Saturday, February 18, 2017

Former D.C. schools chief takes on DeVos: ‘Sorry lady…. this is so amateur and unprofessional’ - The Washington Post

Former D.C. schools chief takes on DeVos: ‘Sorry lady…. this is so amateur and unprofessional’ - The Washington Post:

Former D.C. schools chief takes on DeVos: ‘Sorry lady…. this is so amateur and unprofessional’

Kaya Henderson, the former chancellor of the D.C. public schools, is none too happy with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s comments about teachers at a D.C. public school she recently visited.

Sorry lady. Tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. But this is so amateur and unprofessional that it's astounding. We deserve better. https://twitter.com/emmersbrown/status/832962029250043904 

DeVos, confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 7 only after Vice President Pence broke the first-ever tie vote for a Cabinet nominee, visited Jefferson Academy last week. Her initial effort to get into the school by a side door was blocked by protesters and she entered another way. She later criticized the protesters, saying they were “hostile” to change in education.
DeVos is seen by her supporters as a true champion of school choice who has used part of her fortune to support choice advocacy and with philanthropic efforts in Christian communities. Critics of DeVos, who has said public education is a “dead end” and that “government sucks,” say she wants to privatize America’s public education system. They also say she has no real experience with public schools, having attended private schools, sent her children to private schools, and spent decades advocating for alternatives to traditional public schools.
As my Post colleague Emma Brown wrote in this story, DeVos also criticized some of the teachers she saw at Jefferson, telling columnist Cal Thomas for the conservative online publication Townhall, that they seemed dedicated and sincere but were in “receive mode.”
“I visited a school on Friday and met with some wonderful, genuine, sincere teachers who pour their heart and soul into their classrooms and their students and our conversation was not long enough to draw out of them what is limiting them from being even more success from what they are currently. But I can tell the attitude is more of a ‘receive mode.’ They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child. You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”
It is certainly true that in corporate school reform of the past 15 years has taken away autonomy from teachers as many of them have been forced to use scripted curriculum and spend a lot of time preparing students for high-stakes standardized tests. That’s not the same thing as saying Former D.C. schools chief takes on DeVos: ‘Sorry lady…. this is so amateur and unprofessional’ - The Washington Post:


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