Maybe We Don’t Need Betsy DeVos After All

If there is anyone in America Democrats hate more than Donald Trump, it might be Betsy DeVos. The Senate minority did everything they could possibly do to keep her from being confirmed as the next Secretary of Education. They can’t stand DeVos’s passion for conservative solutions like vouchers and school choice, and they are running around in a tizzy worrying about what will become of the Education Department.

Hmm. Perhaps there is room for compromise.

If Democrats are so dead set against having DeVos lead the agency, we have just the solution: Get rid of the agency altogether! Boom, problem solved.

And look at that, House Rep. Thomas Massie is ready to get the ball rolling. On the same day the Senate finally confirmed DeVos, the Kentucky Republican introduced a simple, one-page bill to abolish the Department of Education.

“Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students,” Massie said in a statement.

Massie’s bill gets right to the point. No complicated legalese. No political maneuvering. Straight, simple, and easy for anyone to understand. Shut the doors on the Department of Education on Dec. 31, 2018…and that’s it!

Several Republicans have signed on to the bill, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.

Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal of reason to think that the majority of Republicans will get on board, and there’s no reason at all to believe that Democrats would give up such a cherished part of their precious federal government.

Still, it could be of great benefit to American education for Congress to debate this proposal in serious terms even if it ultimately fails. We take a lot of these federal agencies for granted, automatically assuming that they serve an invaluable purpose. That’s an unwise assumption to make. This country was running just fine before many of these departments were created, and it would continue to run along fine without them. And in the case of the Education Department, there are many reasons to suspect that we’d be better off if it were shut down.

In recent years, we’ve started turning the public school system into something resembling a nationwide factory, standardizing endlessly in a desperate attempt to give every child the same education. Sadly, that’s the worst thing we could possibly do. Any teacher knows you can’t give the lowest kid in the class the same regimen as the highest. These destructive policies are holding bright students back without doing anything constructive for those kids who can’t keep up.

Every state, every district, every school, and every classroom needs to have a certain amount of individualized policy. Teachers need room to be creative and spontaneous. Federal grants are nice, but our nation’s schools are paying much too high a price for that money.

But yeah, if Democrats are really serious about getting rid of Betsy DeVos, here’s their chance.

What, no takers?


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