Supporting Public Education in the Era of DeVos

Today, while I was proctoring the interim assessment I'm required to give by the district, the US Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. I heard this news during nutrition, my 10 minute break between third and fourth periods, while students were coming in and out of the room, finishing up homework and studying for tests. I wasn't particularly surprised and went on with my day.
Woah, Betsy. 

I wrote postcards against this nominee. I called Republican senators who might be swayed. I am highly invested in this fight for our public schools. But the vote came down to 50-nays, 51-ayes and the confirmation carried.

To be honest, I was surprised by the unity of the Democrats. DeVos's reform agenda is aligned with many DFERs. These Democrats For Education Reform, like Senator Booker who sat on the Alliance for School Choice board with DeVos, are pro school choice, private charters, testing, accountability, and vouchers, and also anti-union and anti-teacher. President Obama's two prior picks championed many of the same causes DeVos favors. She takes things a bit further with vouchers and lacks experience in public education, but, to be honest, she isn't very different than Sec. Arne Duncan or Sec. John King.

So, guess what I will do tomorrow? Well, after this interim assessment is over, I will go back to my public school, my classroom, my students, and I will teach. For now, things will carry on as before, and I will continue to believe in my job, my students, their families, and our schools. That is the true narrative of our public schools. There are amazing things happening inside our schools if you take the time to look beyond test scores or aging facilities. I see them every day. The "fake news" of our failing schools is a story that has run its course. If you want to know how to fight back against DeVos and for our schools, invest some time and/or money in a public school, and then, send your kid to one.

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