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Cost to Protect Betsy DeVos: $20 Million

Of course, she is very special. She is a billionaire

Does she have a guilty conscience about removing protection from transgender students, indebted college students, and sexual assault victims? (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

Does she have a guilty conscience about removing protection from transgender students, indebted college students, and sexual assault victims? (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

Why is Betsy DeVos afraid? In her first year in office, some protestors in Washington, D.C., objected to her visit at a public school.

Since then, she has had a special detachment of U.S. Marshalls giving her round-the-clock protection.

Other cabinet secretaries have encountered protestors. None of them are guarded by U.S. Marshalls.

Of course, she is very special. She is a billionaire.

She doesn’t leave her office much. She has many days off.

She seldom visits schools, and in the few instances where she does, it is either a religious school or a charter school.

Her public schedule indicates that she doesn’t have much to do, perhaps a meeting once a day, perhaps not.

Others have commented on her many “unexcused absences.” A year ago, the media realized that she was absent from her job about 1/3 of the time and that she has poor work habits. Presumably she still has round-the-clock protection even when she skips work. A teacher who skipped work 1/3 of the time would be terminated.

Does she lack grit?

Does she have a guilty conscience about removing protection from transgender students, indebted college students, and sexual assault victims?

My guess is that she has led a sheltered life and wants to avoid public contact to the greatest extent possible.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a historian of education at New York University. Her most recent book is Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.  Her previous books and articles about American education include: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform, (Simon & Schuster, 2000); The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (Knopf, 2003); The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know (Oxford, 2006), which she edited with her son Michael Ravitch. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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