An interesting thing happened while I was reading through a HuffPost article about the 50 Teachers of the Year that held audience with Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos (who I have dubbed Betsy DeVille) recently in Washington, D.C.
50 teachers, the top teacher of every state, gathered in private to discuss concerns about the “teaching profession” and were allowed to share their thoughts and concerns with Secretary DeVos. Unfortunately, that quickly went sour when teachers started whining about school choice policies rather than real issues with teaching challenges and issues in education. Blaming the failure of teachers on policies that allow charter schools to syphon off resources that they need to be better teachers was met with the response by DeVos that “traditional public schools and charter schools should be thought of as parts of the same public school system,” an accurate and valid response! Oh my God, I just agreed with BD. Ssshhh! Please don’t tell anyone.
The bashing of school choice policies continued throughout that meeting, and DeVos continued to challenge teachers with statements like this:
“…cannot comment specifically to the Arizona situation,” but that she hopes “adults would take their disagreements and solve them not at the expense of kids and their opportunity to go to school and learn.”
“I’m very hopeful there will be a prompt resolution there,” DeVos can be heard saying in the video. “I hope that we can collectively stay focused on doing what’s right for individual students and supporting parents in that decision-making process as well. And there are many parents that want to have a say in how and where their kids pursue their education, too.”
“I just hope we’re going to be able to take a step back and look at what’s ultimately right for the kids in the long term.”
These statements and the entire exchange with 50 top teachers have all been characterized as anti-teacher in the eyes of the teachers. Really? So, to be clear, a person who supports children and parents having the right to choose their education path is bad. But the teachers who do not support student success if it is outside of their traditional classroom setting are the good guys? This to me is upside down! Shouldn’t we all be supporting and advocating student success? The answer is yes. Shame on these teachers for making their great teaching achievement a cheap political anti-school choice stunt.
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