American Matters Education Matters

By Darrel Nerove

Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, testified before Congress about the proposed education budget and I listened to the Congressional Committee hearing.  In the formation of the budget and deliberations, there were many tough decisions regarding passage of the budget. Finding solutions to the issues that matter to people warrants much dialogue, debate, and discussion. Both sides must respect the other and attempt to see their perspective.

In the face of heavy criticism, our new Secretary of Education maintained a very professional and appropriate demeanor that demonstrated respect for each member of the committee. Well done, Secretary DeVos.

However, I cannot say the same for some of the committee members.  They were extremely demeaning, and disrespectful.  This does not create an atmosphere of meaningful dialogue, debate, and discussion.  I encourage all to listen to the committee hearing and draw your own conclusions.

The issues discussed were very important and our educational system and the associated outcomes are extremely critical.  Thus, it is understandable that many members of the committee were very passionate about the issues, the spending, and the proposed cuts for educational programs. But, that’s no excuse for bad behavior.

This reflects the political climate that has evolved and it needs drastic change.  What do we expect of our politicians in regard to professional behavior?  Do we want them to set an example of intolerance or do we want them to show respect for others?  The question is rhetorical, of course, and the answer is obvious.  We need positive examples of collaborative exchange to change the political climate and give us a chance to make policy changes that are positive and help all of us.