That’s a freakishly sickening reality. And this worse-than-dismal track record of the agency she’s about to take over ought to give DeVos some humility about her position. It suggests she should preside over a new era at this failure of a department—one focused on getting government out of families’ way, not paving yet another highway to education hell with good intentions about “helping the children.”
Practically speaking, how can she do that while not turning into an Obama-style education “czar” (i.e. petty little dictator)? I have some ideas.
1. Reverse Obama’s Illegal Executive Actions
As other conservative commentators pointed out after the 2016 election, since Obama did so many things through executive order, they can be immediately undone by a Trump administration. For one, President Obama imposed Common Core on the entire nation this way.
2. Refuse to Enforce Vague Statutes
Going further with the Common Core recommendation above, DeVos should have the department’s lawyers scour federal education law for vague commands, list these in order of greatest importance, and issue further guidance to states about which other provisions her agency will refuse to enforce since Congress has not made its will clear through specific language.
3. Bring In a Whip-Smart Legal Team
To do any of the above regulatory work, DeVos is going to need some good lawyers. She cannot rely on many of those the department already has because they are the same ones that have been aiding the Obama administration in doing precisely the opposite of what DeVos should be.
4. Do a Bureaucracy Audit
With the help of such a freedom-loving personal legal team, DeVos should immediately do an audit of her bureaucracy. An agency that ineffective ought to have plenty of waste, fraud, nepotism, and abuse to expose, and if she does it early in her tenure DeVos can rightly blame the mess on the Obama administration.
5. Audit USDOE’s Data Handling
Not many people know this, but the U.S. Department of Education hosts and tracks the sensitive personal and financial information of millions of American students
6. Create a Plan to Erase Her Department
Progressives created the sprawling federal bureaucracy that DeVos is about to become a part of, and they specifically designed it to further their aims no matter who is in charge. Largely the only way to get rid of career bureaucrats is by having Congress rewrite the agency’s charter. Otherwise they essentially have tenure and will make DeVos’s (or any reformer’s) life a living hell.
7. Refuse to Preside Over a Federal Voucher Program
The federal government is nothing if not the font of ineffective, meddlesome regulations. If DeVos and Trump love school choice and the children it benefits, they will keep the federal government far, far away from them. They will turn education dollars back to the states rather than attempting to directly expand federal dollars—and thus federal control—to the nation’s private schools.
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