Mr. Trump and Ms. DeVos “Parent-Teacher Conference” Grossly Under-represents PUBLIC School Parents
Here is a report on President Trump’s so-called “parent-teacher conference listening session”, pasted from the Politico feed I get each morning:
(Betsy) DeVos attended an education-focused White House event Tuesday during which President Trump decried “failing schools,” particularly in the African-American community, and said his administration wants “every child to have a choice about where they go to school.” But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten questioned whether public school families – including African-American parents – were adequately represented in the event, which was billed as a “parent-teacher conference listening session” and held in the Roosevelt Room. “Trump talked about African-American children. Did he have black parents or educators at his photo op? Not that we saw,” she tweeted.
– In a letter to DeVos after the event, Weingarten wrote that “90 percent of children in America attend public school, including children whose parents voted for Donald Trump. Yet, from what we could discern the president’s first meeting in the White House on education was used as a platform to denigrate – not strengthen – public schools with primarily private and home-schooling educators and parents as a backdrop.” Weingarten invited DeVos to visit public schools.
– The guest-list breakdown: When asked about Weingarten’s comments, a White House spokeswoman released a list of 10 teachers, parents and administrators who attended the event. Three came from public school backgrounds, three from private schools, two represented home-school families, one came from a charter school and the tenth attendee was a president of a “dropout prevention program.” The White House did not immediately respond to a question about the number of African-American attendees.
I continue to be astonished at the current administration’s willingness to ignore public school parents in favor of parents whose children are home schooled or attend private schools. I am also astonished that no one ever calls Mr. Trump or other “reformers” who claim they want every child to have a choice about where they go to school but refuse to promote the notion of allowing children in overcrowded urban areas to attend nearby suburban schools with available space… or- if they insist on providing vouchers- provide large enough vouchers that would enable a poverty stricken parent to send their child to ANY school that they choose. Finally, the glaring lack of African American parents or the parents of immigrants is noteworthy.
During President Obama’s eight years, I felt that the White House was doing everything possible to reinforce the notion that we are the UNITED States of America. During the 28 days of the Trump administration, I fear that unity is all but vanished.