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Book Review: “Hostages No More - The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child” by Betsy DeVos
How did I get this book?
This purchase was in the same time period as “Breaking History” by Jared Kushner. Gen and I were at Barnes & Noble browsing and fortunately I had a little gift money to splurge on a new book in addition to the Kushner book.
Because I enjoyed Kushner’s book so much, and wanted to read more about the Trump White House from his cabinet, this interested me. It also interested me because I remember all the bad press Mrs. DeVos got as Education Secretary and I wondered what her side of the story was.
What’s it about?
The subtitle is accurate. This book describes the fight that’s been going on for decades in public education all across America. That story wouldn’t have had as wide of an appeal without the major draw of inside information from Mrs. DeVos of her time as Education Secretary for President Trump.
So, there’s some background information on her, her life and upbringing, and then her advocacy work for public education. That background really helps give context to the stories from her time as Education Secretary. It finishes with her resignation over Trump’s actions culminating on January 6th and her action points for parents engaged in the challenges of public education.
What did I think?
This was alarming. I wanted to read more about Trump and his White House, but not only is there not much here about that, the shocking material is about the teachers unions and the state of public education.
She chose her title well, because that appears to be what’s going on. Our children are held hostage by the education lobbies and teacher unions. The local schools and teachers have almost no influence in the equation. It’s appalling. And, she does a great job detailing it, including naming names.
What was wonderful to read was about innovation that has happened in too few places in America. Those stories were still very inspiring. In addition, I was pleased to read the back story of how Florida has the scholarship programs it has, which has offered our family the opportunity for school choice and private education. Personally, I’m a HUGE proponent of classical education.
Mrs. DeVos is a remarkable person. She is to be commended for her consistent advocacy in this arena over many decades. And, I believe she gave this unanticipated opportunity to be Education Secretary her best shot. After reading this book, it seems to me that it’s time to bring in the big guns and dismantle this hostile system, returning the power to the parents and local communities. Not only will it save a lot of money and deliver a better education to children, it appears it would get the elephant off the political scale in America.