Given her clear ignorance about how the nation's public schools educate children, a school board in San Diego decided to reach out to new U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to visit the city’s schools.
But the move was soon called off after board President Richard Barrera released a statement saying DeVos's contentious confirmation hearings made the visit a bad idea.
The visit was canceled due to the “polarizing nature” of DeVos’ nomination and confirmation as education secretary. It was meant to help DeVos learn about what public schools are doing to educate students. DeVos has never attended or been involved in public schools before.
“We also believed — and still believe — that her narrow ideologically driven view of our schools does not stand up to the facts. So, my intention was to challenge her views openly and in a public setting,” added Barrera.
To clarify: Our school board is not inviting Secretary of Education Betsy #DeVos to visit SDUSD.— San Diego Unified (@sdschools) February 13, 2017
“Given the polarizing nature of the DeVos nomination and confirmation vote, however, it is clear this would be the wrong time to engage the Secretary in dialogue. Now is the time for those of us who believe in public education to stand together and confront the threat clearly posed by the DeVos ideology,” read the statement.
Barrera, who is also secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, said the decision came after an outpouring of frustration from teachers.
San Diego Unified quickly walks back its invitation to have Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visit: pic.twitter.com/ljQOSASrgN— Sara Libby (@SaraLibby) February 13, 2017
This isn't the first time DeVos had to face an unpleasant situation. Recently, she was greeted by barricade of protesters outside a school in Washington, D.C. The education secretary was set to make an appearance at the Jefferson Middle School Academy, where she was blocked by a group of protesters from entering the premises.
In another incident, just weeks before assuming office, DeVos told Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy that the presence of grizzly bears justifies the presence of guns in schools.
The billionaire heiress previously served in leadership roles that advocate for school choice and vouchers that help students pay for a private education. As the Trump administration prefers a policy of “school choice,” her ideology is likely to leave public schools behind.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters