In general, I believe a president should be able to surround himself with people that support the agenda he was elected on by the citizens who voted. It seems to me the appropriate place for disagreement and discussion about policy best occur when it is done by elected officials, where every 2, 4, 6 or 8 years voters have the opportunity to weigh in on their evaluation of their elected officials’ performance.
But on the confirmation, yesterday of Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education, 2, 4, 6 or 8 years of her being in this job are 2, 4, 6 or 8 years too many. It is not because I disagree with some of the policies that she might support. In general, I do wish there were mechanisms to allow students in failing schools to leave the school and choose to go somewhere else. I do wish that those for whom paying private school tuition is a significant economic burden could get some tax relief. My problems are not about policy.
My problems are about an absolutely unqualified person to be the Secretary of Education. Ms. Devos did not know even rudimentary educational terms, concepts or laws. If you are going to advise states and help them, you need to understand whether or not the type of measurement you are going to use is standards (proficiency) or by the level of improvement by each individual student (growth).