Jack Schneider, historian of education, urges Betsy DeVos to stop telling lies about our nation’s schools. 

Schneider offers a capsule of education history and concludes:

“When critics contend that America’s public schools are preparing students for the jobs of the past, they are engaging in a kind of rhetorical feint. The implication is that today’s students are already being trained for work, and that such a focus has always been an aim of schooling. It suggests that vocational training is something that Americans broadly agree upon, and that is simply in need of an update.

“In reality, workforce preparation would represent a significant shift in the mission of schools. President Donald Trump made this shift plain in 2018 when he unveiled a plan to combine the Department of Education with the Department of Labor into a new agency called the Department of Education and the Workforce. (There seems to be little movement on the proposal since it was announced.)

“Jobs certainly matter, and the future labor productivity of today’s students will impact the entire economy. Yet even if schools could be reoriented to focus effectively on job training, the result would hardly be an unqualified good. Any shift in the present orientation of schools will come at the expense of school activities organized around the preservation of rights and liberties, as well as the inherent value of education. By and large, Americans of the past were unwilling to make that trade-off. If they’re aware of what’s happening, Americans of the present may be no different.”

in the past, vocational training was often designed to prepare students for occupations that would soon be obsolete.

As a basic rule of thumb, never believe anything DeVos says. If she is not lying, she simply speaks from ignorance. Her knowledge of the real world is very limited.