American Federation of Teachers Head Criticizes DeVos, Calls for Commitment to Public Schools
WASHINGTON — American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten opposed the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, calling for a renewed commitment to, and investment in, public schools in a press conference at the National Press Club.
“I believe that whether one wants a less polarized environment, or a skilled workforce and more middle-class jobs, or pluralism and democracy, or diversity and tolerance, or just for children to thrive and be joyful, the answer always starts with a powerful, purposeful, public education,” Weingarten said Monday.
Speaking to standing-room-only audience, Weingarten excoriated President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the Department of Education, Republican fundraiser Betsy DeVos. Her confirmation hearing, originally set for Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, has been delayed till Jan. 17. Democratic leaders had called for the hearing to be delayed until DeVos’ background investigation is completed, and she is fully screened for financial and ethical conflicts of interest.
Weingarten’s largest concern was that, given what she called DeVos’ anti-public school stance, the confirmation would undermine the Every Student Succeeds Act, which Weingarten credits with “ending the education wars.”
“ESSA quelled the education wars and enabled our shared attention to return to what works: collaboration, capacity building, powerful learning and the well-being of all children,” Weingarten said. “These are practical concepts that are scalable and sustainable, that Republicans and Democrats can support, and that red state American Federation of Teachers Head Criticizes DeVos, Calls for Commitment to Public Schools | Youth Today: