Our President-elect has nominated Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Whether you were for, against or indifferent in regards to Mr. Trump, who he appoints as the Secretary of Education will have a big effect on public education in the United States. Ms. DeVos has never been an educator, she has never attended public school and neither have her children. She is a huge proponent of vouchers (taking public education dollars and bringing them to a private school) which undermine and are ruining many public education schools across the United States. We are very fortunate to have amazing school choice (and amazing PUBLIC charter schools) in Anchorage, so the need for private schools is low. However, this is something that would eventually affect us too. What is good for public education across the country is what is good for public education in Anchorage. If you would prefer that the Secretary of Education of the United States be someone who has public education experience, please sign this petition by clicking here.
Here is the e-mail that our National Education Association President, Lily Eskelsen Garcia sent to home e-mails last week:
Our public schools are the place where we prepare the nation's young people to contribute to our society, economy and citizenry. It's a tall task. So we expect our elected leaders and policymakers, regardless of political affiliation, to fundamentally believe in and value a strong and inclusive public education system that ensures every student can succeed, no matter their ZIP code.
Unfortunately, with the recent nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, the nation is entering dangerous, uncharted territory.
For the first time ever, our Secretary of Education could be an anti-public education activist whose sole "qualification" for the job is the two decades she has spent attempting to dismantle, destabilize, and defund the American vision of public education.
That's why, together with the American Federation of Teachers, we're calling on Betsy DeVos and political leaders at every level to commit to a public education system that welcomes students of all backgrounds, identities, origins, and abilities.
Will you help us issue this call?
By signing this letter, you're sharing in the vision that student success should not depend on living in advantaged circumstances, getting accepted by a private school, or winning a charter school lottery.
Betsy DeVos has championed every kind of scheme to dismantle this vision. Not only do these divisive policies not work, they actively harm our most vulnerable students by ignoring and exacerbating glaring opportunity gaps.
Thank you for stepping up to protect public education, the bedrock of our democracy. And thanks for everything you do.
Lily Eskelsen Garcia
National Education Association