DeVos’ office claims she’s in contact with state education officials, but Lamont and Ellerson Ng don’t seem to echo that claim.
There are 51 million U.S. children who need to be educated and kept safe this year. DeVos has had strikingly little to say, though, especially about that second part. In fact, she seems to have advocated ignoring it.
“Thales is a great example more schools could emulate,” DeVos said on a July 29 visit to Thales Academy, a private school in North Carolina. “You didn’t wait for guidance from the Department of Education. You didn’t ask for permission.” Days later, fourth-graders were forced to quarantine after a student at the school tested positive for COVID-19. It’s hardly the only such cautionary tale.
But DeVos was never interested in working on public education. She was interested in destroying it, and that’s what she was put in charge of the Education Department to do. Now that the coronavirus pandemic is doing that work for her, she can just sit back and let public schools, public school teachers, and public school kids flail and suffer and go underfunded for their needs while facing giant pressures to somehow do better in the pandemic than the rest of the country—and especially Donald Trump and his administration—is doing.