What if Betsy DeVos Were Your Boss?

*
*

Betsy DeVos was nominated as secretary of education, and hearings for her nomination are currently underway. As reporters and pundits are examining DeVos' record, we thought it would be interesting to imagine what it would be like to actually work for DeVos. This is speculative fiction, of course, but based on the things she's said and done over the years (click on the link after each entry to read more about DeVos and that topic). But here's what we think it could be like to work for DeVos.

Monday

  • Since DeVos has little to no background in actual education, you are required to brief her for an hour each day on basic functions of the department and how public schools actually work. You later learn that many of the members of Congress who voted to confirm DeVos to the position had received millions in contributions from DeVos, her family and organizations she helps fund. (Read more.)
  • DeVos leaves literature on the front desk of the office that includes pamphlets that argue for teaching intelligent design in public schools and various messages from groups such as the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family. (Read more.)
  • An "optional" meeting during the workday is used to introduce fellow employees to Amway products. Employees who sign up as Amway distributors are given preference in office dealings. (Read more.)
  • A new initiative from DeVos eliminates insurance benefits for same-sex partners. (Read more.)
  • You are tasked with having a speechwriter prepare text for DeVos arguing in favor of a constitutional amendment to bar any government intervention in parental decision making. (Read more.)

Tuesday

  • DeVos has you draft a memo that advises local school districts on how to work with conversion therapy groups in handling LGBT students. (Read more.)
  • A congressional investigation into DeVos and her contributions to politicians begins but quickly disappears after the majority of the panel, all of whom DeVos has given campaign contributions to, votes not to advance the inquiry. Newspapers report that DeVos previously said: "I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return." No further action is taken. (Read more.)
  • DeVos holds a press conference to announce opposition to a program that would maintain funding for public schools in the face of local tax cuts. (Read more.)
  • In a staff meeting, DeVos asks for ideas to help eliminate public school systems in order to liberate students. (Read more.)
  • A report from a watchdog organization accuses DeVos of violating election law in support of school choice efforts. You must respond to the press inquiries. DeVos does nothing. (Read more.)

Wednesday

  • DeVos helps write legislation that would allow for-profit companies to create charter schools in any state and that would shift money used by the Department of Education to pay for private school tuition. (Read more.)
  • You are asked to place a series of letters to the editor that argue against government regulation of for-profit and charter schools. (Read more.)
  • DeVos tasks you with writing model legislation that would make it easier to fire public school teachers. (Read more.)
  • Before passing a suggested bill on to a state legislator, you must remove "This model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council" from each page's footer. (Read more.)

Thursday

  • Employees are required to watch anti-union materials on the clock, active union members are given worse work assignments and preferential treatment is given to employees who express anti-union sentiment. (Read more.)
  • DeVos issues a statement rejecting the legitimacy of local programs to desegregate schools, arguing that school choice is more important than decreasing segregation. (Read more.)
  • During a lunch in the office with her husband, DeVos can be heard discussing her goal to get more churches active and engaged in education and that "our desire is to be in that Shephelah, and confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God's kingdom." (Read more.)
  • You are tasked with writing a report supporting a corporate tax program that would allow corporations to designate 75% of their taxes toward school vouchers, regardless of other state needs. (Read more.)

Friday

  • To handle the Department of Education's efforts directed at decreasing campus rape, DeVos hires the former head of an organization called FIRE, which says that many campus rape allegations are nothing more than "drunken hookups." (Read more.)
  • DeVos issues an edict to get more product placement in Department of Education materials, with particular focus on companies getting advertising in DOE-produced materials that DeVos and her family have specific interests in, including Amway and Boxed Water. (Read more.)
  • A news article reports that while her policies drive students out of public schools, DeVos' personally owned charter schools see an increase in enrollment. The schools run by DeVos exclude poor and black students. (Read more.)
  • DeVos hires Scott Jensen, who has previously pled guilty to illegally using his office to perform campaign work. (Read more.)
  • After complaining that high wages cause most of our economic problems, DeVos institutes a pay increase freeze. (Read more.)