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Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,088 times Debate No: 99725
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
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This debate will assess whether or not Betsy DeVos is a suitable candidate for the Secretary of State.


1) Use proper grammar and sentence structure. Please look over your arguments before posting them to make sure that you didn't accidentally make a grammatical mistake or use malapropism.
2) Do not troll or use insults as your argument.
3) Support quantitative and qualitative data with valid sources.

R1: Acceptance

R2: Main Arguments
R3: Rebuttals (No new arguments)
Debate Round No. 1


I. Introduction

II. DeVos' Career, and her Impact on Education
III. Sources

I. Introduction

Betsy DeVos was recently recognized as the United States' Secretary of Education. However, many people, both Democrats and Republicans alike, see her victory as a loss for education in America.

I will be arguing that Betsy DeVos and her planned policies will hurt American education.

II. DeVos' Career, and her Impact on Education

Previously, Betsy DeVos was a firm advocate of Charter Schools in Michigan for decades. She wanted to privatize public education by creating programs and pass laws that would divert public funds to pay for private school tuition in the form of vouchers and similar programs. Objectively, she wanted to expand privatized education by using public funds to fund these schools, and eliminate the common core system and other government policies and rules to prevent government intervention entirely (S1). Many believe that she wanted to eliminate government intervention and set up Charter Schools to bring "God" back to the schools; to remove things such as the theory of evolution, and other scientific theories which contradict the Bible so that children can be brainwashed to believe in Christianity.

However, many concerned parents and politicians are fleeting to the idea that Charter Schools and privatized education will be a great improvement, believing that it will be a step-up from public schooling. Unfortunately, Charter Schools are anything but an improvement. For example, Charter Schools in Detroit left children undereducated and unprepared for high-school and college education. Damien Rivera was a boy who attended a Charter School in Detroit. He got all A's, but when he tried to pursue his dream of being an engineer by going to a science program at the University of Michigan, he struggled to keep up with the students from Detroit Public Schools. In fact, Damien Rivera lacked even the most basic knowledge of subjects such as biology, that he didn't even known that the human body was made of cells (S2). This, to me, is appalling. I knew that fact when I was in elementary school.

Personally, I find that government regulations in education are vital to improve education and hold educators up to certain standards in order to provide students with the tools they'll need for college education or to pursue a successful career after graduating highschool. However, privatized schools and Charter Schools oppose all government intervention. Without government regulations, schools will be free to do as they wish; to provide students with a lacking education without any consequences. These schools are not established to provide students with an alternative education to benefit them, but to instead profit off of tuitions and government money. People such as the PA Cyber Charter founder, Nicholas Trombetta, profitted tremendously off of Charter Schools, stealing approximately one million dollars. Another examples is the Ubrban Pathways Charter School of Pittsburg, which was allegedly tyring to spend Pensnsylvania taxpayer money to build a school in Ohio (S3).

DeVos' plans of expanding Charter Schools in America as the Secretary of Education will be detrimental to education nationwide. Private organizations and corperations should have no right to control our schooling system and to rid America's children of their education so that these cash cows can make money and indoctrinate them with religion.

III. Sources


In this round I will present my case affirming that Betsey Devos (henceforth referred to as BV) is suitable for Secretary of Education.

In order to debate this topic, understanding of what makes someone suitable for the position of Secretary of Education is necessary. So what makes someone a suitable fit for this job? I find that the Secretary able to successfully fulfill her employment duties is suitable for the job.

The duties that a Secretary of Education holds is two-fold: head the Department of Education. The Department of Education and advice the President on education policy. The Department of Education does the following activities: “establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds; collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research; focusing national attention on key educational issues; and prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.” [1] The activities of advising the President are just that; advising the President on matters of education policy.

In order to be suitable for the position BV would have to have the ability to successfully carry out all the objectives of the Department of Education, as well as advise the President on policy regarding education. Thus, my arguments prove both of these premises, thereby affirming the resolution of the debate.

BV is Capable of Advising the President on Education Policy
The point of having a Secretary is to allow the President to perform his executive duties, rather than failing them because he has to spend time going over the expansive details of X plan. A secretary is able to analyze the expansive details of plan X and—because she agrees with his fundamental principles—advise him on the policy position that he would want to take. In this way the president is able to divvy up work but still maintain his policies on education, economics, infrastructure, etc..

The American people elected the President to carry out his education policies; BV and the President agree on education policy (this is why Trump nominated her), thus BV would be able to successfully fulfill her role in advising the President on education policy.

BV is Capable of Fulfilling the Objectives of the Department of Education
The particular objectives that the Trump Administration choose to pursue in the Department of Education are irrelevent. The citizens elected Trump as their President, and thus he has the right to implement the policies he decides are best for America. What makes BV suitable is in her ability to implement the objectives of the Department of Education. There is good reason to believe that BV will implement policies on federal financial aid for education because of her work at the American Federation for Children, taking action to implement the same kind of policies that she would be working on at the Department of Education. The latter three objectives of the Department of Education can easily be met by subordinates in the department, or by any reasonable person. There is no reason to believe that BV cannot continue to collect data, direct national attention, or prohibit discrimination. BV is a billionaire, she will have the connections needed to direct national attention [2].

One is suitable for a job if they are able to successfully fulfill all duties that the job requires. I have proven that BV is able to, thus I affirm the resolution that Betsy DeVos is suitable for the job of Secretary of Education.

