Some educators worry Sec. DeVos doesn’t understand Alaskan students
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos continued her tour of Alaska schools with a stop at Anchorage's King Tech High School. She also visited Mat-Su Central School.
Her next stop is Nome, but some educators feel DeVos isn't getting a true picture of what Alaska schools or their students look like.
The 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year Ben Walker says that DeVos, as the face for American public education, should visit schools that reflect American public education.
Walker gives DeVos credit for coming to Alaska. However, he has a problem with the schools she is visiting, saying she is picking and choosing the ones that further her agenda of school choice, which he believes isn’t “equitable or sustainable,” no matter how well-intentioned.
"Just offering an opportunity and saying, ‘We have school choice. You can go to any school you want,’ does not mean everyone is able to go to any school you want," Walker said.
Danielle Riha, the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year, met DeVos in Washington D.C. this spring.
She wants DeVos look deeper at the people in the villages and seek out their commonalities, because rural Alaskans desire the same things for their children as the rest of the country — a quality education that helps them become successful adults.
Both Walker and Riha suggest the secretary visit some of the Anchorage schools that are among the country’s most diverse.
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