Betsy DeVos Resigns
Betsy DeVos is out. She resigned as Education Secretary Thursday, less than two weeks before the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as the 46th President of the United States. And she’s blaming President Trump.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration's many accomplishments on behalf of the American people," DeVos wrote to Trump in her resignation letter. "Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people's business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me."
DeVos was one of Trump’s most controversial appointments. Her tenure was marked by reversals of Obama era rules and regulations and an emphasis on school choice. She championed cuts in federal education spending and a smaller role for the federal government — at least until the pandemic when her department sought to pressure states and school districts to reopen campuses prematurely. Teachers unions and civil liberties groups saw DeVos as a destructive force. School reform advocates saw her efforts as empowering parents, families, and local education officials.
DeVos’ departure was one of several high-level walkouts last week. It came amid growing calls to remove President Trump from office under Section IV of the 25th Amendment, as officials in both parties have questioned his mental stability. Invoking Section IV would require support from the vice president and a majority of cabinet officials like DeVos.
“Whereas other secretaries have highlighted the success of public school, I think she has highlighted the places where public schools have failed some kids,” John Bailey, co-founder of the educational strategy firm Whiteboard Associates, told the Christian Science Monitor of DeVos' tenure.
Others weren't so generous. L.A. County school officials reacted harshly to DeVos’ announcement.
"Regardless of her actions in the waning days of this disastrous presidency, @BetsyDeVosED will go down as one of the worst Secretaries of Education in history," LAUSD Board of Education Member Kelly Gonez tweeted.
The National Education Association released the following statement:
“Resigning 13 days before the end of this administration does nothing to erase the harm Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has done to this country’s students, their families and educators.”
The American Federation of Teachers’ statement was also brief: