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OUR VIEW: Education system is in danger

artwork by Anna Teichroeb

artwork by Anna Teichroeb

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We have what’s known as a public education system–as in we as students don’t pay for school, which is a really, really good thing. Our parents and local businesses help pay for this school through their tax dollars, however, if potential Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos gets her way, we will all be paying for other schools. DeVos is known for wanting to privatize education through the voucher system where students who want to attend other institutions would have those fees come out of public money.

That means students like us and our parents and their businesses would have to pay for others to go to schools that are not ours. DeVos, in that sense, is definitely not the kind of person we want to be in control of our futures.

During the billionaires’s confirmation hearings, she seemed not to know federal law concerning protections for students with disabilities and cited grizzly bears as a reason guns belong in schools.

DeVos, who has never attended a public school, has been under fire for the mess she caused in the Detroit school system with her voucher/charter referendum. The charter schools she put in have lower or the same test scores as those of the public schools in Detroit now.

The National Education Agency President said that DeVos has done more to undermine public education than support students. The American Federation of Teachers head said that DeVos would do the opposite of Trump’s promise to drain the swamp.

By privatizing education, education itself becomes background noise to money-making. If there is a price put on education, it encourages schools to do whatever it takes to get the money, whether it is good for students or not.

Also, if you compare charter schools’ test scores to public schools, a lot of the time there’s not a big difference, or the public school did better. There’s just really no reason to change to a private education system since public schools still work. Privatizing simply takes money away from public schools period.

DeVos is a billionaire. She does not understand public schools. She never went to one and neither do her children. She has never been a teacher. What exactly does she really know about education? How can we trust someone to change the education system when she hasn’t a part of it herself? Instead of looking for a way to cull out the “special” students from the rest, we should be looking for ways to better serve all of the education population.

We applaud our school board’s agenda to stop voucher education. Don’t let it stop there. Call your congressman and make your opinion known. Perhaps our voices can stop a billionaire from destroying our education system. Congress should not confirm Betsy DeVos, and Donald Trump should find someone who actually knows the value of public education.

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OUR VIEW: Education system is in danger