DeVos As Education Secretary: #EpicFail

The Purchase of American Government Continues Apace

Image for post
Image for post
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of the most controversial Cabinet picks in memory. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Oh, what a surprise. Who could have imagined the least qualified person to ever be given this job would end up with it?

Yeah. I did. I knew there was never a doubt she would get it.

Why? Because she is literally the last person in the world who should have been on a list for the position.

She is a person who has never participated in public education, she has never understood it, nor supported it.

In fact, she has actively fought against it, and worked to privatize it; it makes perfect sense in a government so full of itself that it isn’t concerned for the citizenry in any way, would place its educational future in the hands of a person who has, in no way, shown a commitment to education other than destroying it.

Is this the best we can do? It would seem so. In addition to destroying the present, we will now destroy the future of education.

Oh, Thaddeus, you’re being melodramatic…or so people will tell me.

I have worked in education for 7 years as a college professor and 3 years as an administrator. I also mentored and tutored youth for over a decade, in my own free time, unpaid. I had a commitment to the education of youth I believed in and put my effort toward that goal. I am the primary education resource of my autistic son, who attends the public schools DeVos thought we should stop wasting funds teaching disabled students. Of course, she backpedaled when she learned more about what that would mean to students across the nation.

The problem is: She should have already known. If she had EVER worked in education, it would have been at the TOP of her list of concerns since disabled student numbers do not appear to be declining across the nation and accommodations are one of the primary concerns for schools everywhere.

I believe education and the support of education is the most challenging and difficult work there is, because the responsibility for shaping the minds of future citizens is done there.

Done right, it can make individuals who will shape a nation’s future for the better. Done wrong and it will create individuals whose commitment to the future is what they can get out of the world, not what they can put into it.

If our future is designed to create more people who want to strip-mine the resources of this planet, including undermining the mental and educational potential of its people, then we should go ahead and press that red button.

People are already unable to determine truth from fiction.

They are unable to parse information effectively.

They are already subject to logical fallacy at the drop of a hat because they are not being taught to critically think.

We are a nation whose intellectual capacity comes from outside of it more often than inside of it.

The last six Nobel prizes were awarded to immigrants.

We are a nation fearful of science, technology and discovery of new ways of seeing the Universe. Religion is replacing reason. Fear is replacing thirst for knowledge. We are a nation of couch-potatoes whose intellectual capacities have diminished because instead of lighting a fire, our educational processes stamp out any desire to learn, teaching people to be content, to accept authoritarian leadership and wait for instructions.

We use technology as little more than monkeys, playing with Black Boxes which produce the results we want, without understanding how they work. How many people know how the internal combustion engine of an automobile works anymore? How many people understand how a battery stores energy? Has anyone outside of the computer industry put more than an hour into understanding how any of the computer technology you use EVERYDAY actually does what it does and the amount of technological capacity required to produce even the least capable computer you have ever used?

No. Most of us are content to treat the world as little more than a function machine. Put a minimal effort in, get pitiful result out.

The process is irrelevant. Except that it isn’t. To create new things, to experience new ideas, education is a key ingredient.

Good education is the bedrock upon which all thinking is based. An education of quality requires both rigor and opportunities for rest. Creativity is intellect at play. Our current system is 150 years old and personally, I believe it is time for a change. But Betsy DeVos is NOT that change.

Anything she does will be to enrich herself, her friends and other industries which will do everything in their considerable power to privatize this educational, and by proxy, national resource.

She has no understanding of what education has done, no idea of its history, no samples of creative thinking to improve education beyond throwing more money at it. She has no relationship to people who were not born into money and depend on education as a vital but diminishing lifeline to opportunity.

She is, literally, the least effective person for the job. She offers no new vision, no new hope coming from a background with no expertise in education.

But in America, there remains the one inalienable truth. If you have money, you can and will have power. As much as the Peter Principle will allow you to waste.

DeVos will destroy all that there is, and replace it with something less effective because she simply didn’t care enough to know what was there in the first place.

Ironically, the people who put her into this position of education over the masses come from the very best educational opportunities in the world, so you have to ask yourselves: Why would they put a person like her in charge of education at the fundamental level of this nation?

Because all of their children can afford to go to private schools where the very best education can still found, rationed away behind the firewall of extreme wealth, where money is no object and ultimately their educations will allow them the best opportunities in a nation of ever-dwindling resources.

When all is said and done, they will have the capacity to choose, to think, to reason, to make decisions based on facts, not opinion, not partisan politics, to understand how the universe works, how the Human mind functions and how best to direct the opportunities left to our species as the Earth’s capacity to support us grows more challenging by the decade.

They believe themselves to be the shepherds, wise, all-knowing, leaders of men. Their real educations will give them an advantage over what dross trickled down to the rest of us.

To them, we will be just cattle, human resources awaiting direction to the slaughterhouse of their choosing.

With a perspective, my name is Thaddeus Howze.

Image for post
Image for post

Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. Please follow me on Twitter or support my writing on Patreon.

Written by

Author | Editor | Futurist | Activist | |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store