During the Education Writers Association conference, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was asked a simple question about her future. The question was, if President Trump wins a second term, will she commit to serving another four years? That is a promise she wasn’t ready to make. It’s almost sounded as if she’s had enough.
DeVos is currently one of the longest-serving cabinet members to President Trump. While most others have disappointed the president in some capacity, she has remained in her spot. But it appears as if remaining loyal to this president comes with a lot of exhausting bagging. That includes keeping up with the constant negative press.
“I’m not sure my husband would be okay with that,” DeVos said during the Q&A portion of the Education Writers Association conference in Baltimore. “I never imagined I’d be a focus of your coverage. I don’t enjoy the publicity that comes with my position. I don’t love being up on stage or on any kind of platform. I’m an introvert.”
DeVos and Trump
One of the main reasons why DeVos has remained unscathed has to do with President Trump’s main focus. Education hasn’t been a large priority for him. That also means Trump hasn’t taken many steps to help push through DeVos’ “school of choice” platform. Her other ideas include offering tax credits for scholarships.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans have supported any of her ideas so far. That may be a large factor in her wanting to leave the position. If no one cares about education, why bothering continuing to try? Right now, both parties seem more interested in fighting over immigration and the economy. Even the border wall and infrastructure is getting more play than education.
DeVos is also frustrated with reporters and how they mischaracterize her ideas. During her speech at the association on Monday, she claimed her name was being used as “clickbait”. “As much as many in the media use my name as clickbait or try to make it all about me, it’s not,” she said. “Education is not about Betsy DeVos nor any other individual.”
Improving Teachers Pay
Another buzzworthy moment during DeVos’ speech included her shot at the current head of the American Federation of Teachers. She doesn’t think teachers are being paid nearly enough, forcing them to walk out of classrooms. If more teachers are leaving and protesting, then that hurts the students more than anything.
“We think, I think, teaching as a profession should be a highly honored and respected profession and I think it’s been de-professionalized in many ways,” she said. “And I think great teachers … perhaps should be making at least half as much as what Randi Weingarten does at half a million dollars a year.”
Whether DeVos leaves most likely depends on her relationship with President Trump. He may decide to coax her to stay by putting more emphasis on education during his potential second term. We’re still over a year away before the 2020 election, so anything can happen at this point.