Debate Round No. 2


"A secretary is able to analyze the expansive details of plan X and—because she agrees with his fundamental principles—advise him on the policy position that he would want to take. In this way the president is able to divvy up work but still maintain his policies on education, economics, infrastructure, etc.. "

My opponent fails to discuss how Betsy DeVos will be capable to fulfill this role.

"The American people elected the President to carry out his education policies..."

In practically every election, voters will have to decide between two candidates who likely do not respect the voters' values. It's more of a "greater of the evils" sort of situation where a voter will decide who they feel will be more successful in addressing the main concerns of the people. The focal points of both Hillary and Trump's campaigns were improving the economy, combatting terrorism and addressing the refugee problem.

I do not believe that education was the reason why many people voted for Trump. On the contrary, I believe that, because Trump is known as a successful businessman and because Hillary was involved in the email scandal and other scandalous matters, people felt that Trump would be a better president. With such limited options for candidates, it's unlikely that people had the ability to vote for a president who would reflect all of the voters' ideals such as education.

As we have seen from the Congressional vote on whether or not to make DeVos the Secretary of Education where it ultimately resulted in a tie and depended on the vote of the VPOTUS to accept her, Republicans and Democrats alike were very distraught over her appointment.

"There is no reason to believe that BV cannot continue to collect data, direct national attention, or prohibit discrimination. BV is a billionaire"

If DeVos was truly concerned about the progress and growth of students' education and knowledge, she would not advocate for Charter Schools. Clearly, as I have said before, Charter Schools are typically unsuccessful because they have no standards to follow, being that the federal government and the state government cannot intervene or guide the schools. Because of government contravention enforced by Charter Schools, people can also steal and abuse the public funds given to these Charter schools such as PA Cyber Charter founder, Nicholas Trombetta, who stole approximately one million dollars.

My opponent also suggests that, because she is a billionaire, she is capable of working as the Secretary of Education, even though she lacks any experience as an educator or working in schools.

"I have proven that BV is able to, thus I affirm the resolution that Betsy DeVos is suitable for the job of Secretary of Education. "

My opponent's argument is very lacking. He has failed to brush on some key points about DeVos, such as her two-decade-long campaign to expand Charter Schooling. His argument was generally focused more on reviewing the role of a Secretary of Education, rather than discussing why Betsy DeVos is capable of fulfilling it.


In this debate I am not allowed to respond to my opponent's rebuttals. Thus I trust that the judges will evaluate the rebuttals off reason.

Con's only arguments in this debate are that DeVos seeks to expand the charter school system. Whether the charter school system is good for America or not is irrelevant, as this does not prove whether or not DeVos is a suitable candidate. As I explained in R2, what makes a person suitable for a job is in their ability to fulfill all of its responsibilities. I proved in R2 that DeVos is able to successfully fulfill all of these responsibilities. This argument, and the only offensive argument that Con makes in the debate does not prove the resolution. Con does not contend my definition of suitable nor what this means for the debate, and thus argument can have no impact.

Whether charter schools are good for America is also irrelevant because Trump was elected president by the American people to implement the policies that he advocated for. Trump advocated for charter schools, thus the fact that DeVos chooses to enact these policies makes her suitable for the position.

Thank you to Con for the debate!
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
>Reported vote: paintballvet18// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Um... From my understanding, Round 3 was used for rebuttals (as explained in Round 1 rules). So... Hayd drops all rebuttals. Charter schools good/bad I do agree has nothing to do with the debate. However, the question of her being able to do policy or not is answered quite definitively by Hayd in Round (his last point), therefore he wins the debate on extension through Round 3.

[*Reason for removal*] This RFD is generally confusing to read, though what makes it insufficient is the lack of analysis of Con"s arguments. The voter is required to assess points made by both sides, not merely to dismiss some points and analyze the arguments of one side.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
Can't cross the DeVos
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
Betsy DeVos
Hates public schools the most.
She's convinced that charter schools will bring learning out of comatose.

Sure, she's rich,
and she's gone on for decades with this charter school pitch,
but she's underqualified; education is just not her niche.

Look at Detroit!
One of private industry's greatest exploits!
While the cash cows are gaining money from the schools, students are growing more maladroit.
Posted by Youdontknowjeff 1 year ago
I would like to debate this.
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
Secretary of State? I thought this was going to be about whether or not she's qualified to be Secretary of Education.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
Great to hear, Jonny
Posted by JonHouser 1 year ago
I happen to know Betsy, and know that she is absolutely qualified for the job.

CosmoJarvis, no one is going to force you to go (or to send your children) to a charter school. It will be an option available to anyone who chooses to take advantage of it. The current government school system has already proven that it is wonderful at turning out good workers who are incapable of thinking for themselves. For example, the vast majority of people in America today cannot read and understand the "Federalist Papers", but when they were written even the "uneducated" farmer could understand and converse coherently about the ideas in them.

Something needs to change in our education system (and that does not necessarily include putting Jesus back in public education), and I am certain that Betsy can get the job done acceptably to all sides.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
What's so wrong about Charter Schools? Sure, there's a REALLY low graduation rate, and REALLY low grades, but hey, we get to be forced to learn about Jesus :D
Posted by Verithenes 1 year ago
Naw man, I completely agree, she's horrible
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
Any takers?
No votes have been placed for this debate.