Putting public schools in the national spotlight
It was a chance for one small Midwest city to showcase the great work going on inside its public schools, and Van Wert, Ohio, made the most of it.
The April 20 school visits hosted by Van Wert, a northwest Ohio community of roughly 11,000, for AFT President Randi Weingarten and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos drew coverage from a full complement of local, state and national media outlets. And the stories that filled the day focused not on partisan rancor but on robust, well-supported public school approaches from prekindergarten through high school.
That public education can build consensus and flourish in this Republican-leaning community is proof positive that "support for public schools transcends politics," Weingarten told reporters at a wrap-up press conference.
DeVos, who has drawn fire for promoting an education budget that would ax $9 billion from federal programs, and for using her Cabinet post as a bully pulpit for vouchers and choice, agreed that something exemplary was happening inside these public schools. "It was clear that this community has invested heart and soul into the students here."
The visit was featured nationally by the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press. It also received prominent coverage in local and regional media as well as publications closely tracked by policymakers and the education community, such as Politico and Education Week.- See more at: http://www.aft.org/news/putting-public-schools-national-spotlight#sthash.MASPGAmQ.dpuf