Local Administrators, Teacher React to DeVos as U.S. Education S - KOAM TV 7

Local Administrators, Teacher React to DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary


Betsy DeVos becoming U.S. Education secretary has many outraged and others pleased.

A Galena government teacher  echoes comments  shared  about the  new secretary of education on social media..

Ryan Byrd said, "I don’t think she was the most qualified  person to lead public education in the United States."

The superintendent at College Heights Christian school doesn’t believe DeVos needed specifically public education experience.
Nelson Horton said, "I think she was  somewhat mistreated by the press and her opponents and I think we should have an open mind, give her an opportunity. She has been successful in a lot of areas in life."

Galena and Joplin superintendents like that DeVos is for more local control in education. But De Vos is also known for supporting charter schools and vouchers.

Horton likes that aspect of DeVos "I think it (vouchers) would be a real help for a lot of people who would like to put their kids in a private  school. We have a lot of parents that struggle to pay the tuition and they sacrifice greatly. I think parental choice is a good thing.:

Byrd argued against vouchers. He said,  "Taking  money from publicly funded organizations such as public schools, that could be hurtful to school districts, to teachers to principals and our nation as a whole."

Smith doesn’t agree with the gloom and doom comments on social media but is guarded. He said, "I don’t know if it’s the end of public education. I do think there’s a push and a belief by some  to eliminate public education, to  privatize it."

With vouchers and charter schools, the money follows the students
The  Missouri coordinator said  charter schools must be attached to a public school district and currently only exist in St. Louis and Kansas City in the state.

John Robertson the charter schools coordinator for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or DESE explained the criteria. "If they're (students)  in an unaccredited district that parents may want to send their kids somewhere else.” And on the law allowing charter schools he said, “It was the legislative remedy to failing districts but some would argue against that. "

Teacher Byrd said another problem for him was the nomination process and the vote. He said they are not a great example of how our government is supposed to work.

Byrd explained, "Constituents all across the nation voiced their concerns to their legislators. And many constituents believe now there's been a confirmation,  that those legislators did not do a good job of listening  to their constituents."

Joplin interim superintendent Norm Ridder says there are lots of unknowns with DeVos but the new education law known as ESSA diminishes the power of the education secretary. He considers that a good thing along with more state and local control.

Byrd argued parents do have choice now to go to private or public and even amongst public schools.

Kansas offers open enrollment allowing parents to choose between public schools with the money following the student. But that's not the case with Missouri where students attend schools based on residence.

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