Betsy DeVos has been the secretary of education for nearly a year now, and just like every student and educator gets feedback and report cards, it’s time to rate DeVos’ performance and give her some feedback.
Now, we know she has stood with for-profit colleges and loan servicers who have a history of defrauding students, and she won’t miss a chance to trumpet vouchers and private schools and for-profit charters, but what about the civil rights of students or supporting and strengthening and fighting for the K-12 schools that 90 percent of our students attend? Not so much.
According to Education Week, DeVos has visited 36 schools since taking office, half of them being private or charter schools. That includes, by the way, the three public schools she visited with us at our invitation last April in Van Wert, Ohio.
There are thousands and thousands of public schools in the United States where students and their teachers are doing great work, often in very, very tough circumstances. I know DeVos saw that in Van Wert—through the innovative programs the schools had to offer, and through the aspirations and needs expressed by educators, parents, students and the community. But rather than taking the lessons she learned that day, looking into what worked and where educators and students needed more support, and using that information to help us implement successes in other schools across the country, she chose to double down on her agenda to privatize and voucherize.
So, since she spends very little of her time in public schools, we can take public schools to her and give her a little feedback about what we do every day and what you and your students need to be successful.
We want you to evaluate Betsy DeVos’ performance over the last year, but we know comments are often the most important part of any evaluation or report card. Help us educate the secretary on great things happening in public schools in your community and why we’re #PublicSchoolProud, and leave your comments on how she can improve.
And while you are giving DeVos feedback, take a moment to evaluate her in the subject areas a secretary of education has responsibility for:
- Funding of the Department of Education—the agency responsible for ensuring all of America’s children have access to a high-quality public education—and its programs;
- Ensuring access and equity in public schools for all;
- Protecting students’ civil rights, including gender equity (Title IX) on college and university campuses;
- Promoting evidence-based strategies for school improvement—taking what works and implementing it in schools across the country; and
- Protecting students from predatory for-profit colleges, lenders and loan servicers.
Maybe, just maybe, she will listen to you more than she listened to the educators, parents and students of Van Wert. Their message was clear: This county, which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, loves its public schools.
DeVos has a lot of opinions about public schools, and she’s not shy about sharing them. Since she seems to be reluctant to visit public schools and see all the great work we’re doing, we’re going to bring the information to her. And as much as we love public schools, we’re honest about the challenges and struggles we face—take this opportunity to tell the secretary of education what is needed in your school or classroom, or how you and your students can be supported.