DeVos: DC Protesters “Hostile to Change”; “Keeping Kids In and New Thinking Out”
On February 15, 2017, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the 2017 National Policy Training Conference of the Magnet Schools of America.
It was her first public speech as secretary of education. She chose to use the occasion to portray protests against her as closed-mindedness and nothing more than “hostility to change.”
Below are her remarks in full, as posted among the US Department of Education press releases:
Good Afternoon:Thank you for that kind introduction Todd, and thank you for inviting me to be here with you.I want to begin by expressing my appreciation for all you do. I would like to share some thoughts on how I hope to support your important work, but first, let me just comment on something you may have seen on TV.Last Friday, a handful of protestors tried to block my entrance into Jefferson Middle School Academy here in D.C. While I eventually made it in, and had very constructive conversations with Chancellor Wilson, many DC administrative leaders, some terrific teachers and Principal Dohmann, the protestors’ behavior is a reflection of the way some seek to treat our education system – by keeping kids in and new thinking out.Friday’s incident demonstrates just how hostile some people are to change and to new ideas. Without realizing it, we, too, can fall victim to this trap of seeing our work in education as an “us vs. them” approach.I know this to be true throughout the reform community, where there are those who claim to be champions of education, but they really only support their respective “sectors.” These silos are unnecessary and unproductive in our common goal to serve all students. So I applaud your work to expand and improve options for all children through magnet schools.The education of a child is not a zero-sum game. When a student excels academically, we do not place an asterisk next to his or her name based on the type of school he or she attends.I want to encourage you today to look beyond the walls of your schools, beyond the invisible lines of your community, and let’s renew our commitmentDeVos: DC Protesters “Hostile to Change”; “Keeping Kids In and New Thinking Out” | deutsch29: