With her ascension to the highest post in education, Betsy DeVos, a longtime conservative from Michigan, who has spent a great deal of her career studying education policy, is finally in a position to make real changes to the nation’s woe-stricken education system, if she can overcome the bureaucratic inertia that famously afflicts all D.C. institutions.
Many in the reality-based community, who freely acknowledge the intractable nature of things like the achievement gap and the disparate outcomes regarding school discipline, have expressed grave concerns at various points in the past that DeVos is a fantasy-prone ideologue not much different from the career progressive educrats that have preceded her.
However, there are reasons to believe that Mrs. DeVos may be a bit wilier than some have given her credit. She has been coy about exactly how the Department of Education would ensure against “school discrimination”, a time-honored canard that has destroyed thousands of schools across the country and wasted trillions of dollars since 1965. The Education Secretary refused to acknowledge that discrimination is a problem or say what the Department of Education would be willing to do to combat it.
After the infamous case of Judge Russell Clark attempting to engineer the closure of black versus white achievement gaps in Kansas City, to the tune of $2 billion and locally ruined schools, as well as hundreds of other such cases over the years, the evidence, which includes a large body of literature from sociology, phychometrics and other fields, is in. There is no way to close the achievement gap, because it’s innate.
That hasn’t stopped judges, including Clark, from trying. Another infamous case was that of forced busing in the Boston Public Schools, which ultimately ruined that city’s public schools as well. With Mrs. DeVos as Secretary, the Department of Education may have its first chance to escape the fantastic thinking that has led to so much waste.