Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Open Letter to Betsy DeVos

Dear Betsy DeVos,

     Yesterday, in a tie-breaking vote, history was made as you were elected the United States Secretary of Education. I guess that means congratulations are in order. And seeing as you're a fellow woman I guess I'm supposed to be even more pumped about you having such an influential part in the leadership of our country. You see, a few weeks ago thousands of women marched in an attempt to give our gender more equality, more power. And here you are today. Holding more power than I think you fully understand in your hands. Yay for the home team right?

     Except here's the thing, Mrs. DeVos. Apart from being a woman, you and I have very little else in common. At least we did until yesterday. Now our worlds seemed to have collided in a big way. You see, as you sat at the capital yesterday in your tailor-made suit preparing to make history, I sat cross-cross apple sauce in a Title 1 school, in clearance rack Old Navy pants, preparing to make the future. I'm a public school first grade teacher and yesterday, in a way, you apparently became my boss.

     All of that being said, I felt like maybe I should tell you a little bit about myself and my job. It seems you don't fully understand what it means to be a public school teacher, and that's okay as I don't fully understand what it means to be a political figure. It's just that, with your new title, I feel it might be beneficial to at least have some idea of who and what you're representing.

     I graduated magna cum laude  from a four-year university with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I have to be "highly qualified" to get a job as a teacher and my college degree was just the start. I attend countless trainings and professional development courses each year to stay up to date in my field and keep my "highly qualified" status. Many of these trainings occur in the summer, on my time off, and happen without extra compensation. I also get observed and evaluated multiple times a year by my administration. Occasionally, during accreditation years, I get observed and evaluated by other really official people. Did you know that public schools go through accreditation processes? You know, to make sure we're still doing a good enough job.

     Remember those clearance rack Old Navy pants I mentioned earlier? I'd love to say I wear those to work every week because I'm a really good budgetor who just loves a good deal. But the truth of the matter is, my miniscual paycheck doesn't have room for tailor-made suits no matter how hard I try to stretch each penny. You see, my husband is also a public school teacher, which here in NC is like a death nail on financial prosperity. I, fortunately, got an education scholarship to go to college and get "highly qualified" but NC has since done away with that education scholarship program. So, like many of my other public school educator friends, student loans are another bill we must cover with that teeny tiny paycheck we receive each month.

     My personal paycheck isn't the only thing getting slighted each year. The funding public schools receive each year continues to plummet. Positions are cut constantly and resources aren't updated the way they need to be. You know what's not decreasing though Mrs. DeVos? The amount of children that still need to go to school. So while Art, Music, and PE programs are being cut and teacher assistant positions are disappearing, class sizes are growing. Have you ever tried to teach 25 Kindergartners how to read by yourself Mrs. DeVos? I watch my friends do it daily. And surprisingly enough, Mrs. DeVos, they're successful a lot of the time.

     But Mrs. DeVos, the things I want you to know about me and my job don't have anything to do with the trainings I attend or the money I receive. It has to do with the one and only reason I continue to do what I do each day. The kids. I'm not quite sure when public education become synonymous with bad education but from where I stand, which is a pretty relevant place, it's just not true.

     Remember how I mentioned teaching at a Title 1 school? As part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA - acronyms are BIG in education, you should start studying up) "schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families" receive financial assistance to help "ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards." Its kind of a sweet deal except when even that additional funding continues to decrease (see above). It also means that a lot of my students need more during their school day than just ABCs and 123s. Food to fill their bellies, warm clothes, hugs and encouragement that they may or may not be getting at home. Parents in my community are working multiple jobs with crazy hours just to pay the bills. Children in my school community are worrying about responsibilities that go far beyond reading and writing. As their teacher, it's my job to help ease that burden in anyway I can. Even when, at times, it means veering away from the curriculum I'm required to teach, the one I'm observed on in order to keep my job. Or if it means using my own money to purchase something for my classroom. Because remember how heavy my pockets are?

     Are you beginning to see the double edged sword we public educators deal with each day, Mrs. DeVos? Am I painting a clear enough picture of how interconnected each issue is?

     I've wanted to be a teacher my whole life (except for that short time in middle school when I was convinced I could host my own interior design TV show) and during that time I've had to defend why. Why would you want to teach? You could be anything you want to be - why settle? There's so many other jobs where you could make more money. You want to know what I'm tired of doing, Mrs. DeVos? I'm tired of defending my job. My job that creates all the other jobs. My job that requires me to sacrifice time with my own daughter to help nurture and love other sons and daughters. My job that often keeps me up at night. My job that is constantly devalued and underestimated. My job that I continue to show up for, day in and day out.

     Mrs. DeVos, you made history yesterday and are trending all over social media. You are in a very opportune position to either a) continue this false rhetoric that public schools are failing our children or b) put your support behind the thousands of public educators who are fighting on the front lines for our children.

     My job is hard Mrs. DeVos, as I'm sure your's is too. But my job is needed. My job is important. And my job means the world to me.

     I would love to give you my support, Mrs. DeVos. In fact, I'm pretty easily swayed. And my request to you is a simple one. Change the story on public education. Throw your support behind me and my fellow educators. I promise you once that's done, you'll have the biggest group of cheerleaders you could imagine.

     Until then I'll be hanging out in Room 307, with some of the best first graders I know.

Sincerely,

A proud public educator


61 comments:

  1. A terrific read :) I just hope it reaches Mrs. Devos and that it makes a difference in her perspective.

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  2. I too am a public educator in a Title 1 school! Your letter sums up exactly how I feel about my students--who are my kids!! Thanks for sharing...and keep up the good fight! I know I won't go down with a fight if it means standing up for my kids!!

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  3. communication is a big problem. No one outside the education system knows what a Title 1 is. They only hear from union leaders about tenure. Who in their right mind would agree to such a thing. Schools should be a place of learning, challenges not safe places where they are indoctrinated into a mind set. Students are thinking how much can I get in student loans instead of thinking how can get thru this without a student loan. There are some great teachers out there, a few touch my life. Just as many could care less, they have been for some time and I think most fall in the middle. How do we motivate that group to turn it up a notch? If a leader can do that, then we might have force to be reckon with.

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    1. Amen!The left has its hooks in the public schools and pushes its agenda on the minds of our youth. Most know nothing of American history as it really happened but rather a revisionist viewpoint that leaves out key aspects of reasoning for limited government and local control. The best thing we could do as a nation is implement a level of competition that raises incentives for educational achievement.

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    2. Interesting. I went to the Transparent California site given above and searched for the latest year records for teachers. This man came up second on the list for 2015. Brent Michael Melbon. I choose to do a search on him because he earned a lot for a high school teacher. I found this article. Seems he was fired in 2013 from Capostrano High School. He was a teacher and a coach too. So how can he have a 2015 income from Capo if he was fired in 2013?

      Remember on websites, garbage in/garbage out.

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  4. That was awesome and so true for many of us public school teachers. Thank you

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  5. I've listened to a few teachers' views on their profession, and the system in which they work lately. My conclusion is they are frustrated. To the point of misery. Even though I'm just a mom, that's how I felt too when my children were in public school. (We were forced into early intervention in North Carolina because of both my boys being diagnosed PDD-NOS. We gave a good, solid five years for the system to intervene, correct, and prevent.) That was eight years ago, and I'm a concerned that the view points of teaching school have degraded.
    What the Department of Education really needs is a W. Edwards Deming mind running it. I don't know if that is Betsy DeVos, but it is certainly Donald Trump.
    Your satisfaction is important. More important than I think you even understand. It's okay to live, and do your job in lack for a short time, but it shouldn't always be that way. If something new instituted is failing, and making parents, children, and teachers miserable it's a bad, unsuccessful system. Especially, if it's pitting the service providers against the customers.
    Money is nice to have, but more or less of it isn't the answer. People's problem solving skills are.
    Ultimately, you are an engineer for human learning. When something's not working you go in and find out why it isn't. You take that and craft a new plan to try to see if it will fix it. If it does. Great! Keep it going. If not, scrap it and try again. It's your responsibility to do this with every single mind that comes through your class. That is a huge job!
    It is my personal opinion that the system you work for now ties both hands behind you back, by saddling you with nonsense tests, and beauracratic red tape. I've hired help from college educated teaching professionals outside of the public system, and have been very pleased. They were worth every scraped up penny. The only difference between them and a public teacher was the D. O. E.
    And that is why it is my hope, don't know if it will happen or how, that the new director will turn the department of education into a smoking crater, take the shackles off of the workers, and turn education into a customer satisfaction service.

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    1. Donald tr**p is the answer???
      The man who cannot not speak.in full sentences?
      The man who cannot read?
      The man who is more concerned with his daughters income than human beings fleeing from war?
      The man who thinks Twitter is an appropriate form of communication for a President?

      THAT is the man you are talking about?

      The solution is already there. Take a look at nations in the top 5 when it comes to education. Number 1 is FINLAND. All you have to do is "Copy, Paste", and there is your solution.

      DeVos is pro-charter schools. Have you read much about charter schools, and the rules for such schools? There are not many rules. Any person, no credentials, can apply there. There is no regulations on curriculum.
      And private school vouchers? Sounds good, until you study who actually gets to use those vouchers. Let's just say it is not the kids that would GREATLY benefit from them.

      The minimum requirement for Secretary of Education should be that the person has a doctorate in Efucation, has taught public school for 10+ years, preferably in different states.

      I feel horrible for public school teachers. You have a choice to make. I hope quitting will not be that choice, but if you do I won't blame you.

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    2. SuzieQ couldn't have said it better!

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    3. Also, I am 100% positive the Mrs. DeVos has no idea that your children's diagnosis is autism spectrum and she would have zero idea how to educate them. Public Schools work with students who have all kinds of learning and or physical disabilities, Charter and Public schools do not even take these students because they are not required to!!

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    4. That is a serious misrepresentation of public school vs. Private school. My nephew was in the public school system and (because he had a learning disability) it failed him miserably! The last 3 years since he has been in private school he has thrived as a student and now knows he can achieve high marks as a student because our private school was the best at working with kids who have a "learning disability". We have since seen many of the kids thrive who came from a similar situation. I have no doubt that it is usually not the public school teachers fault that these kids get "lost" in the system. It's pretty clear that the system is broken.

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    5. You cannot copy and paste from another country and think you will get the same result. They have a different cultural foundation than us, creating a very different input of children to process through their education, which is a big part of the very different outcome of grown individuals. Would changing our educational system to Finland's make the families that our students come from care about hard work over sports game, and would it change America to a country where struggling through a challenge and being okay with losing and trying again instead of having the snowflake mentality of giving kids a trophy and a prize whether they earned or not? No.

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    6. my daughters had learning problems public school solution put them in special ed FAIL..private school helped them and the both graduated college and have good jobs..

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  6. Great letter!!!! Couldn't have said it better myself!

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  7. When I first started reading this I was afraid it was another political opinion. But it is spot on. I cannot tell you how much of my small teacher earnings I spend in my classroom also! There is always something I add to my classroom to help my students have hands on experiences with learning. We as teachers are constantly spending our own money to help the students in our classroom learn through hands on learning.
    Your letter also states that we are here for the children. That is why so many teachers I know are in the classroom. We not only went to school to get our education (I graduated with high honors) to teach, but elected to go into the classroom to be teachers. Yes there are other places to make more money (and I too am asked, "why do you teach?") but teaching gets in ones blood. It is something we can't help. We want to be there everyday to help our students get the most and best education possible. The extra trainings, classes, monitoring, and assessing seem to tell many teachers that they aren't respected as educators. While I know there are those who may not be the best they can be, I do not personally know a single teacher who doesn't strive to get the most possible to help be a better informed teacher. Every teacher I know joins blogs, websites, chat rooms, PLCs, webinars, and even trainings to keep abreast and stay informed. These are done on their own time, not during school. So yes, this letter does strike close to home. And I too am hopefully awaiting a wonderful, new outlook on the public schools in our wonderful country.

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  8. Not sure what state you are teaching in, but you should consider moving to California if you aren't making $100,000 a year in pay and benefits. That is what the average teacher with 10 years service is making in my district and that is only for teaching 180 days. More than $50 an hour when class is in session. Now I believe a good teacher should be well paid, and even $50 an hour would seem fair if the students were receiving good service, but in my experience only about 1/3 of the teachers are really good, about 1/3 are mediocre, and 1/3 are retired in place or incompetent. Yet bad teachers are rarely fired, good teachers never get any merit pay. This is why so many of us are happy about some change (finally) in the department of education. We could be doing so much more for our kids.

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    1. I'd like to have you back up your claims about average teacher pay in your district.....just put the name of it out there and any interested person can review the data themselves. California believes in transparency and data such as this is readily available, so just name your district.

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    2. www.transparentcalifornia.com - There you go.

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    3. I'm in VA. With more than 20 years of experience, my husband makes less than 45k teaching. With 19 years of experience,a required masters for my position, and working in a division that pays well above the district my husband works in, I make a little over 53k a year. There's a huge spread, even within individual states, among what teachers are paid.

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    4. Hey ConcordMike.....I hear your "statistics" and don't believe them. Please cite your "sources" so that we can verify them. That is what we public teachers do. We ask our students to make an argument by providing good sources and melding them into a cohesive argument. Your observations about teachers are your opinion....and you are entitled to them. But they are not my observations as a 17 year teacher. In my previous careers as a MARINE CORPS officer and BUSINESS EXECUTIVE I worked LESS HOURS than I do now teaching 140 kids per day. By the way, try TEACHING all day...with no time to prepare for tomorrow's classes or grade today's paperwork. We do that AT NIGHT .....EVERY NIGHT.....EVERY WEEKEND. Amortize those nights and weekends throughout the year and you will see we DO NOT work 180 days.....we work more than you do. So.....GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT and get back to me. And by the way, do a few push-ups to boot. OOOORAH!

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    5. I worked in California for a year and I worked with several lifers in CA and NONE of them made anywhere near that amount!! Nice try though!!

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    6. I work in CA with 25 years experience. I currently work in a Title I district and have worked in several other districts and also in private schools. The most any teacher EVER has made is about $82,000 and is at the top. To verify just look at jobs offered on Edjoin which lists the job openings. Sure teachers get paid a bit more in CA but the starting get pay us at $45 to $48 with the most senior making that $82,000. The other thing NOT taken into account is the very,very high cost of living here in CA. I'm in Southern California where the average cost for a suburban 3 bedroom home is around 650,000!!!Also gas prices and taxes are highest in the nation.
      My class size has also been up to 41 8th graders in a Science class! Try to do labs when there is no room to move!
      I agree with the letter as to how much of my own money I have put in. For a few years of cuts we actually had a ZERO budget for science and any labs you did came out of your own pocket. For 220 students a day that can be as much as $500 to do just one lab!!.
      The letter is accurate and does show how much teachers do for their students at the sacrifice of their own families.

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    7. Even if everything you wrote is 100% true, not every change is good change. Do you really want public schools canibalized to benefit charters whose job it is to teach Christian doctrine and creationism? In for profit schools paid for with money that should be used to improve public schools? Not with my tax dollars,please.

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    8. Charter Schools do not have to be Christian. That is a ridiculous concept. In my area, there are private religious schools, private non-religious schools, charter schools not attached to a school district, and charter schools that are attached to a district but cater to specific needs or future goals. Charter and private schools do have the ability to put students on serious academic and behavioral promotion and eventually ask them to leave, while traditional public schools do not. There are also many Charter and private schools that welcome or cater solely to children with disabilities. Charter schools still get federal funding and can still reach title 1 status if their students are mostly low income. Therefore, they do not turn away students based on income status, but could turn them away based on refusal to make effort as seen in grades or negative behaviors, something that regular public schools cannot do. I teach at a title 1 public school because I know how much those kids need me to care and look out for their specific needs, I see the struggle with trying to differentiating reading and math instruction in a 4th grade classroom from kindergarten level to sixth grade classroom. I also know that lower performing students and behavior issues take the majority of the focus, leaving much less time for the enrichment and further growth of the higher achieving and we'll behaved students. This is reality in most title 1 classrooms by necessity. This is the reason that I send my 7th grade GATE student to what is essentially a charter school that is attached to another district, because i, as a parent, of course want the school my child attends to be focused on his individual needs. Is that so wrong just because my union might tell me it is?

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  9. I come from a family of teachers and many of my friends are as well. They all voted Trump and support Devos. Of course they have spines and aren't blinded by hate.

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    1. I am a retired teacher with 35 yr. of teaching experience and other professional educator roles. I support Trump and DeVos. I understand and agree with all that writer, Mariana, mentions. Perhaps Trump and DeVos can make a difference. Those in charge in the past did not improve our Educational System. We won't know if we don't try something new. I have been appalled at all the hate. Change is good. Give her a chance. Give him a chance. You might get a big surprise.

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  10. I come from a family of teachers and many of my friends are as well. They all voted Trump and support Devos. Of course they have spines and aren't blinded by hate.

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    1. Thank you! Living in California, it is tough to remember there are teachers out there who are truly concerned about the final product our kids are getting. The teachers union in California has, unfortunately, soured many parents' views on the role of teachers in the solution. For many of us, the teachers (via their union) are the problem themselves.

