May 27, 2018

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Parkland Shooting -

Friday, March 2, 2018

California Flu Crisis -

Friday, March 2, 2018

‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Upcoming Movies -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upcoming Season of Baseball -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Black History Month -

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Review -

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

Friday, February 23, 2018

Badminton season launches into action! -

Friday, February 23, 2018

LimeBike Takes Over! -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend Highlights -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Betsy May Be DeWrong Choice for Secretary of Education

devosOn Feb. 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos was confirmed to be the next Secretary of Education. As the country was still reeling after many of Trump’s decisions, this was yet another shock. The nerve-wracking final vote to confirm DeVos’s 51-50 election was cast by Vice President Mike Pence, thus creating another win for the Republican party.

Part of the cause for controversy was that DeVos was unquestionably ill-prepared for her confirmation hearing. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked her a question about whether or not she believed guns should be allowed on school campuses, and DeVos replied by mentioning the possibility of keeping one in a school in Wapiti, Wyoming due to “potential grizzlies.” According to CNN, the school mentioned by DeVos does not permit weapons on campus as schools often do and it has a 10 foot fence to protect its 10 students from cougars and grizzlies.

When asked if she agreed on equal accountability for all K-12 schools that receive public funding, DeVos repeatedly replied, “I support accountability,” while refusing to give a yes or no answer on whether she supported equal accountability. Her lack of knowledge on important topics such as the federal law involving students with disabilities is not a favorable quality. In fact, DeVos might not have been elected, if not for the change in the Senate rules in 2013 (during Obama’s presidency) that allowed for a nominee to be confirmed with 51 votes, according to Vox.

As Secretary of Education, she should have a better answer than “I think that is a matter that is best left to the states.”

Let’s talk about the matters that she does take into her own hands. In Michigan, DeVos has pushed to defund public schools through school vouchers, and funnel this funding into charter schools. Charter schools receive government funding, but aren’t held to the same standards as public schools; furthermore, they often function independently. Those who support DeVos say that she will work towards programs that will offer families choice on where to send their students. Many of the schools in Michigan that have been affected “have recorded student test scores in reading and math below the state average,” as according to the Washington Post. If this is the result of change under DeVos, how will the country fare, now that she is the Secretary of Education?

Billionaire Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos; philanthropist, former Republican Party chairwoman in Michigan, former chair of the American Federation for Children and advocate of “school choice,” has previously been active in politics, and now has a shiny, new title to add to her collection Secretary of Education. Her website states, “As a result of AFC’s (American Federation for Children) work, over one million children are now in the school of their parents’ choice, instead of being trapped by their zip code in a school that failed to meet their needs.” I agree that school choice is important, but what if all of the schools available to you fail to yield sufficient test scores and results? DeVos is passionate about her work and beliefs, but perhaps she is misguided.

Ironically, in a tweet by the U.S. Department of Education, W.E.B. Du Bois’s name was spelled “DeBois,” an insult to the civil rights activist, historian, sociologist and co-founder of the NAACP. Then, in response to the mistake, the department tweeted, “Post updated our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo.” Someone needs to (spell) check themselves; even a third grader could catch this mistake.

As time progresses, so do the amount of protests that sprout up.

Recently, Trump repealed the federal protections that had previously allowed transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. DeVos was uncertain on signing off on this order, and expressed her worry of harm that could come to transgender students, according to the New York Times. Unfortunately, in the end, President Trump pushed her to either sign off on the order or resign from her position. So, DeVos relented and signed the order. To rub salt in the wound, DeVos stated that bathroom access was not a federal matter (according to the NY Times).

According to the Huffington Post, on Feb. 23, Betsy DeVos began her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference by introducing herself, then throwing in a joke. What was this joke? Well, DeVos said that she was “perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Not a great way to start off. And definitely, an insensitive joke, considering the number of students more than 31 million who receive free or reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program. Of the responses garnered, the one by “tags7453” broke my heart. This user tweeted, “When I ate lunch with my granddaughter, the only kids who finished lunch were the kids getting free lunches. Think about that. #feedthekids.” Although the statement by DeVos was merely a weak attempt to poke fun at the cost of government programs, it was not taken lightly, as hunger is a serious, undeniable issue.

The future of our education system is treading in dangerous waters. There may not be much that we can do, but we can certainly educate ourselves on these issues. Mainstream media isn’t always the “enemy of the American people,” as Trump likes to call it; it is where we can find the truth, and save ourselves b4 itz to late.

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