The American education system is defined by its decentralization; states, local areas, and schools wield considerable power over how students are educated, from preschool through college. But federal government's role in education is to still make sure American students have both a champion and a protector, an agency dedicated to the notion that when all students are able to thrive, our communities, our economy and our civic life become stronger.
This unfinished legacy is what makes the tenure of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education so tragic. Rather than offering a positive vision for the most diverse generation of students in American history, the Department of Education under DeVos failed to put forward any vision that is responsive to the needs of today's students. In fact, this department has gone out of its way to gut protections and guidelines aimed at defending students and helping them succeed.