On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s cabinet pick for secretary of the Department of Education was confirmed in a historical tie-breaking vote. The Democrats staged protests as well as massive congressional calling campaigns. All, thankfully, to no avail.
The votes were cast 50-50. The tie-breaking vote came from Vice President Mike Pence. Pence became the first vice president to cast a tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nominee. DeVos is not the ideal nominee, however, the staged protests were highly irrational and illogical.
Here’s my personal case for DeVos, which includes what I like and do not like about her leading the Department of Education:
BAD: She supported common core. DeVos’s husband is no doubt a supporter of the terrible system. He’s repeatedly advocated for the keeping of Common Core. But what about Betsy herself? Well, she’s denying her support for Common Core. As per The Daily Caller:
“I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control,” DeVos says on the page. “When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense … However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle.”
The only issue with this statement is that Common Core was a federalized boondoggle from the start. Additionally, DeVos served on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education’s board. This organization is very fond of the Common Core system. Furthermore, she buys favors. She concedes that after her family donates to the Republican party, they expect something in return. “I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.”
The first bad point is a position she’s backpedaled on. She now vows to get rid of Common Core. I hope her previous position doesn’t affect her policy making. In regards to her family buying influence and her conceding, that’s an ethical issue that I personally have a problem with. Both of these, however, are not deal breakers.
GOOD: DeVos supports school choice. This is perhaps one of the best staples of her nomination. DeVos and her husband co-founded a charter school. This already tells you her general position on education as a whole. It’s a good one. When DeVos was on USA Today she said “…what we are trying to do is tear down the mindset that assigns students to a school based solely on the ZIP Code of their family’s home. We advocate instead for as much freedom as possible”. Because of this, she hates the teacher’s unions, and the teacher’s unions hate her. Once again, she isn’t the ideal choice, but she’s a good one nonetheless.