It’s been a while since we’ve last heard anything about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. With the sexual assault allegations against her sitting in limbo, and the school violence in Parkland Florida still fresh in everyone’s mind, the nation is understandably interested in how DeVos is going to address the mounting issues facing the country’s educational system.
As you may have heard, Vice President Joe Biden made a major education promise to President Obama last week. He promised to restore the Education Department’s commitment to historically black colleges and universities, and he added that he would work to overturn the current administration’s policies. That sounds like a good issue to cover, so we reached out to the Education Department for its response.
President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, may be currently facing a lot of criticism for many of her plans regarding the country’s schools, but that hasn’t stopped her from publicly pledging to dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy. One of her first initiatives was to overturn key set of policies developed under the previous administration, and now she has taken it upon herself to repeal the nation’s current set of education standards that have been in place for the past two decades.
When the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education under President Joe Biden in March 2021, lawmakers handed him a huge stinking mess made by his predecessor, Betsy DeVos. During her tenure (which ended after the January 6 uprising), she denounced civil rights measures taken under Obama to protect transgender students, students of color, victims of student-to-student sexual violence, and students with disabilities. Jeff Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic, called this pattern of behavior the Fuck Obama Doctrine.
At the top of Cardona’s list is the restoration of these civil rights for some of our vulnerable citizens. Four months after being appointed Connecticut Commissioner and accepting the top job in education, it was time to give him some interim testimony.
Frankly, we have to take a crooked approach; after all, the labyrinthine process required to restore these protections takes time and sometimes the cooperation of a polarized U.S. Congress. And it’s a joint effort, as President Biden and Secretary Cardona seem to have developed a successful two-step process:
- First, the president issues an executive order.
- The Secretary then uses the order to repair the damage caused by his predecessor.
Let’s check his progress.
Protection of gender diversity
In 2017, DeVos rescinded a directive passed under Obama that allowed transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to their gender identity. In addition, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services redefined gender as male or female, immutable and determined by the genitalia a person is born with, and removed protections against discrimination based on gender identity. (Stephen Colbert, playing Trump: I haven’t studied the science of climate change, but I’m very interested in what the science has to say about babies).
During his campaign, Biden promised to bring his former boss back into leadership, and on his inauguration day he signed an executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
In June, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued an interpretive notice stating that students’ rights under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination, had been restored and that students could now use restrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to their gender identity, Cardona said in a statement,
Today, the ministry says that all students, including LGBTQ+ students, deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination.
In 2014, the Obama administration issued guidelines to help schools avoid disparities in disciplinary action based on race. Students of color, especially black boys, are disproportionately punished compared to their white peers – four times as often, according to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.
DeVos, unsurprisingly, withdrew the directive, which is one of the reasons why former President Obama’s Secretary of Education John King Jr recently called the directive a disaster for secondary and higher education.
Biden’s first step, following the same strategy as on gender identity, was the swift issuance, on his first day in office, of an executive order entitled Promoting Racial Equity and Supporting Federally Underserved Communities. This decree required federal agencies to consider how their policies take into account and promote racial equality.
To continue the two-phase process, the Cardona Board of Education announced on June 4 that it will seek public input on how best to support and enable schools to promote a positive, inclusive, safe and supportive school climate in a non-discriminatory manner.
The ultimate goal here, of course, is to restore proportionality to school disciplinary procedures so that children of color are treated fairly.
Protection from sexual violence
We often think of Title IX in the context of equal access to sports for girls, but it is also the cornerstone of policies that determine due process when students are sexually assaulted.
We let the 278 student victims explain it in an excerpt from a letter they wrote to President Biden in March 2021, published in Teen Vogue magazine:
When former Education Minister Betsy DeVos took office, she did everything in her power to erode the rights of students who have survived sexual violence and make it easier for schools to reject widespread sexual violence. In doing so, Secretary DeVos has fostered a culture of impunity that has allowed administrators at all levels to effectively push victims out of school and reduce safety on campus. Now, thanks to DeVos’ Title IX anti-victimization rule, schools can ignore some complaints from sexual assault victims without much repercussion.
Shortly after this letter was printed, President Biden issued an executive order stating, in part.
…as soon as practicable, and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of Education shall review existing guidance and issue new guidance as necessary to implement the rule described in subsection (a)(i) of this section to comply with applicable law, including Title IX, and the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.
Two months later, on the 23rd. In June (the 49th anniversary of Title IX), Secretary Cardona issued a letter referencing a series of hearings held earlier that month informing schools and colleges that the Office for Civil Rights (under the Department of Education) would fully comply with Title IX by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department.
Студенты с ограниченными возможностями
В октябре 2017 года, в том же месяце, когда ДеВос свернула граждански права для студентов-трансгендеров, она отменила 72 руководящих документа, защищающих студентов с ограниченными возможностями. марте 2018 года она ослабила руководящие принципы в тношении прав дошкольников на образоние в наимене ограничивающей среде и объявила одвухлетней задержке в применении правила, There’s no reason not to do it. There is no reason not to, которое направлена единого национального стандарта для обеспечения того, чтобы учащиеся из меньшинств не были чрезмерно представлены в специальном образани.
Unlike the cases described above, President Biden has not issued an executive order on special education. However, the government’s proposed 2022 budget includes a necessary increase in funding for a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Secretary Cardona did so on the 16th. June:
We believe it is time for the federal government to fulfill its obligations to students with disabilities and their families as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The President’s request is an important step toward full funding of IDEA….. Notably, this increase would increase the federal share of the marginal cost of services for students with disabilities for the first time in eight years, indicating that the IDEA has become yet another victim of states’ underinvestment in education over the past decade.
There’s no reason not to. There’s no reason not to. There is no reason not to do it, которые предоставляются младенцам и детям с ограниченными возможностями до трехлетнего возраста, as well as the other conventions, which are all part of the democratic process, we are all aware of the importance of the rule of law.
How is the Biden administration trying to repair the damage done by the Trump and DeVos era? It is still too early to make a final judgment. There’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason not to, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it, there’s no reason to do it.
But President Biden and Secretary Cardona deserve high midterm marks as their two-step process to undo the damage caused by DeVos begins to provide protection to those who need it most.The Politico reported that Vice President Joe Biden, who is still considering his presidential run, told the Council on Foreign Relations that he would work to undo the Trump administration’s policy of cutting off aid to sanctuary cities. Such a move could put a serious dent in the growth of the prison population, since local jails are required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.. Read more about patriotic education order and let us know what you think.