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Five Things to Understand About Betsy DeVos

As you well know by now, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Secretary of Education via the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence. As someone who’s studying to be a teacher, I found this to be extremely alarming. Here are five reasons why you should, too.

  1. Her degree is in business, not education.

DeVos has a BA in business economics, which she earned from Calvin College, a private Christian college. However, education is not a business. DeVos has no understanding of the philosophies of education, the differences in learning styles, how to adapt learning, etc. Essentially what this means is that every single preservice teacher currently attending school is more qualified to be the Secretary of Education than Betsy DeVos.

  1. Neither she nor her children have attended public school.

Public schools and private schools are very different. Private schools are not federally mandated and therefore don’t follow the same curriculums or even the same federal mandates. Because of this, DeVos’s experience with public schools is non-existent. How can we expect someone with no experience to make the best decisions for our public school system?

  1. She didn’t understand the difference between growth and proficiency.

During her confirmation hearing, DeVos was asked by Senator Al Franken to comment on whether students should be measured on proficiency or growth. When answering, she said she wanted to measure proficiency and “correlate it to competency and mastery, so that each student is measured according to the advancement they’re making in each subject area.” This, however, is growth, and it’s something that educators have been trying to get implemented to measure for years because it shows more accurately the progress a student has made.

  1. She just helped get the Transgender Bathroom Law rescinded.

While ultimately it was Trump who signed the executive order to rescind the law, as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is expected to keep the best interest of students in mind. It has been reported that DeVos was told that if she did oppose, she would lose her position. This is not something that is of best interest to students and will ultimately lead back into more discrimination at the state level. The fact that DeVos didn’t stand up for student rights is extremely unacceptable in her position.

  1. She didn’t know what IDEA was.

For those of you who are not in education, IDEA stand for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is a law that ensures that students with disabilities get the same education opportunities as their peers. The fact that DeVos didn’t know what IDEA was and didn’t understand that it’s a federal law concerns me. How can educators rely on her to protect the interest of students when she doesn’t know the laws regarding them?

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Kayla is a sophomore at the University of Wyoming studying Elementary Education. During football season, Kayla spends her time in the Western Thunder Marching Band Color Guard. She considers herself to be a pop-punk princess and is very obsessed with The Wonder Years and knows all the words and choreography to the DK Rap. The only things that keep her going at this point are unintentional naps and inhuman amounts of caffeine. Her spirit animal is Tiny Kong, also known as the second member of the DK Crew.
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