Nancy Bailey: Time for DeVos to Resign

Nancy E. Bailey writes here about Secretary Betsy DeVos’s unpleasant experience at Bethune-Cookman University, where she was booed by the graduates of the class of 2017.

She thinks it was a travesty that the students were not allowed any say in the choice of their commencement speaker. After all, the day is meant to honor them and their accomplishments.

Instead, they got a speaker who is in a job for which she has no qualifications, a woman who has acted to protect predatory lenders and debt collectors, a woman who has never shown any commitment to advancing civil rights.

The students know that public education is a basic democratic right, and they did not respect this representative of an administration pledged to privatization and stripping away their families’ health care.

Bailey writes:

On a day designated for students—a day to honor their achievements—they have to listen to a woman of privilege tell them how she understands their struggle. They cannot even end their college journey without hackneyed political browbeating.

Perhaps if DeVos had the right ideas about schooling, her appearances would be more palatable. Perhaps if she really wanted to help public schools work for all children, but that’s not what she is about.

Betsy DeVos is the topping on the cake after Duncan and Spellings. She is the final straw, meant to end public education altogether—to put in place a system that rings true to her religiosity—a separate system of the haves and have nots. She is welcoming back the time before Brown v. the Board of Education. But my guess is she saw herself as Joan of Arc on that stage Wednesday.

This is not about God or the students. Privatization has never been about the welfare of the student. And it is not about religion either, though they might make you think it is. It is about money and it is about race. School privatization has always been about that.

Betsy DeVos should resign. But she was placed in this position by one vote if we can believe that. The problem is many Republicans and Democrats sold out on public schools a long time ago. The Washington mindset really is Betsy DeVos. I know it and you know it.

So boo away students. Remember this day as you journey forth. Maybe you can make America really great again. The rest of us are betting on that.

from sarah


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