Teachers Continue Push Against DeVos on Last Day Before Committee Vote


North Haven High School teacher Tom Marak and Senator Richard Blumenthal talked about their opposition to DeVos' nomination as education secretary.


January 30, 2017

Odds may not be in their favor, but teachers are continuing to stand strong against the nomination of Betsy Devos for U.S. secretary of education. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow morning on DeVos' nomination, and yesterday teachers held rallies in cities around the country urging senators to vote no.

Today in Hartford, North Haven teacher and local Association president Tom Marak met with Senator Richard Blumenthal and explained why he thinks DeVos is the wrong choice to head the department of education.

Marak said that one of the key reasons he opposes DeVos' nomination is "her statement that she doesn't believe that private schools need to be held to the same level of accountability and standards as we've been meeting in public schools year in and year out."

Blumenthal has said he will vote no on DeVos' nomination. Watch Blumenthal and Marak explain why they both think DeVos is an unfit nominee below.


Teachers have long list of complaints against DeVos

The more they learn about her, the more reasons teachers are finding to oppose DeVos for secretary of education.

Teachers at Conard High School in West Hartford wore red recently in protest of DeVos' nomination. They wrote a letter to Senators Blumenthal and Murphy saying,

Conard High School teachers wore red to signal their opposition to DeVos.

We are public school educators. We believe in all of our children. We believe that each one of them can learn, can achieve, and will succeed.

We have done the research. We know that there is no evidence that charter schools or private schools will provide better results, better access, or more importantly, a better education than the public schools where we teach.

West Hartford Education Association President and Sedgwick Middle School teacher Ted Goerner said he opposes DeVos' nomination because she and President Trump want to corporatize public education.

"They want to funnel the billions of dollars earmarked for education into the pockets of educational entrepreneurs," Goerner said. "No matter what their motivation is, they are a threat to public schools."


East Hampton teacher Kristen Keska (at left) at the Women's March in Washington, D.C.

DeVos' lack of experience and lack of knowledge about education policy is a red flag for many educators.

East Hampton teacher Kristen Keska traveled to D.C. for the Women's March on January 21 and ran into another teacher holding a sign that read, "Raise your hand if you are more qualified for secretary of education than Betsy Devos."

Keska and many other teachers in Connecticut who have multiple degrees in education and years of experience teaching find DeVos to be a completely unqualified nominee.

Teachers think their students deserve a qualified leader who supports public education.

Senators Murphy and Blumenthal have said they will vote no on DeVos' nomination. The more calls and emails they receive, however, the better able they are to make the case to their colleagues that teachers resoundingly oppose DeVos. Call 1-855-882-6229 or email http://bddy.me/2kjeJIC today.

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