|Wait until you see how badly SHE'S going to fuck everything up!|
On Wednesday, at a forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington, the president’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was asked whether she would concede that when poorly implemented, the “school choice” doctrine she has championed for much of her career could have a negative effect on students. She saw no such risk:
“Well, I’m not sure how they could get a lot worse on, you know, a nationwide basis than they are today,” the secretary said. “The fact that our PISA scores have continued to deteriorate as compared to the rest of the world and, you know, that we’ve seen stagnant—at best—results with the NAEP scores over the years—I’m not sure that we can deteriorate a whole lot.”
The problem with DeVos’ sweeping assertion—and by extension, her apocalyptic view of American public education—is that the numbers tell a more complex, muddier story. Take PISA, the Programme for International Student Assessment, a test that compares 15-year-olds’ performance across dozens of countries. Depending on how you read the most recent PISA results from 2015, American schools could be described as doing great (we’re ahead of Switzerland in reading, and above France and Sweden in science), as doing OK (the U.S. placed near the middle overall), or as failing miserably (America’s math ranking is bad and has gotten worse since 2012).
And, of course, numbers can also be an unreliable diagnostic tool: Just because you think the PISA or National Assessment of Educational Progress numbers are awful doesn’t mean you know what to do to improve them—or even know how to track that you’re doing something right. DeVos certainly doesn’t seem to: Asked earlier in the Brookings Q&A what dataset could be used to assess her own performance as education secretary in four years’ time, DeVos rambled a little about the primacy of policies that favor choice while conceding, “I’m not a numbers person.”
No she is not a "number's person" but neither is she an "education person."
Simply put she is uniquely unfit for this particular responsibility.
As for not making things worse, all one has to do is look back at the LAST Republican President's attempts to make over our education system, the disastrous NCLB, to quickly realize the ignorance of that statement.