Friday, February 24, 2017

Sirico: Betsy DeVos confirmation best choice for education crisis

The Senate today narrowly voted for a change in the status quo, and that is an answer to the prayers of millions of parents who have witnessed a steady plummet of their respective children’s test scores over the past few decades. Something, anything, someone had to happen to alter the downward trajectory of education of our nation’s youth.
That someone is Betsy DeVos.
Full disclosure: Betsy DeVos is a former board member of the Acton Institute. She and her family also have been loyal philanthropists for the Grand Rapids, Mich., area of which Acton faithfully belongs. That written, it must be added that Acton’s relationship with the DeVos family and Betsy specifically and personally shows the passion and intellect that she brings to bear on those issues upon which she has been focused for decades. Among those issues is school choice so direly needed for students forced to suffer the failures rampant in our public schools.

The hue and cry from Betsy DeVos’ detractors has been, frankly, disingenuous. She has shown time and again her mastery of intricate details of the many problems facing our country, and now has an opportunity to reverse the unfortunate circumstances facing many of our nation’s public schools.
Prior to and in the relatively few years since the formation of the Secretary of Education as a Cabinet position, parents have bemoaned the poor returns of the substantial investments made by taxpayers in the education of their children. Children, in turn, have been turned out from our schools in droves poorly prepared for careers or advanced education opportunities.
The confirmation of Betsy DeVos has served notice to the public school monopoly that accountability and competition are demanded by parents and students too often on the short-end of a multi-billion dollar industry that consistently provides lackluster results. We at Acton wish Betsy DeVos God’s blessings in her new position. She is precisely the leader that the Department of Education and our nation requires. We should all offer prayers for her and our nation for a fruitful tenure.

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