New Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Sparks Mixed Opinions

SHS responds to new U. S. Secretary of Education

Molly Beatey, Contributing Writer

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After the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the 11th Secretary of Education, there has certainly been an uproar — both positive and negative. According to Eva Moskowitz of the New York Post, supporters of Donald Trump’s education secretary pick claim, “We need an outsider: someone who isn’t part of, or beholden to, the education establishment.” Mrs. DeVos, some believe, is the key to reform because of her lack of experience with public education.

To others, this is why she has so much to prove to the American people.

SHS foreign language teacher George Haddad elaborated on whether he thinks the language program will be especially affected by Betsy DeVos’ confirmation.

“I hope not, as I believe language is important. It’s not as big as the MCAS tested subjects but with the newer generations, I think the world is growing smaller and that the importance of language will increase,” he said.

SHS history teacher Bill McNeil expressed his interest. He said he would like to see “mandatory civics education at the high school level as well as limitations on the amount of standardized testing and even homework at the elementary and middle school levels.”

Science teacher Charlotte O’Driscoll felt unsure about how DeVos would “directly affect” her job. She said major changes in public education are historically difficult to make, adding that teachers’ unions are strong organizations. O’Driscoll thought DeVos’ historic support for charter schools could be an indication of possible changes in public school funding.

Avery Carriuolo, SHS sophomore, is concerned about funding for students with special needs. She said, “It would be extremely difficult for them if they don’t have the financial assistance that they need, and also just regular teachers, if they don’t get the funding that they need, it’s kind of hard for them to effectively teach without proper funding.”

Sophomore Kayli Pitten described the nation’s morale after Betsy Devos’ confirmation: “It is a typical divide between the left and right. As Democrats lean heavily on stronger federal policy and bigger government, Republicans believe in the power of the states and a contractual framework for a small and limited federal government.” Pitten added, “When a confirmation of a major secretary as important as education is placed, the morale of the nation will be exposed to deeper disagreement.”

As the 11th Secretary of Education gets comfortable in the White House and settles into her new position, one can only hope the best for the country, and that’s certainly something everyone can agree on.

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New Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Sparks Mixed Opinions