Thursday, June 8, 2017

Are Trump and DeVos Waging a War on Teachers? - Center for American Progress

Are Trump and DeVos Waging a War on Teachers? - Center for American Progress:

Are Trump and DeVos Waging a War on Teachers?

Throughout his campaign and time in office, President Donald Trump has touted being a “tremendous believer in education.” And Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has repeatedly called for “equal opportunity for all kids.” However, neither Trump nor DeVos has demonstrated any interest in supporting or leveraging the most critical resource for improving student achievement—teachers. Indeed, research shows that well-supported, highly skilled educators achieve an average of 1.5 years of academic growth among their students.
In the most recent budget proposal, however, President Trump and Secretary DeVos have decided to completely withdraw federal investment from the educator workforce. This threatens every child’s access to a quality education. Throughout their first several months on the job, Trump and DeVos have shown nothing but disrespect for teachers and the teaching profession.
Here are five ways in which Trump and DeVos have denigrated and devalued the teacher workforce.

1. DeVos said that she believes teachers are in ‘receive mode’

Devos made her first public school visit as secretary to Jefferson Academy in Washington, D.C. After the visit, she criticized the school’s teachers, claiming that they seemed to be in “receive mode.” DeVos said that the teachers she observed were “waiting to be told what they have to do,” something that is “not going to bring success to an individual child.” The teachers at Jefferson Academy fought back on Twitter, highlighting the agency, passion, and skill that DeVos underestimated.
This moment made clear Secretary DeVos’ lack of experience with public schools—both as a teacher and as a parent—and her lack of respect for the educators she visited.

2. DeVos eliminated the educator engagement provision required by law under ESSA

One month after insulting Jefferson Academy’s teachers, Secretary DeVos released a new template for states to use as they plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The updated template removes the requirement that states detail how they engage with stakeholders—including teachers—for their feedback and ideas on the state’s ESSA plan.
Ahead of the template’s release, DeVos said it would only require information that is “absolutely necessary,” indicating that input from educators is nonessential. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)—both critical players in writing ESSA—as well as several education policy groups expressed their concern with the template’s disregard for stakeholder input. They claimed that it is inconsistent with the intent of the bipartisan law.
Removing this requirement from the guidelines not only devalues the role of educators as thought leaders but also demonstrates a striking level of hypocrisy on DeVos’ part. If one Are Trump and DeVos Waging a War on Teachers? - Center for American Progress:

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