U.S. Department of Education blocks delivery of failing grade for Betsy DeVos
The U.S. Department of Education this week locked out teachers union representatives attempting to deliver "report cards" to the Washington, D.C., headquarters. The Washington Post reports that union presidents Randi Weingarten, leader of the American Federation of Teachers, and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, attempted Thursday to deliver over 80,000 report cards filled out by teachers and paraprofessionals commenting on Betsy DeVos' first year in office. They gave DeVos a failing grade.
The department confirmed that doors to the headquarters, which are normally open 24 hours a day, were locked for about 1 ½ hours Thursday due to protestors, the Washington Post reports.
The Hill reports that the groups were blocked from entering because they did not have an appointment.
LOCKED OUT!!!!We just tried to deliver 80k #Comments4Betsy to @usedgov . We told them we were coming. We asked for an appointment. Instead they locked out educators, parents and students - @BetsyDeVosED refusing to even accept the comments much less read or respond to them. pic.twitter.com/9eIC9ul62p— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) February 8, 2018
"We told DeVos we were coming," Weingarten said in a statement. "We asked for an appointment. We had 80,000 comments from teachers, students and parents who just want to be heard and want DeVos to do her job to strengthen and support the great work happening in public schools across the country. She chose once again to reject and ignore the voices of those who educate in, learn in and send their kids to public schools—the schools that 90 percent of America's children attend."
DeVos' press secretary, Liz Hill, said that the building security staff followed standard protocol to secure the building, Politico reports.
"It's unfortunate that instead of working to have productive dialogue, the union decided it was important to pull teachers out of the classroom for a two hour political publicity stunt — for which they shot their own footage to send to media outlets," Hill said, according to Politico.
Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.