Connecticut teachers union fires back at Betsy DeVos for ‘adult day care’ response

A Connecticut community fired back at the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday after she called a high school in the district, “nothing more than an adult day care” during a budget hearing last week.

Students and parents, together with the East Hartford Education Association teachers union, gathered outside East Hartford High and singing, “DeVos is wrong! East Hartford strong!”, the Hartford Courant reported.

“Betsy DeVos in the war with the wrong district,” union president Annie Irvine said during the rally.

Last week, DeVos critique on the secondary school said a former student, named Michael, described in “a dangerous day care.” The education minister spoke at a budget hearing before a House appropriations subcommittee last week.

“Michael described a school where the students were the real, the leadership of the class, and they would be impossible for the teacher to teach,” DeVos said during her testimony.


Some parents and teachers argued that DeVos’ comments were “inexcusable.”

“We are here this morning because we can’t ignore the inexcusable and unforgivable attacks against our public schools and our students. Betsy DeVos is not aware of an attack on East Hartford Public Schools is reckless, it is irresponsible,” Sheila Cohan, the president of the Connecticut Education Association, said in a statement on the group’s website.

The Ministry of Education Press Secretary Liz Hill said in a statement to that DeVos’ testimony showed the problems a student faces in high school.


“The Secretary of the focus is on the individual pupils and ensure that they each have access to a high-quality education that meets their needs. In her testimony, she passed a single student experience and uses his own words to describe the difficult circumstances that he was in high school. He was, like so many other students around the country, that are needed another option, but not one of them,” the statement read.

“For anyone to claim that Michael’s own story should be generalized to the broader student population is a symptom of the” one-size-fits-all status quo, that too many continue to seek to defend it. Michael is an individual student with an individual story to tell. He was able to rise above what he considers challenging circumstances and go on to excel academically. We should applaud students like him.”

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