The Trump administration recently announced its plan to nominate Betsy DeVos, best known for her anti-public education campaigns, for the position of Secretary of Education.
Every day, educators use their voice to advocate for every student to reach his or her full potential. We believe that the chance for the success of a child should not depend on winning a charter lottery, being accepted by a private school, or living in the right ZIP code. We have, and will continue, to fight for all students to have a great public school in their community and the opportunity to succeed no matter their backgrounds or circumstances.[pullquote]We believe that the chance for the success of a child should not depend on winning a charter lottery, being accepted by a private school, or living in the right ZIP code.[/pullquote]
Betsy DeVos has consistently worked against these values, and her efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education. By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.
The National Education Association advocates for investing in smart strategies that we know help to improve the success of all our students, including creating more opportunities and equity for students, classes small enough for one-on-one attention, modern textbooks and a well-rounded curriculum for every student. We also know that the voices of educators — those who know the names of the students they educate — should always be present at the table when making decisions that impact student success. Educators will continue to focus on raising their voices in support of their students and against any effort by the Trump administration to undermine the educational opportunity of all public school students.
Lily Eskelsen García is the President of NEA.