They are asking me the question, ‘Is the American Dream dead?’ And the American Dream is in trouble. But we’re going to get it back and do some real jobs.
–Donald Trump, Rochester, NH Town Hall, September 17, 2015
The appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary will offend every teacher in this country who has studied and committed their professional careers and lives to children. It will not be a “real job” because she is not qualified.
The American dream for teachers has been to serve. Becoming a teacher takes time and effort. And no matter what any outsiders say about public schools and learning, it is the teacher within the classroom who does the job.
Most teachers attend undergraduate school for four years. They study child development, psychology, how to teach reading, math, science, social studies, art, music and other subjects.
Many go on for two more years of graduate school specializing and earning master’s degrees to prepare themselves to be even better at what they do.
Teachers are responsible for continuously learning so they can keep well-informed of the latest ideas for their students.
They also spend countless hours student teaching under the watchful eye of a supervising teacher.
Many teachers go on to earn doctorate degrees where they must do serious research and complete dissertations. This takes years!
Teachers choose their career not based on getting rich—please look at their salaries. They choose teaching because they like kids and their subject/s.
Some teachers come to the field through an alternative path. If they are to become real career teachers they will have to study and put time into understanding their profession.
Teachers work in good faith to understand their students and to help them learn and lead happy and fulfilled lives. Teaching is a helping profession! Many spend their own money to earn their degrees and credentials.
If this country turns around now and appoints an individual who has done none of this, who has never put time and effort into understanding children and teens and the problems they face, whose only claim to fame has been to give political contributions to those who wish to dismantle democratic public schools, the President-elect has deceived the American people!
It is morally wrong!
The idea of the American dream that he advocated during the campaign will be nothing but a lie.
This country has failed with past education secretaries too, but Betsy DeVos appears to have as her sole purpose in this position to end public schooling promptly. This will create disruption, the likes of which we have never seen before, for the 90% of children who rely on free public schooling.
Countless studies have indicated that vouchers do not work. The American people have repeatedly shown they do not want vouchers! As far as charter schools, groups like the NAACP are concerned about their quality.
DeVos and this President-elect and Senators have no right to do this to America’s working teachers, parents, and especially—especially—America’s children.
This is not the American dream. The American dream implies that if you work hard and try your best you will win the support of the people. Americans will watch your back and do everything they can to support you in the work that you do to help the country run.
Betsy DeVos has not worked for this job. She is no educator. She is an ideologue who has bought power and influence with her wealth.
Does that really sit well with most Americans? If it does, then I guess years of defunding public schools and the negative media lies about them have indeed taken a toll!
How many elected officials will have the courage to stand up for America’s public schools?
When will this country quit permitting those who have never studied or worked with children make the wrong decisions about them?
With Betsy DeVos it will be the end of an American institution.
Public schools are not perfect, but the reality is that they have consistently done a good job educating the populace.
They could be better, but Betsy DeVos does not know how to fix them—nor does she seem intent on doing so. She will end them.
This will be a serious downward turn for a country that is supposed to be built on hard work and principle. It will be a sad day for America when we lose our public schools. It will touch us all.