There is something very funny about imagining John a Merrow as anyone’s fanboy, but in this satirical post, he admits that he is bewitched by Betsy DeVos. 

John is quite the humorist. His April Fools’ Day posts are always hilarious, the more so because so many of his readers are fooled.

Remember, friends, satire!

He begins:

Full disclosure: Although I have never met or interviewed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, I am a huge fan.  In fact, the closest I have been to her was at the Education Writers Association’s annual conference in Baltimore recently.  Sitting maybe 75 feet from her, I was dazzled as I watched her hold off some tough questions from education reporters, a notoriously aggressive bunch. That stellar performance gave the lie to those who mock her intelligence.

In Baltimore she proved that she is smart.   Sure, she made a lot of gaffes early in her tenure, but now–after just 27 or 28 months on the job–she doesn’t get flustered.  She has learned to avoid  answering direct questions; instead, she ignores whatever she is asked and pivots back to her talking point: “Students and parents need ‘freedom’ to choose.”  Ask her anything, and she will–with a smile–talk about ‘freedom.’   She couldn’t do that if she weren’t a smart cookie.

Moreover, Secretary DeVos is a gutsy defender of minority positions.  Here’s an example: A less courageous person would fold under pressure and take the popular position that public schools are vital to our future because they enroll about 90% of students.  But, showing a backbone of steel, DeVos swims against the tide.  She is not afraid to criticize public education.  And she hasn’t just shown courage once or twice; no, she’s out there regularly–every day–taking on public education, essentially saying “Damn the consequences!”

I also admire her because she is a great friend of the American teacher, something her critics never acknowledge. In Baltimore, for example, she came out strongly in favor of paying teachers about $250,000 a year!  She cleverly suggested pegging teachers salaries to the salary of the President of the American Federation of Teachers.  Since the average teacher salary today is under $60,000 and the AFT President makes nearly $500,000, the Secretary is proposing a salary INCREASE of about $190,000 for the average teacher.   So, the next time someone says DeVos doesn’t like public school teachers, wave that in their face and tell them to zip it!

True, she has no views about pedagogy. That’s admirable too. Imagine if she were a great friend of teaching Shakespeare? Everyone would stop teaching the Bard.

While I would not call myself a fangirl of Billionaire Betsy, I have a curious admiration for what she has accomplished. She has done more to awaken the American public to the dangers of privatization than anyone else I can think of. Some of us were like voices in the wilderness during the Obama-Duncan years. We warned that the billionaires were undermining public schools for fun and profit, but we were not making much headway because no one believed that Obama would let that happen. Or stand idly by While Scott Walker and Rick Snyder and John Kasich and Rick Scott and Jeb Bush were belittling and destroying teachers’ unions. Not Obama.

The Resistance owes her its thanks.

Betsy DeVos comes right out and shows her contempt for the public schools that educated 90% of us. She despises unions. She destroys civil rights protections. She is not ashamed or embarrassed. She wants to roll back every piece of legislation or regulation that has protected the weak, the powerless, the vulnerable.

No excuses, no apologies.

She is what FDR long ago called an economic royalist.

She has stripped the mask of beneficence away from ”Reform,” baring the face of greedy billionaires who don’t want to pay taxes to underwrite the schooling of the unworthy (to them) masses.