Take the highway! For four years, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has worked to destroy democratic public schools and the teaching profession while touting her Education Freedom plan, vouchers.
But Americans should be asking what she really means by educational freedom after this past week. The freedom to determine what safe schooling means in your community doesn’t seem to be a part of the DeVos, Trumpian ideology. There’s no freedom when you’re told what you must do, or else.
As states and local school districts struggle to deal with a world catastrophe, made difficult by poor leadership from D.C., DeVos and her boss are saying schools must reopen. Neither gives suggestions as to how this should be done safely. Nor do they promise adequate funds for it to happen. It’s a reelection gamble for Trump, who sees the coronavirus as belonging to the Democrats.
Even Fox News host Neil Cavuto seemed astonished at DeVos’s cavalier disregard for the coronavirus. He said, In the communities that have seen spiking cases, wouldn’t it be reckless of a governor or even a mayor in those locales to go ahead and reopen schools as if none of that were going on?
DeVos walked it back a bit, saying Governors should consider hotspots. But make no mistake, if schools don’t reopen, DeVos is going to hand over public school tax dollars to parents to educate children any way they want. What options will they have? Lousy unsafe charters? Online programs that have a known failure rate?
And will Governors consider hotspots? Probably not if they’re Republican.
Like Florida’s Governor DeSantis who governs a hotspot. He said reopening schools is like reopening Walmart and Home Depot. This demonstrates such a disconnect about how schools work, that DeSantis was criticized for his comment. Still he’s damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
DeVos, who can watch the illness and devastation unfold in schools from a distance, tells parents what they want to hear. She’s still focused on breaking up schools and ending the teaching profession.
DeVos lavishes praise on New York City’s controversial Success Charter Academy, where it’s founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz earns $782,175. She harshly criticizes the Fairfax Public School teachers and their rollout of online learning last spring, teachers DeVos should represent and support.
There are arguments for schools to reopen. School districts and parents should work it out, being ever mindful that one choice is to not reopen, but to give children and teachers more time. It takes patience and community coordination to do this, and it was just made more difficult because of DeVos and her boss.
It’s easy to tout risk, as DeVos and the President have done, but when children get sick, or worse, or when their teachers or parents contract the virus, where will the two of them be then?
When the President and Mrs. Trump walked away from the school meeting the other day, a reporter yelled out to them, asking if their child would be returning to his school. They did not answer. Will his grandchildren be returning as well?
When DeVos implies it’s my way or the highway when it comes to something as serious as the coronavirus, you must wonder about the other freedoms she’s promising too.
In the case of Covid-19, take the highway. Sooner or later you’ll reach your destination. If you stop and listen to her, you and your children might not make it, literally.