March 24, 2017

Protesters Block US Education Secretary from Entering School

14 February 2017, 12:33 | Ted Wilson

Editorial: DeVos confirmation shows overwhelming power of partisanship

Education statistics: Figures lie and politicians figure

If you're shopping for portents of what Betsy DeVos' tenure in government will entail, you won't do much better than this: On Friday morning, the USA secretary of education tried to enter a D.C. public middle school through the back door.

Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education by a contentious and historic 51 to 50 vote.

Democratic senators have boycotted committee votes on Trump's nominees for treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency, and health and human services, forcing Republicans to suspend the rules and advance the nominees without a quorum.

Republican senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against her, fearful that her unqualified support for vouchers and charter schools would undermine support for public schools.

The union, who were not among those who blocked DeVos from entering the school, said they were there to send a message about their support for education for all and the public school system, WJLA reported.

The most popular line of attack against DeVos was that she never attended or worked in a public school.

A bigger issue than DeVos needs to be dealt with.

The demonstrators had gathered around 9 a.m., an hour before DeVos was scheduled to arrive, to post signs on their cars and wave posters in support of the public school system.

"Secretary DeVos is unquestionably unqualified for the position because of her lack of experience in government administration", Austin Raymundo, a freshman political science and economics, double major said.

"Great teachers and leaders help make great schools, and I was honored to speak with Jefferson's team about our shared commitment to strengthening public education", she said. It is whether Congress has given too much power over public schools to bureaucrats in the Department of Education.

DeVos has her work cut out.

In light of DeVos' record and already-rocky Cabinet-tenure, here are some ways for community members to get involved in improving education for America's children, rather than tearing it down.

'She does not represent anything that they stand for, ' one woman yells as DeVos quickly walks away from the building, in video obtained by a local ABC affiliate. Whether education is made available via traditional public schools, charter schools or private schools, what ultimately matters is whether students actually receive the best education they can get. With the number of students of color only increasing in our nation's public schools, it is even more critical that we address the barriers preventing them from receiving the best education possible. "School supplies?" tweet on her first day.

The panicked rhetoric seems to stem from DeVos' long history of advocacy for charter schools and school vouchers. Thus, information about student growth provides a more complete measure of the impact schools are having on all students, regardless of their academic ability when they arrive at the school.

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