The academic world is already furious with Donald Trump‘s selection of Republican donor Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education — the proponent of school vouchers and charter schools has decimated public education in her home state of Michigan — but it could’ve been even worse.
According to the Associated Press, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., who recently met with Trump in New York City, says Trump offered him the Secretary of Education role, but he turned it down:
Falwell told The Associated Press on Saturday that Trump offered him the job last week during a meeting in New York. He says Trump wanted a four- to six-year commitment, but Falwell says he couldn’t leave Liberty for more than two years.
Falwell says he couldn’t afford to work a cabinet-level job in Washington for longer than that and didn’t want to move his family, especially his 16-year-old daughter.
We were that close to having an evolution denier, climate change conspiracist, and Christian fundamentalist in charge of our nation’s public schools.
The last thing this country needs is an education system built in the mold of Liberty, a school founded by a man, Falwell’s father, who blamed 9/11, at least in part, on Pagans, “abortionists,” feminists, gays, lesbians, and the ACLU.
(The other known Secretary of Education option was Dr. Ben Carson, another science denier, whose business manager Armstrong Williams said Carson didn’t want the position because he “has no government experience” and would not want to “take a position that could cripple the presidency”… even though that didn’t stop Carson from campaigning to be the President.)
Trump has routinely said he hires the best people. But this week has shown us that he can’t even find somewhat competent options for this cabinet position, much less people who have any understanding of and respect for public education.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Scott for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier.)