(CNSNews.com) – Star Parker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), told CNSNews.com Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has worked “extensively helping poor children get quality education,” adding that DeVos “has a worldview consistent with liberty and so that means that she will perhaps look at places where government is overreaching and pull it back.”
CURE hosted a discussion at the National Press Club on school choice vouchers and education under the incoming Trump administration as DeVos faced her first Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday evening.
CNSNews.com asked Parker about some concerns that some groups had over her work with pro-Common Core education organizations despite DeVos’s recent statement against Common Core.
“Her work is extensively helping poor children get quality education,” Parker responded. “Once she takes her seat in the Department of Education I’m sure that they will look at all the apparatus including Common Core and make sure that it’s consistent with ideas of freedom.”
“I do know Mrs. Devos has a worldview consistent with liberty and so that means that she will perhaps look at places where government is overreaching and pull it back,” Parker emphasized.
Her fellow panelist, Gerard Robinson, American Enterprise Institute fellow of Education Policy Studies, added that, “she was asked that question. She said she never supported a federalized common core. I’m sure that question will come up again today. You’ll get the same answer. She’s committed to a common sense approach, because at the end of the day what we want isn’t a debate about common core as much as trying to understand a common chord - something that connects us today to a better future.”
Overall, Parker and Robinson were pleased with Devos’s support for school choice voucher programs. Parker explained why she thinks these programs provide more options and will make for a better education system.
“The American people have made a decision that in order to be a civil population,” Parker said, “we have to be an educated population, so we’re going to pool our resources to educate other people’s children, but the question needs to be asked then. Should we go into the education to do that or should the parent then decide where they’re going to get that education, and I think that that’s all we’re saying with the vouchers is let the parent decide where they want to send their child to school.”
She compared the school choice situation and lack of voucher options to food stamp programs, explaining, “When we have a food stamp program, we don’t go into the grocery store business and tell people that receive food stamps that they can only go to that grocery store. They have options, and I think that it’s time for parents to have options in education as well.”
Parker added that she sees the Department of Education as something that should have “a very limited role but an oversight role to make sure that as we have a lot of options, someone is making sure that individuals are not being violated.”
“What the Department of Education has done is moved into the social arena and is becoming an instrument of social engineering. It needs to be what it’s supposed to be and all Washington’s supposed to be, insuring that everyone has an opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Parker emphasized.