Not Quite A Response to Betsy DeVos - Ed Blog, pt. I

Several people have asked me my opinion on Betsy DeVos.  Here is my answer.

I don’t think this past election was good for anyone.  


The only people that seemed excited about Trump are the same people that find the entire system so broken that anything new is better than the same old b.s.  

There’s a part of me that gets that.  

Most people seemed to consider this past election as the choice between the lesser of two evils.  They made a personal decision on who that lesser was, and now we are all living with the consequences.  

I also know many people - myself included - that did not vote for either major party candidate, because we think the system needs fixing.  Many of these same people are taking action.  I’m inspired by those people, by their action, and this is mine.  

I value action over talk.  I base my judgments not on what people say, but what they do.  Two examples: I know a man that preaches a lot of sermons.  In these, he goes off the cuff a lot and offends a lot of people in the process.  Some leave.  But while this man is not always a wordsmith, he does a heart of gold.  He serves at a mission on a weekly basis, councils hundreds of poor, need and abandoned people, and gives them love and encouragement.  He extends the same love to the top athletes that he does to the homeless in the front of the stadium.  In my opinion, he is a good man.  I contrast this with a woman I ran into a few weeks ago at the Women's March in Atlanta.  She said all the right things.  If you were to speak with her, she'd sound intelligent and impressive.  Yet, at the Women's March, a rally for equality, she was yelling at people to get out of the that her picture wouldn't be ruined. 

An activist that's worried about her picture or a preacher that serves the poor?

I’m currently reading Tony Robbins’s book, Money: Master the Game; in it, he says the reason for writing the book was the financial collapse of 2008-09.  This collapse was brought on by greed.  The greed of a few ruined the lives of many.  They were bailed out and yet remain in power.  When he saw the collapse, he boiled with anger; he turned that anger into action, a book on money to help the average investor.    

Which brings me to Betsy DeVos.

The direct answer to the question above, what is my opinion of Betsy DeVos: I'm glad that people are actually talking bout education.  

Of the things I’ve been most interested in amidst our president’s bullshit, is the attention over secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos.  The reason I find this so interesting is that I’ve spent the last decade in public education, and during the bulk of that time: almost no one cared.  Candidates avoid the topic, while schools fail.  During the last two presidents, we had a complete overhaul of the educational system, as well as a technology that should change how everything is taught.  But the candidates, and most citizens, stood silent.  Now, with the appointment of Ms. DeVos, a lot of people are making statements and asking questions about education.  

But they're mostly, making statements.   

During this time, I was sitting at dinner with a friend that knows Ms. DeVos.  I mentioned (after a few drinks and mostly joking) that I wanted to be put in touch with her.  He responded: what would you say?  There were way too many people at the table to actually get into it, but the question has stuck: what would I say?

This wasn't the first time that I'd pondered that question.  

Over the last 13-years, I’ve had a lot to say about education, been asked a lot of questions about my opinions and experiences in education, been personally burned by our educational system, and also given my opinion - asked for or not - in a lot of different settings.  But seeing what’s going on around us right now, I ask myself the question: what can I do?  My answer: share these opinions.  

Now seems like the right time.  Yesterday, I turned 37.  Over the course of my 38th year, on a biweekly basis, you’ll be reading a new installment on my thoughts and opinions of our educational system and what we can do to fix the broken parts.  Each post will cover a different aspect of our educational system, structured to cover a multitude of topics.  At the end, you will have the entirety of my answer to that friend's question.