I have seen more left-of-center Americans openly talk about homeschooling their children in the past 24 hours than I have ever seen in my life. They are convinced that Betsy DeVos is going to destroy public education in America.
Let me state up front that while I am a DeVos supporter and think she will excel, I also think the U.S. Secretary of Education actually can do very little to affect local education. Yes, she will impact certain areas of the public education experience, particularly with Title I funding, but in the day to day practice of teaching, she will do little.
A lot of Americans think she will be very destructive. There is one thing these parents can do. They can and should commit to making sure education is a local matter. The federal Secretary of Education should not be powerful enough to affect the daily lives of your children. The constitution does not list education as one of the enumerated powers of the federal government. Consequently, education should be a local matter.
This has long been why I have favored the elimination of the Department of Education. If you think Betsy DeVos will be a terrible education secretary, you should want to minimize the power of that office. A federal Department of Education big enough to improve your children’s school is also big enough to screw it all up. And education is not a federal power.
The left, in America, is suddenly realizing states really do matter. They are suddenly realizing federalism is a good thing. I suspect when a Democrat next inhabits the White House they will promptly forget all this, but they should not. They should work with conservatives to rein in the power of the federal government and embrace the heterogenous states and people that our Founders appreciated.
We should have no nationally common social standards, no nationally common education, and no one size fits all utopia. We should have fifty with Washington doing the bare minimum to keep us safe while we live our lives in the fifty laboratories of democracy.