I was asked this morning what my thoughts were on the nomination and confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Admittedly, I knew nothing about her or her ideas when she was first nominated, so I began doing some research, and I saw the words “pro school vouchers” and “charter schools advocate,” and I was hooked.
Sure, there were going to be impactful nominations at every department, and people were understandably interested in who would lead the departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Defense, and the like. But this nomination is different, and it’s different for a number of reasons, two of which I will expand upon today.
First, this confirmation strikes at the heart of one of the Democrat party’s significant fundraising arms: teachers’ unions. I am strongly in the camp of those who believe we, being the Republican party, or conservatives, or whatever it is we are now, should seize upon this historic level of government from the tops to the bottoms of our government. (In my view, of course, governors are at the top with the president being at the bottom, but that is a worthy discussion for another day.)
The second very real component of giving parents of children in inner-city schools the opportunity to take the money normally given directly to schools (after a quick union tax), and give it to these parents in the form of vouchers.
I’m a band parent, you see. And I store YouTube videos of my children’s various marching and orchestral performances. Then one evening, after perhaps one glass of Knob Creek too many, I came upon this video titled “The World’s Worst Marching Band.”
I watched the video and read the comments, and it broke my heart. These kids’ experiences are no doubt repeated in inner-city schools, largely attended by African-American and Latino children. There are young, minority children literally trapped in places where achievement is made nearly impossible by gangs, drugs, violence and even worse, negative peer pressure. Harsh words to be sure, but to say that young African-American children who desire to succeed are not called “house ni***rs” or even worse, is naïve at best.
Can that behavior be controlled? Can it be stopped? Perhaps, but only if led by local people elected by local parents, which is largely what Betsy DeVos is after.
If in the meantime, however, if we can extend hope and opportunity to those parents trapped within the Democrat circle of life by way of school choice, then we will have found perhaps the most life-changing reform that child will have ever known.
Long live The Republic.