Trump needs to rethink the DeVos nomination

The views in this editorial were agreed on by The Echoes staff 13-0

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artwork by Xuan Mercado
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When Bo Pelini was fired as Nebraska’s football head coach two years ago, Mike Riley was hired by Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst within two weeks.

The expectation was Riley would take the program in a new direction… to the next level.

President Trump said he was going to do the same thing with his cabinet selections in an attempt to, “drain the swamp,” of Washington insiders.

  One of the more controversial Cabinet nominations made by Trump was Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education.

The problem is there is NO comparison between Mike Riley giving the Husker football program a new direction and nominating Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.   

Riley knows football inside and out. He is widely respected in the football community both on the college and profession level, due to his past experiences.

It would be nice if DeVos had an educational track record that paralleled Riley’s football resume.

Unfortunately, for the future of American education should DeVos be confirmed, that is not the case.

DeVos did not attend public school as a child.

She did not enroll any of her four children in the public school system.

She also never attended a public university.

With not a single connection to 91% of the students in the American education system who attend public schools, in what ways does DeVos qualify to lead our young people?

With no public school experience, how will DeVos be the “fresh perspective” the America’s education system needs according to Trump?

DeVos’s primary foray into public education came in Michigan when she strongly supported the creation of charter schools.  By most experts’ opinions, it was an epic failure.

What DeVos lacks in knowledge about the public education system, she more than makes up for with money.  Her husband, Richard DeVos, served as the CEO of Amway from 1993-2002.

What fresh perspectives can she bring to the table when she has never even attended a public school?

While speaking to the Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committee earlier this year, DeVos said, “If a school is troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child … we should support a parent’s right to enroll their child in a high-quality alternative.”

High-quality alternative sounds a lot like a charter school, or a private school.

That is not an answer to thedifficult problems facing public education today.

While The Echoes would agree that parts of public education could use a fresh perspective, we do not think Betsy DeVos is the person to bring it about.

If President Trump is serious about making America great again, when it comes to education, he must rethink his choice for Secretary of Education.

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