March 2017 Issue
February 28, 2017

It's quite clear — DeVos needs a real education

Author: Source: American Federation of Teachers
Source: NYSUT United

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is quickly proving she has no respect for public schools or the teachers and staff who work in them. She lacks the basic knowledge to run the U.S. Department of Education. Just days after her tone-deaf tweet about pencils, DeVos visited Jefferson Middle School in Washington, D.C. Afterward, during an interview, she said the Jefferson educators were in "receive mode" and that "they're waiting to be told what they have to do."

Insulted, the educators and the Jefferson community pushed back, highlighting the school's successes, the innovation and initiative of the educators and staff, and their own disappointment with DeVos' visit.

When the DOE recently hosted a #LoveTeaching Twitter chat, DeVos was a no-show. She didn't send a single tweet or engage participants in any way. But teachers showed up. #LoveTeaching trended for nearly an hour, dominated by educators who had some definitive things to say to DeVos.

AFT President Randi Weingarten recently told DeVos that she has a responsibility to listen to kids, parents, teachers and staff. While she doesn't seem interested in listening, the AFT and its state and local affiliates will do their best to educate her. And you can help!

Speak up and make sure DeVos hears you — on social media, in the schools she visits, and in the streets with protest signs.

Show her what kids need — things teachers and parents provide, when they can: pens and pencils, paper, gym equipment, even toilet paper. Post pictures and notes on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #Pencils4Betsy.

Here are a few examples:

  • @BetsyDeVosEd should support public schools and ensure we have the tools needed to do our jobs. #Pencils4Betsy #LoveTeaching
  • Educators spend hundreds of $ out of pocket every year on supplies for their classrooms. We #LoveTeaching, but need support. #Pencils4Betsy
  • Chalk, books, markers, gym supplies, tissues and paper. Our schools need basic supplies, @BetsyDeVosED. #Pencils4Betsy #LoveTeaching