Betsy DeVos, Free Lunches, and the HUA Complex

“I’m Betsy DeVos. You may have heard some of the ‘wonderful’ things the mainstream media has called me lately. I, however, pride myself on being called a mother, a grandmother, a life partner, and perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

In yet another example of not just “Foot In Mouth” Syndrome but “Head Up Ass Complex,” our new secretary of education proves that the need to be knowledgeable in the area she is leader of is not really a necessity in today’s political landscape.

Apparently, having any familiarity with whom you serve is of no importance either.

Forget the lack of control over standard conventions of the English language and the unwillingness to own her own mistakes.

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Forget the complete ignorance in discerning “proficiency” from “growth” as it pertains to the very occupation that you are considered the nation’s leader of.

“I think, if I’m understanding your question correctly around proficiency, I would correlate it to competency and mastery, so each student is measured according to the advancements they are making in each subject area.”

Forget the complete disconnect from what teachers experience in the classroom of our public schools.

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Forget the mind-blowing misrepresentation of HBCU’s as institutions that were created for school choice advocacy.

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This one hits the kids. Betsy DeVos is supposed to be an advocate for all public school children.

Yes, you could say, “Well, she was just saying that the government can’t just give out stuff to people for free. There’s a price for everything.” She was, after all, talking to the Conservative Political Action Conference attendees. What else would she say?

And you would be right. There is a price for the food that feeds a lot of poverty-stricken children who attend public schools.

And there’s a price to pay for buying influence in the political world.

There’s also a price to pay for buying an office on a presidential cabinet.

There’s even a price to pay for having so many of our children walking around hungry.

Ironically, public school students, teachers, parents, and supporters are paying a price for having a politically motivated secretary of education who seems more interested in buying ways of not having to pay a price for others to have the basic needs in life so that she can continue to promote policy that favors a few rather than many.

No matter who provides the lunch or the utensils or the tray it comes on, when the person who is supposed to fight tooth and nail for the very kids she references in an ill-conceived comment that reveals the total disconnect she has with her duties as a public servant, then we all pay a huge price: you, me, even Bernie Sanders.

But perhaps what might be the hallmark of DeVos’s ignorance is the last part of her comment concerning Bernie Sanders. She said,

“…and perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

I highly doubt that. There’s no telling what Sanders has encountered in his life that DeVos could not even conceive of.

I highly doubt that a man born to Jewish immigrants in New York City whose direct ancestors were lost in the Holocaust, who attended public schools as well as Hebrew school, lived a life not of privilege but of sacrifice, lost his parents at an early age, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., actually taught in a Head Start program for a time, and has led a life of public service needs to be told by a lifelong heiress who has never held a job, never taught in or attended a public school, or ever faced life without being one of the richest people in the country that there is no such thing as a “free lunch.”

Besides, I don’t even think Betsy DeVos can even make a lunch.

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