Betsy DeVos would be bad for public education

Our Core Value is Social Action

Dear EVCS Family,

I feel compelled to share with you my deep concerns about President Trump’s nominee to lead the US Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. As Secretary of Education she would be in a position to create policy that would directly affect our school and all public schools. Please consider these actual facts (and a few personal opinions).

Betsy DeVos has absolutely no experience in public schools – not as a student, not as a parent, and not as a teacher or administrator. She has no background in education whatsoever and would not meet the baseline criteria to qualify for a job as a teacher in New York State, let alone a school or district leader. How can she possibly be qualified to lead the United States Department of Education?

Betsy DeVos is a billionaire lobbyist and has used her incredible family wealth to influence education policy. Betsy DeVos supports using public funds currently going to public schools to pay for private schools, parochial schools and charter schools. She was chair of the American Federation for Children which is an advocacy group that is working to privatize public education. I believe that we should not allow public education in the United Sates to become the “Education Industrial Complex”.

Betsy DeVos clearly demonstrated her absolute lack of sophistication around issues related to teaching and learning at her Senate confirmation hearing. Furthermore, she flatly refused to say that guns don’t belong in schools and left open the possibility that she would support a move to eliminate gun-free school zones. I don’t think I need to editorialize what a disastrous idea this is.

If you share my concerns about Betsy DeVos’ qualifications to be Secretary of the Department of Education, please consider calling and/or writing to our senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Both have now expressed their lack of support for DeVos, but consider going on record as applauding their decision and encouraging them to urge their senate colleagues to do the same. Also consider coming out to demonstrate on Monday afternoon at the Senators offices, at 780 3rd Avenue. Details are here. Her appointment would be very bad news for public education. Let’s use our voices to resist.

Stepping down off my soapbox now. Have a beautiful weekend.