Close Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - ROBERT HOL­LAND

In as­sert­ing that, if elected, she would pick a pub­lic-school teacher to be sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren de­liv­ered a pre­dictable cheap shot (“War­ren prom­ises ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary with pub­lic school teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: ‘No more Betsy DeVos,’” Web, May 13). She called cur­rent Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion Betsy DeVos “the worst Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion we’ve seen.” Ac­cord­ing to what cri­te­ria? How much good has the U.S. Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion done for the qual­ity of school­ing? The answer is prac­ti­cally zero. So who is to say one sec­re­tary was bet­ter or worse than an­other?

Given that Ms. War­ren’s lit­mus test is K-12 teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, it stands to rea­son that Ter­rel Bell, Ted San­ders, Rod Paige and John King Jr. would be her fa­vorites. Of the 11 ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­taries pre­ced­ing phi­lan­thropist and choice-ad­vo­cate DeVos, those four are the only ones with K-12 teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Some­thing Ms. War­ren likely does not know, how­ever, is that three of those four were nom­i­nees of Repub­li­can pres­i­dents: Bell (Rea­gan), San­ders (Bush I) and Paige (Bush II). Mr. King, who served out the fi­nal year of Barack Obama’s pres­i­dency, is the only Demo­cratic se­lec­tion who was an ex-K-12 class­room teacher.

Ded­i­ca­tion to shut­ter­ing the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and de­volv­ing power back to the states and the peo­ple ought to be the mis­sion of the next Ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, whether he or she has taught in a gov­ern­ment school or not.

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