in December.

While many supporters praised her resignation as courageous, and offered glowing reviews of her tenure as secretary, critics called the move “hypocritical.” Her rhetoric, they claimed, had helped fuel the anger and anti-government sentiments that many of the Trump supporters expressed Wednesday. Many on the left also saw Ms. DeVos as undermining what had long been a bipartisan commitment to public schools and also systematically dismantling civil rights protections for students. CONTINUE READING: As DeVos exits, where does education go next? -