June 20, 2021
The Biden administration is trying to scrub Betsy DeVos’ policy fingerprints from the Education Department on everything from for-profit colleges to sex-based discrimination.
Standing in their way is an array of conservative politicians and advocacy groups eager to keep her policy agenda afloat after she has largely receded from public view.
DeVos’ devotion to using her government position to advocate for charter schools and those accused of sexual misconduct now relies on Republicans like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to defend her turf.
The Education Department in June held a weeklong hearing to begin dismantling DeVos’ regulation on how schools must handle reports of sexual misconduct. It also made its mark on civics education by rejecting former President Donald Trump’s demands for promoting a rosier view of American history and “patriotic” education, by praising The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which Trump has called “toxic propaganda.” Talk of school choice, a topic that DeVos championed throughout her tenure, has also been placed on the back burner.
“It’s not a surprise that the Biden Education Department is doing precisely what they promised in the campaign, which is trying to undo just about everything that their predecessor did,” said Jeanne Allen, founder of the Center for Education Reform, which advocates for school choice.