Saturday, November 26, 2016

Don't Repeat the Mistake of Michael Brown and Katrina

Remember Michael D. Brown, head of FEMA during hurricane Katrina who screwed up big time during a time when expertise in disaster management was needed? His main qualification for his job was that he had raised Arabian horses.
Trump is following this same pattern of rewarding those who stood by him rather than basing appointments on experience and expertise. For example, there are many qualified people including Republicans whom he could have picked for Secretary of Education. Instead he chose Betsy DeVos a woman who never attended public school herself, never worked in a public school or system in any capacity, never sent her own children to a public school, and never earned an academic degree related to education. While it is true that she heads a foundation funded with her family Amway money that has provided funds related to education, this foundation has been focused on trying to further the privatization of public education, not on strengthening it. Her appointment as Secretary of Education will mean a disaster for efforts to strengthen public schools in the U.S.and will harm many more children and families than were harmed by incompetence and greed in New Orleans in 2005.

Betsy DeVos is thoroughly unqualified for the job of Secretary of Education. Her appointment that should be strongly challenged given the importance of public schools to a democratic society and given her total lack of qualification for the job. If she is confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of Education, then the Senate confirmation process is totally meaningless. This nomination is an insult to the public. If he wants someone who supports privatizing public schools, then he should have at least picked someone who has even the slightest knowledge of the field of education.

I realize that there are other similarly bad nominations by Trump that need to be challenged, but this one should be near the top of the list. I have heard a lot since I moved to Washington State a few years ago about how much the senior Democrat on the Senate Education committee and my Senator, Patty Murray, cares about public education. Here is a chance for her to prove it.


  1. Well said. I totally agree with you. Hopefully you'll get a copy to some influential people who have the power to possibly help get this appointment overturned. - Kathy in Spokane

  2. Thanks Kathy. The Seattle Times will publish a version of this on Wednesday and I plan to send that version to Patty Murray.



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