The Betsy DeVos Controversy daff5a10-b293-11e6-b63c-edece54fce28-1242x880

With Donald Trump recently elected as the 45th president of the United States, there has been no shortage of controversy in nearly every aspect of American life including social media use, cabinet nominations, supreme court picks, and executive orders—just to name a few. While it’s no surprise that the opposing side isn’t necessarily quick to agree with Trump’s decisions, his nomination of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education has lit social media on fire as news spread of her lack of qualifications and experience. In his intent-to-nominate post on Facebook, President Trump wrote: “Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate. Under her leadership, we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”

Left Leaning

Washington Post: What’s the Worst That Could Happen with Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary? Two Scenarios. By Valerie Strauss

Published just four days following Trump’s post, this Washington Post article proves to be blatantly on the left side of the political spectrum. Unlike unbiased reports on DeVos (of which there are admittedly few), this piece provides a glass-half-empty approach to her nomination. While the Washington Post piece is written by Valerie Strauss, the two-scenario piece is written by Professor Aaron Pallas of Columbia University. The sociology and education professor begins with a cheap shot at republican Dr. Ben Carson on his qualifications for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, being that he “grew up in a house.” In both of Professor Pallas’ scenarios, he fails to mention any sort of positive aspect of DeVos’ anticipated appointment, channeling the liberal bias that refuses to acknowledge any bright side of any Trump nomination.

Huffington Post: How Unqualified is Betsy DeVos? By Peter Greene

This article starts off with the sentence “the nomination of Betsy DeVos to the post of Secretary of Education is such a bad choice that we don’t even have to talk about actual policy ideas to understand how unsuited she is for the position” which automatically dismisses actual policy and then going on to form an opinion about her qualifications. The article goes on to list other poor choices for the position of Secretary of Education but harking back to how Betsy DeVos is less qualified than all of them in some way or another. In addition, a leftist argument is brought into play where one of the jabs on DeVos is that she “was born rich and married rich” as if that nullifies any qualification she may or may not have.


The Guardian: Betsy Devos Confirmation Hearing for Education Secretary: The Key Points By Sabrina Siddiqui

This short article summarizes the key aspects of Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing for watchers to pay attention to. It highlights her background, possible conflicts of interest, and religious influence. All of these listed issues are understandably controversial no matter who the candidate or nominee is on the stand. The article also states facts about where she has historically stood politically, leaning away from opinions and sticking to the issues that Americans are concerned about. There are no conservative or liberal biased sources mentioned in the article which further enhances its credibility.

Right Leaning

Breitbart: John Boehner Endorses Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary By Dr. Susan Berry

This article is simply a piece highlighting a conservative and politically relevant endorsement of Betsy DeVos. Former speaker of the house Boehner speaks more of DeVos’ work in past projects that were successful as opposed to why she is qualified or will do well in the position of Secretary of Education. Harking to her personality, Boehner claims that “she’ll serve as Education Secretary in the same manner in which she’s done everything since [he’s] known her: with honor, grace, courage, and compassion for those most in need of a hand up.” Having known her for over 20 years, Boehner speaks to her influence in working with him to defend the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). Providing a republican endorsement for a republican nomination obviously seeks to cater to a Republican audience.

New York Post: Why We Need an Outsider Like Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary By Eva Moskowitz

This article is a self-proclaimed opinion piece that serves the purpose of showing the other side of the Betsy DeVos controversy. It immediately argues that perhaps her being “quite unlike her predecessors” is a “good thing” which seems to be a common argument for those with right-leaning opinions: finding the good in someone becoming involved and being an outsider/underdog. Just as republicans elected Donald Trump, a non-politician to run the highest political office in the country, this article argues that DeVos, “someone who isn’t part of the education establishment” will “shake up” the education system in a positive way. The article jabs at left-leaning lawmakers who oppose DeVos’ appointment, pointing out that they themselves have “personally benefited from a non-public-school education,” which is something DeVos has advocated for both verbally and through monetary donations.


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