Donald Trump issued his 28th Executive Order as President, calling for a review of federal control of education in the United States.
Trump ordered DeVos “to review and, if necessary, modify and repeal regulations and guidance issued by the Department of Education with a clear mandate to identify places where D.C. has overstepped its legal authority.” The review will last 300 days and will cover regulations imposed on grades K-12 by the Obama Administration.
Critics fear that shifting federal control of education to localities will diminish school quality, most notably in poor neighborhoods. The Democratic National Committee, for its part, attributes this latest Executive Order to Trump’s desperation for some semblance of education policy in his first 100 days.
The head of the American Federation of Teachers union, Randi Weingarten, said the current education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, already reduces federal power over schools, especially when it comes to standards and teacher assessments.
“What the new law doesn’t do is abandon the requirement for the federal government to protect the civil rights of our students, even if those rights run counter to what states and districts want to do,” she said in a statement.
In referencing the Obama-era Every Student Succeeds Act, Weingarten affirms her support for more federal oversight to protect the most vulnerable students, such as LGBT Americans. She also mentions that federal power – which can often help the poorest of school districts – was already curbed under the ESSA.
Betsy DeVos – called the “most incompetent cabinet-level nominee” – was cast as so unqualified for perpetuating these very ideas. As she continues to harm America’s schoolchildren under the pretense of “government overreach,” it should come as no surprise that she remains one of the least popular cabinet members in the history of the United States.