Education Reform Trump U.S. Department of Education

Jan Resseger, Nancy Bailey: Why the Department of Education Should not Be Merged with the Department of Labor

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Like Jan Resseger, I’m old enough to remember when the U.S. Office of Education was part of the massive Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Words matter. So do signals. We saw that when Melania Trump traveled to the Texas Border to demonstrate “compassion,” wearing a jacket that had a logo: “I really don’t care, do U?”

Jan writes here about why it is a bad message to merge Education and Labor into one cabinet department.

“Although the Trump administration cannot impose a restructure of the government without approval by Congress, one must pay attention, nonetheless, to the proposal announced yesterday and even to the meaning of the language in which the proposed restructure is framed—education defined as workforce preparation, for example, and the return of the word “welfare,’ now a pejorative in conservative political circles, to make it easier for politicians to slash funding by the federal government.

“What is being proposed lacks compassion for children. The new plan is designed by officials impervious to what is well known about healthy child development. The proposed restructure reflects the kind of heartlessness we’ve been watching as Trump administration officials callously separate babies and toddlers from their parents at the border, lock tiny, bewildered children in closed-Walmart orphanages, or send them on airplanes to social agencies or foster parents in far-off cities.”

Nancy Bailey writes on the same issue:

She asks:

Moms and Dads, when you looked into your newborn’s eyes for the first time, did you think, I wonder what job our government will steer our baby into?

A merger of the Department of Education (DOE) with the Department of Labor (DOL) is about just that.

Here’s a quote from this administration’s manual called “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization” (p.23-28).

The workforce development program consolidation would centralize and better coordinate Federal efforts to train the American workforce, reduce administrative costs, and make it easier for States and localities to run programs to meet the comprehensive needs of their workforce. (p.23)

Where is the word child or teen in that quote?

Chances are when you looked into your baby’s eyes, you weren’t thinking of the government at all.

No, when you marveled at the miracle of your child, your hopes were, and still are, for them, not a government that caters to corporations.

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