The New York Times Discovers the “Bright Side” of Betsy DeVos

Up until now, you probably thought of Betsy DeVos as an entitled billionaire who cares about nothing but charters and choice. You may have even concluded that she was indifferent to civil rights, since she has refused to say whether she would cut off federal funding to schools that discriminate against students who are black, gay, or whose religion does not conform to that of the school that want to attend. You may have gotten a negative impression of her because she has been energetically protecting student debt collectors, not students, or because she supports Trump’s proposal to cut $10 billion from the Department of Education.

But the New York Times assures you that she is not the hard-right fundamentalist you thought. For one thing, her appointment of Candace Jackson as acting head of the Office of Civil Rights should not alarm you, even though she has vociferously opposed affirmative action. Jackson is gay and married, so her policy views are no longer relevant.

And then there is her appointment of Jason Botel as deputy assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education. He supported President Obama and served as Trump’s chief education advisor. But he earned his stripes running a KIPP school in Baltimore, where he fought the teachers union.

The New York Times calls upon two outside experts to confirm that Betsy DeVos is actually a complex person, perhaps even a secret liberal: Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institure and Tom Toch of Future-Ed, both of whom support charters.

This is surely a story made up out of whole cloth; the fact that Candace Jackson is gay does not qualify her to enforce civil rights if she does not believe in enforcement of civil rights. By his experience in the privatization movement, Jason Botel seems perfectly suited to the Trump-DeVos agenda.

The title of the article: “Some Hires by Betsy DeVos Are a Stark Departure from her Reputation.” Someone please explain this title. I fail to see the stark departure that these two people represent, nor do these two hires change anything about her destructive agenda.

from novemoore


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