CTNJ/Opinion: School year in review: DeVos receives failing grade

Barth Keck.

Another school year has come to an end. As I look back, one persistent image in my mind is U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos using a Congressional testimony to dismiss East Hartford High School as “nothing more than adult day care … a dangerous daycare.”

DeVos was quoting “Michael” — a student from East Hartford who “got a diploma, but not an education” — to criticize not just East Hartford High School, but all public schools.

When Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., later questioned her about potential discrimination in school voucher programs, DeVos uttered her stock response: “We believe parents are the best equipped to make choices for their children’s schooling and education decisions, and too many children are trapped in schools that don’t work for them. We have to do something different. We have to do something different than continuing a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. And that is the focus.”

Read the full story on CT News Junkie.


2 responses to “CTNJ/Opinion: School year in review: DeVos receives failing grade”

  1. Sue Haynie

    Stop being offended Mr. Keck and look in the mirror. Public schools do a lot of good. They also fail millions of kiids each year. This isn’t about you or Betsy DeVos, this is about parental choice and what a parent thinks is best for their kids. Do a better job and parents won’t want to leave their neighborhood schools. They want choice because far too often you’re failing their children, it’s really that simple.DeVos is only the messenger…whether you want to hear it or not.

  2. Tony P

    @Sue, at what point should parents take equal, if not greater, responsibility, for parenting their own kid? Your commentary in general would be comical if you weren’t banging on one drum saying that teachers pay and benefits are out of line w/ your vaunted ‘private sector’ (more on that below) and at the same time beating on the dyslexia drum, advocating for teachers to lay out their own money and time to get certified to diagnose dyslexia. I submit to you an excerpt from a great article from Bert Fulks, a former teacher who now works in the private sector. I believe the author even gives NoN and Facebook poster extraordinaire Patrick Cooper a shout out as well.

    “Teachers no longer simply teach their subjects. Our schools are now responsible for raising children. Not many kids learn basic “life skills” and attitudes at home, so we expect teachers to do what moms and dads won’t (or can’t). Oh, and they’re also supposed to make sure the kids get fed.

    Too many schools now have food / toiletry / clothing pantries for kids whose homes can’t provide basic necessities. These are run by volunteers … and teachers, of course.

    We ask teachers to teach, feed, clothe, and parent our children, but refuse them the resources, support, and time to do the job. Instead, we shame them for not saving our fractured society.

    “Not only are schools and teachers expected to fix all of society’s ills, we are also expected to turn out a fantastic product,” Susan says. “It would be nice if it could be remembered that we are working with human capital, not with a product whose outcome we can control completely.”

    Our teachers end up parenting a lot of kids, and that role comes with a costly emotional and psychological investment. Teachers are often caring for students who are functioning orphans—and they do it for countless kids. While they’re teaching their preps, answering emails and phone calls from angry parents, trying to ignore what some yahoo has said about them on social media, and filling out an insane amount of hoop-jumping documentation to help some politician get re-elected, they’re also trying to get the girl who’s been raped into counseling, making sure the kid out of rehab stays clean and on track, and trying to tenderly engage that discipline problem who’s now living on the streets because his parents are both in jail.”

    How about instead of parental choice, we start talking about parental responsibility?

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