America’s Teachers Just Flunked the Education Secretary – Demand Resignation
Betsy DeVos is failing miserably and clearly isn’t interested in seeing her report card
Betsy Devos has been the Education Secretary for a year now. So, how is she doing? She’s failing miserably if you ask the the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and others. And they want her to know. That’s why they showed up at the Education Department. They wanted to deliver 80,000 report cards giving Devos a clear failing grade. For her part, Devos was not interested in seeing the teachers, or her poor marks.
The group tried to get an appointment with the Education Secretary but they were denied. So, they showed up anyway, but the doors were locked… because they didn’t have an appointment.
— NEA (@NEAToday) February 8, 2018
As The Hill reports, this didn’t go down well with the President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who spoke at the protest.
“They knew that teachers and parents and students from all over the country have actually taken their time to say what is going on in their schools. And here on Betsy DeVos’s anniversary, this is the first time that I have ever been to this building where we were not let in – where the educators, where the students, where the parents of America were locked out of the federal Department of Education.”
Meanwhile, Lily Eskelsen Garc, President of the National Education Association, went one step further and called for Devos to vacate her position.
“It’s her actions that speak louder than any talking points she may have. People are universally appalled, universally aghast by a year of failures. She should resign; she should make way for someone who is qualified.”
The response from the Education Department was icy, and demeaning, and highlighted the clear contempt felt towards the teacher unions. As USA Today reports, the spokesperson for Betty Devos, Liz Hill, tore into the teachers for their actions.
“It’s unfortunate that instead of working to have productive dialogue, the union decided it was important to pull teachers out of the classroom for a two-hour political publicity stunt — for which they shot their own footage to send to media outlets.”
She added that despite the fact that Devos doesn’t seem interested in seeing her report cards, she is more than happy to get the feedback she is unwilling to see.
Why are the teachers so upset? Well, as the Washington Post points out, in the last year she has done everything she can to promote private schools over public schools, erase the separation of church and school, and reversed President Obama’s demand of schools to accommodate the needs of transgender students, among a laundry list of other things.
Devos has visited schools during her tenure, but at least half of those were “private, religious or charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated.” And, of course, she has famously said in the past that public schools, which millions of American students depend on, are a “dead end.”
Unfortunately, Betsy Devos is a billionaire who is so out of touch with everyday Americans that she doesn’t seem to understand the importance of public schools to those who aren’t billionaires and seems keen on the idea of people making a profit off of kids trying to get an education. As Business Insider points out, she is the richest current cabinet member, and owns 12 private jets and four helicopters. Not exactly at the level of the common men and women of the country.
Feature image by Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Chris Hearn is an ageing freelance writer located in wintery Winnipeg. He is a stay-at-home-parent, amateur stand-up comedian, and a guy with a lot of opinions, much to everyone’s dismay.