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    2. Please don't see me as part of the problem just because I am required to pay into a union that believes differently than me. I love teaching and wouldn't give it up for anything, which is why I pay 4he union dues, as it is a part of the job. However, the teacher's union does more than just polticize. They do support teacher's in the good and the bad. While I don't support truly had teachers, I do know that accusations are often made by ill-fitted administration and angry students that are not based in truth. You try having 81 seventh graders and having to give consequences to the ones cussing you out and having them tell their parents you beat them up because they thought they could get rid of you. The union helps with that. If all parents taught their children to truly respect authority and take the consequences and the grades they earn gracefully and just try harder next time, we wouldn't need unions to protect us. If I didn't have parents tell me that they don't believe their child did that in my class just because I said they did, we wouldn't need unions. Unions protect us from a society that hates us because we lose sleep at night, spend tons of our own money, and teach tough lessons about rewards and consequences in life to children who have not been taught this at home. I just wish this didn't make the unions try to tell me how to vote.

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  11. Amazing post! Amazing points! Such a sad day for all educators, but especially for our children.
    -From another Dunn :)

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  12. In Florida there are no charter schools for the differently-abled children. My friends pay $900 a month so their child can go to a school that teaches in a way he understands. He only has ADHD and dyslexia. Think of those who have more serious conditions, how the parents afford all the extras they need for their child. Public education is supposed to be for all children but obviously only being in the category of normal or religious gets children into a charter school. This should definitely be changed to having charter schools for the differently abled.

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    1. I work at a Charter School in Ohio. I think you are misunderstanding a Charter School's role. It is an alternative TO public school not an ALTERNATIVE school. We have have general education classes where we have to differentiate to all of our children's levels from gifted to cognitively disabled. at my school in Cincinnati, our lower grades, k-8 class rooms have 25-32 kids. The high school kids have a much lower student to teacher ratio at 15:1 down to 4:1. This is the biggest advantage when compared to the neighborhood public high school. However, our special education department faces the same challenges as most schools - understaffed, underpaid, under resourced, and overworked.
      This letter from room 307 speaks so articulately for so many of us. No matter what your political beliefs or who you support, the one thing most of us have in common is frustration with a system that doesn't know how to put kids first and trust teachers to help mold kids TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE and WHO THEY WANT TO BE IN THE WORLD. Thank you for writing, I'm sure your kids feel loved! Thank you for being a great teacher!

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  13. That was awesome and so true. I have been in education for 19 years now and have only taught in a Title 1 school in Alabama. It is a difficult job only because we do not get the support needed. DeVos set a new record and support educators. Get us the training for students with special needs and provide the funding. I still do not understand why NBA and NFL players make millions just to play a game and here we are developing lifelong learners that will impact this country and the world.

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  14. "Miniscual"? "Death nail"? I appreciate your message and am no fan at all of Betsy DeVos, but such gaffes in this context do not help substantiate your argument.

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    1. Thank you! I was reading this, thinking, you cannot possible think people will listen to you if you can't spell correctly and speak in complete sentences.

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    2. People listen to Trump, apparently, and I haven't heard him utter a complete sentence nor type out a tweet without a misspelled word yet.

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    3. I also cringed at "death nail", but I believe it might be an issue with accent in spoken word... nail and knell might (I say might because I'm not certain of location) sound identical or very similar depending on your accent. A death knell is the bell that tolled signalling a death, normally by church bells (for those that are interested in the history :P )

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  15. Love that the only thing you can focus on is a misspelled word and the use of a slang word. Death Knell. Nail in coffin.

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  16. For a magna grad and an educator you really ought to proof read. There is no such thing as a death nail.
    Why is the fact that Ms. DeVos is financially well off relevant to the issue of her leadership?

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    1. Well, there are certainly a lot of people who feel Mrs. DeVos bought her Cabinet position with hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign donations. It certainly wasn't her experience or educational qualifications that got her the nomination.

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  17. You lost me at "Yesterday, in a tie-breaking vote, history was made as you were elected the United States Secretary of Education"
    That top notch education clearly didn't teach you how the government works. Cabinet members are APPOINTED not elected.... smdh

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    1. But their appointments still have to be confirmed--by a vote, which ended in a tie that had to be broken by the V.P. You are fighting over semantics.

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  18. This was probably written by someone other an a school teacher. Certainly not Magna Cum Laude! Also, a real teacher would have signed their name. Besides all of that, teachers should be happy that anyone would be willing to be the Secretary of Education. Take a deep breath and let's see what Betsy can do! And stop depending on the Federal Government and look more to your local School Board for what you need.

