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Letter: DeVos is a poor choice for education secretary

DeVos is a poor choice for education secretary

In the grand tradition of governmental overreach, and after decades of failed education reform, President-elect Donald Trump has tapped billionaire Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary. She follows John King and Arne Duncan as the latest of polished political hacks into a position where an experienced classroom teacher should be appointed. DeVos has no teaching experience, has been highly critical of public education and offers support of school choice as a solution.

Public education’s problems are immense, but here’s a novel idea. How about the return of respect for teachers, classroom decorum and appropriate discipline for misbehaving students? Perhaps adopting a model of placing disengaged, dangerous or disruptive students into appropriate private settings that are supported by wealthy individuals would be a better use for their vast resources.

Misinformed meddling in public education has been and will continue to be disastrous. Instead of pouring millions into educational schemes that shortchange the neediest of our students, we should provide adequate support for real educators to teach children what they will need to learn to be productive citizens, instead of using punitive assessments and maintaining an atmosphere of constant threat to the hardworking teachers of America.

Let’s move to real fixes to the problems. These need to be the objectives for education reform, not adopting the policies of another novice education reformer.

Robert Tufte, MS.Ed., DTE

Past President, NYS Technology and Engineering Educators Association


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