November 17th, 2020
Biden’s Education Department would work to undo many Trump-era and DeVos’s policies, but it may not be easy
Biden administration is working on an education agenda that will be very different from the approach followed by the Trump administration.
Biden administration has promised to significantly boost the public schools resources, reassert department leadership in policymaking, expand civil rights advocacy and more.
Reopening schools is another area where Biden administration would have a different approach than Trump administration, which wanted the schools to reopen.During the campaign, Biden promised federal relief funding and assistance for schools to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden is also expected to come up with education friendly policies because of the incoming first lady, Jill Biden.She is a community college professor and member of the National Education Association.The NEA is a self-interested union that functions accordingly- to protect the interests of teachers, not students. It's why they promote policies that are counterproductive to education, like opposing teacher evaluations that would incentivize them to do better and eliminate the ineffective who are failing our children. Many wonder why our nation lags behind in the world's educational rankings despite having every possible resource thrown at it. Three letters: NEA.For over the150 years, NEA members have fought for equal learning opportunities for students and working conditions for educators.
“For America’s educators, this is a great day.You’re going to have one of your own in the White House,” Biden said in his victory speech on Nov. 7, referring to Dr. Biden.Over the course of the campaign, Dr. Jill Biden met with NEA members to listen to teachers' and students' needs and challenges for leading schools during the pandemic. Dr. Biden who so far has not been named future Secretary of Education has met with a teachers' union on how to best protect their interests during this unprecedented time. Secretary DeVos, currently running the Department of Education, has sought input, distributed additional funding, created new policies to alleviate problems caused by the pandemic, and more. The attached link provides an ample list of action taken.
However, many have raised concerns over Biden’s closeness with the powerful teachers’ unions.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in a tweet, questioned the role of the unions, saying “When unions win, kids lose.” Betsy has worked to undo many of Obama-era policies.These policies include the NEA agenda, which also viciously opposes school voucher programs, an immediate and practical remedy for inner-city families attending failing schools. Even these typically Democratic-leaning families support these measures, and the left has been dealing with this "problem" for years, as the students' success rates soar, and as the unions are losing out. Again, the priority is placed on teacher over student.In September, NEA President Becky Pringle released a statement calling for DeVos's resignation for putting politics over science when it came to school reopening guidelines. "It is appalling that they have risked the lives of students and educators in running roughshod over the CDC’s apolitical process for providing vital health guidance to the American people," Pringle said.One of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country, the NEA has appallingly failed students by running roughshod over policies that would improve education. AFT union leader Albert Shanker once said, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” Perhaps a nonpartisan student interest group gaining similar power and influence like the NEA may be our country's only hope?
Biden campaign has vowed to end some of DeVos’ accomplishment, such as rules for federally funded schools investigating sexual misconduct.These accomplishments helped to bring due process and the idea of innocence until proven guilty from our venerated judicial system to schools to ensure maximum fairness and justice for all parties involved. Under Devos's regulations, sexual harassment investigations require holding live hearings that cross examine both the accuser and the accused in order to challenge their credibility. The definition of "sexual harrassment" is also much narrower than what is used in the workplace, making it harder for the accuser to win the case.
However, owing to the election results, Biden could struggle to meet some of his policy goals.