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    1. You didn't read very carefully. Her name is right up there at the top!

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  19. Thanks for this great letter. Please let us all know if you get a response from Secretary DeVos! I'm hoping she will read it and take it to heart.

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  20. Thanks for the letter . . . but you didn't explain why PUBLIC education. If Secretary DeVos could promise you higher pay and more needs met for your students through a voucher system, would you support that? What she will refuse to understand is how a) governance of our schools by elected school boards are part of what make public education intrinsically valuable to sustaining a democracy, and b) even in a state like mine (Washington) where charter schools are closely regulated and more tied to the public system, they create more burden on the educational infrastructure and thus hurt all students. We need to make public schools the option that all parents prefer . . . please explain that in your next letter! And thank you again.

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  21. I guess you are (you're) not an English teacher?? " My job is hard Mrs. DeVos, as I'm sure your's is too."

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  22. So if the point of this open letter is not about how much money she makes, then why is the author so compelled to bring it up so often? I also get tired of the same old thing I hear so much, I am doing this for the kids, but I am not paid what I am worth. Name any person who says they are paid what they are worth. My guess is that no one will say that. Firefighters, EMT's, Police are some examples of professions that also do not get paid what they are worth. And as far as not having time for family, although it is heartbreaking not being able to see your kids grow up, you are not the only profession that makes family time difficult to fit in. These problems are not a teacher problem, or a police problem or whatever-your-chosen-profession-is problem. It is a societal problem. Too many people expect others to take responsibility for their actions and raise their kids. When you have parents that do not have structure at home and they have little interest in their children's lives,then this is the situation that is being created.

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  23. *miniscule paycheck. Quick friendly edit.... :-)

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  24. Agree with those who have said that this article seems to be about the amount of money teachers make and what a tremendous bargain they are. That's fine. There certainly are plenty of teachers who justify a higher wage but what about those who don't?

    In the current labor arrangement teachers are paid based on length of time in job and are protected from being fired if they are incompetent. How is this a recipe for competence? The article does not touch on this and it is my hope that this will change.

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  25. Awesome post and I hope it gets to Ms. De Vos. I hope the grizzly drills are not too hard to administer amongst the laughter that it will invoke in the kids.... ;-)

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  26. One other question. Why would we pay a P.E. teacher the same as a teacher of calculus?

    Market based mechanisms are needed and Betsy DeVos seems like she recognizes this very basic fact. Not that it will do any good. Everyone has recognized this for decades and nothing ever changes.

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  27. Very well said. You hit the nail right on the head. I'm a special educator in a Title 1 school, and completely understand your worries. Thank you for sharing!

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  28. I didn't read this lengthy letter to completion before I knew what I wanted to share. I do believe the public school system has failed our children. I homeschooled our children for a good portion of their elementary and some high school years. I work in a small school district in SE Miss where my children finished highschool. Our teachers work themselves sick to cover the standards the state requires. Before this they worked themselves happily to prepare all students for the next level. I welcome an interruption to what we have now. One of my closest friends is our Title 1 teacher, this is very dear to my heart. Prayer, prayer, prayer all said.

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    1. The public school system failed your children because all the funds are being diverted to voucher systems and charter schools. That must be nice to have the luxury to "home school" your children. Not everyone can do that.

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  29. Interesting letter. There is a major flaw, IMHO. This teacher's life and experience in the classroom are not going to be affected by Betsy DeVoss in all likelihood. However, her life as a teacher is determined by her state legislature and her school board. That's where she needs to put her energy. I started teaching in 1973. We had the exact same issues then.

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  30. The first sentence confused me. Ms. DeVos was not "elected." She was selected by Pres. Trump and confirmed by the legislature. If you've been in education as many years as I, you'll see that this too shall pass and something or someone else will come around to shake things up. We need shaking up every once in a while so that our students will be at the forefront of our planning, our conversations, and our training. I think everything's going to be okay, but that's just my optimistic view.

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  31. I too, am a public school teacher in the south. I have not one but TWO jobs and that barely keeps my head above water. This is wonderfully written and gives us a voice that we really do need. Like many teachers in my Title 1 school we are fearful of the Trump administration and what the future holds for us as public educators and for our students. We are the profession that creates ALL the professions and we deserve both more respect and a lot more money. Let's all keep praying for our students and for our careers!!

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