At the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos addressed hundreds of participants on both sides of the discussion. The annual event was held on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. to discuss some of the reforms that Betsy DeVos is making within the education system, with special attention to charter schools. At the event, DeVos tried to ease the pain felt by the fissure within the school choice community. The Trump Administration has created a greater divide between those advocating for school choice and those in opposition. This was one of the central issues addressed by DeVos at the conference.
DeVos mentioned that there “is no one right way to help kids learn”. Attempting to bring the two sides together, the new Secretary of State continued to explain that differing opinions on the subject of school choice do not have to be enemies. Her central thesis surrounded the idea that education of any sort should focus primarily on the quality of education provided to the students. Mrs. DeVos has been a long-time proponent of charter schools in her home state of Michigan. She has received a lot of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for her alleged lack of expertise on the subject matter for such a high level position as Secretary of Education.
Many teachers in attendance were not impressed with DeVos’ speech. One kindergarten teacher from Ukiah, California reported the address to be lacking “substance”. Her major critique was DeVos’ inability to name specific changes or examples. Another teacher from the Chicago Institution of Health Sciences Career Academy was not happy with DeVos’ failure to address how her major federal funding cuts would affect schoolings nationwide. Betsy DeVos, under the direction of the Trump Administration, is set to cut some $9 billion in funding for schools across the nation. This is an unprecedented move that is leaving many teachers and schools begging for an explanation or alternative solution.