National PTA to Host Betsy DeVos at Convention

From Twitter:
This just in: to keynote at

National PTA remains committed to our longstanding tradition of working with all policymakers to implement our public policy priorities and advocate for the improvement of education, health and well-being of all children.
Here's their page on the convention which, oddly, doesn't play up this angle.  Most conventions put their keynote speaker, front and center.  

Here's what Jacki Ball, their Director of Government Affairs, said (on her own Twitter account):
Excited to hear directly from at . While we may not always agree, it is imperative we have open dialogue to ensure all students can reach their full potential, have safe and supportive schools and be successful.
Dialog with a woman who would not talk to student journalists at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School this week?  Who walked out on a press conference there? 

Here's what they said when DeVos became Secretary of Education:
“Today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Throughout the confirmation process, National PTA joined other education, civil rights, disabilities and community organizations in expressing strong concerns for Secretary DeVos’ lack of experience with public education; unfamiliarity with the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s public school students, families and educators; and support of programs that divert critical public school resources.  

“National PTA looks forward to informing Secretary DeVos on all of our public policy priorities, including equitable public education for all, healthy and safe schools, protections for our nation’s most vulnerable youth and the importance of family engagement in education. Where we are in alignment, we stand ready to work together, however, policies of the administration that attempt to weaken public education will continue to meet National PTA’s opposition.

“National PTA has long stood and advocated for high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association remains steadfast in our belief that public education must be strengthened with the support of adequate funding and continue to be governed by public officials. We oppose any private school choice system—vouchers, tax credits or deductions—that would divert public school resources.

“In addition to investing in public education, National PTA urges Secretary DeVos to improve the Department of Education’s role in advancing family engagement as a tool to increase student achievement and transform schools and communities. We strongly encourage the administration to carefully consider how family engagement can be integrated into all appropriate policy initiatives that it advances or supports. In particular, we urge the administration to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program and for the Department to utilize the appropriate resources to assist in the dissemination of research and best practices to support family engagement in local communities.

“Furthermore, National PTA hopes that Secretary DeVos will ensure continued implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We also hope she will continue to prioritize stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the law. It is essential that parents and other stakeholders have a seat at the table as states and districts develop new education plans to provide valuable input and hold them accountable.

“National PTA is committed to working collaboratively with Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to implement these recommendations and advance policies that ensure all children reach their highest potential. Critical progress has been made to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success. We cannot go backward.”
I understand the need to keep open the lines of communication with many people in public education.  But National PTA isn't going to work directly anytime soon with DeVos.  Certainly be polite and civil but invite her as a keynote speaker?  Bad call.

Maybe it's time for some workshops around the city about how to switch from a PTA to a Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO.


Unknown said…
Perhaps a one way to trap the beast?!
Anonymous said…

She keeps saying that people "misunderstand her" but here are the facts:

- she is a billionaire
- she and her family have tried - via their money and power - to bend Michigan public education to their will with no great outcomes
- she rarely goes to a traditional public school (and admitted she hadn't been in one in Michigan during the 60 Minutes interview) but claims they are failing
- she has little real background in public education

I don't think we are misunderstanding anything. She just not qualified.
z said…
Not nice, but ha ha. California representative Jared Huffman tweeted (to Trump) that Betsy DeVos is "rich, white, and dumber than a bag of hammers."

Link to one of many new articles here

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