Protesters Try to Bar US Education Chief From Entering a School

Newly sworn-in US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was forced to abandon a visit to a school in D.C. after she was physically blocked by protesters.

The protests came after DeVos, a billionaire who favors school choice, was confirmed this week by the GOP Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence serving as a tiebreaker, after a contentious battle with Democrats.

She was blocked and somehow got in anyway, and whether that, too, is an augur of the DeVos era will be a matter of significant concern, and not just to the two dozen protesters who showed up Jefferson Middle School Academy.

Opponents argue that she has hollowed out the public schools in MI, but her supporters say that teachers' unions are overreacting, and that the issue is all about school choice.

Mario DiPasquale, of Pittsburgh's CAPA High School, attends a Wednesday morning rally in Market Square to protest the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. Another shouted at DeVos, "Keep giving money to senators and buying your way into the position".

"The union, who said they did not support DeVos' nomination, hopes that she is successful".

"Go back", the protestor yells and she enters the auto".

DeVos has been a strong advocate of charter schools. "Unfortunately, Betsy DeVos wants to dismantle public schools".

Shortly before noon, as DeVos's school tour appeared to be winding down, she appeared at the top of the steps outside the school's main door to make a brief statement to reporters. We had the opportunity to learn, to achieve, and to become anything we wanted.

"Focusing on their students and families is at the heart of Jefferson Academy's approach, and that's exactly what I believe is at the heart of providing an exceptional education", she added.

The left insists that she is "unqualified" for the job, since she isn't a career bureaucrat keen on continuing the track record of failure and wastefulness in America's public education system. They said if DeVos succeeds in her new role then everyone succeeds - including all public schools and teachers.

Public schools are the backbone of our democratic society. "Because she lacks so much experience in public expenditure management, it is impossible to gauge the extent to which her office poses a threat to universities that support the Jesuit mission of protecting refugees from both an administrative and political standpoint".

In his State of the State Address Thursday evening, Governor Justice said that he wanted to limit public school bureaucracy, end the A-F school rating system, stop consolidation, increase teacher pay by 2 percent, and make education a revenue producer.

  • Leroy Wright