Author: Lisa S. Romero is an Associate Professor at California State University Sacramento.
Many educators have been critical of the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ performance. During her tenure, DeVos has pushed to privatize public schools, eliminated student protections against predatory, for-profit colleges and fraudulent lending, failed to enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that requires schools provide much needed support for students with special needs, reversed policies on sexual assault on campus, and incredibly, advocated for more guns in schools. Add to that the pandemic, and her threats to defund public schools that don’t fully open…regardless of local circumstances. And, the list goes on.
I’ve written before about the ways Betsy DeVos is uniquely unqualified to lead the U.S. Department of Education. If President Trump is re-elected, we can expect more from Betsy DeVos. If Joe Biden is elected, a new Secretary of Education will be nominated. Betsy DeVos has shown us the qualities we don’t want in a Secretary of Education, so what are the qualities we should we be looking for?
I thought it would be interesting to hear what policy makers had to say about this, especially policy makers who have themselves been educators, sit on committees that play a role in important legislative decisions about education, or are the product of public education.
To find out, I interviewed Congressman Mark Takano, California Assembly Member Jose Medina, Congresswoman Susan Davis, and former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Listen to their answers in the video.