Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Betsy DeVos

I didn't really follow the Betsy DeVos hearing, but the main stated public objection seems to be her lack of experience. It seems likely few of us have really cared that much about past Secretaries of Education, but let us assume they had the qualifications people like Al Franken wanted them to have.
Here is a simple question: given measurable educational results, and assuming for the sake of argument both that national education is properly a Federal responsibility and that this office is capable of achieving the aims set it, in what respect should we not view EVERY Secretary of Education for the past 40 years as an abject failure?
In every city in America, and a great many rural schools, we are graduating kids from high school--giving them diplomas--who can barely read, who can't do basic algebra, who don't know even the rudiments of American history, like who we fought in the Revolutionary War or how to find France on a map.
Conservatives have been proposing school choice since the 1970's, and been opposed on it since then by left wing Democrat backed teacher's unions. The one thing I have read consistently about DeVos is that her mandate is to foster school choice. Given our long term failures--ones not tied to funding, since we vastly outspend many nations which run circles around us--I for one fail to see why trying something different could possible be worse than where we already are.
This graphic clarifies the armies of administrators with Ph.D's making six figure salaries and delivering mediocrity, decade after decade:

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