The entrance to a school

Credit: Justine Warring

All Revved Up: Betsy DeVos Will Be Secretary Of Education, But Her Background Raises Concerns

November 28, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump continues to choose advisors, and his choice for Secretary of Education is making waves.

Trump has chosen Betsy DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan who advocates strongly for school choice. Critics say DeVos’ support of education vouchers and charter schools draws money away from the public school system.

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined BPR to talk about Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education.

Reverend Monroe said a predictor of DeVos' performance will be her attachment to school-choice and the privatization of schools. Monroe voiced concerns about how private schools would use religion to discriminate against students and parents under DeVos.

“My concern is the whole notion of safe space,” she said. “Where is that space once you privatize school?”

Reverend Price said other aspects of DeVos’ past, like her ties to the Christian Reformed community in Michigan, are not as relevant as they seem.

“We’re trying to data dive because we don’t know her in this space. We’re trying to accumulate and aggregate as much information as possible,” said Price.

Both reverends voiced concerns about DeVos’ lack of experience.

DeVos does not have an education degree, has never worked in a school environment, did not attend public high school or college, and did not send her children to public school.

“Education is far too important in this country, and is a debauchery in this country, and we need to fix it,” Price said. “We need somebody [with] an understanding, clarity of what to do, what not to do, how to do it, how not to do it... It’s not just a simple managerial position.”

“She fits under what I can best describe as a sort of kakistocracy: people who are most ill-equipped to govern will govern,” Monroe said. “[That] will be Trump’s presidency.”

To hear All Revved Up, click the audio link above. Rev. Emmett G. Price III is Professor of Worship, Church & Culture and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Post and Bay Windows.


WGBH News is supported by:
Back to top