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Pres-Elect Biden: It’s Time for a Career K12 Teacher as US Ed Sec.

November 7, 2020

It’s November 07, 2020, and Joe Biden is president-elect.

Joe Biden

That means extreme right-wing, pro-private-school-voucher, anti-public school billionaire, US ed sec Betsy DeVos will hit the US Department of Ed exit doors by January 2021.

Betsy DeVos

In September 2020, DeVos told state education chiefs not to bother about requesting federally-required testing waivers during a 2020-21 school year steeped in pandemic chaos.

And now, she will be out before 2021 spring testing, and that is fabulous news.

But who will replace her?

It is about time for someone with seasoned K12 classroom experience to hold that position. Not someone with ladder-climbing, token K12 classroom experience. Not someone who is a basketball playing pal of his buddy, the president (aka Arne Duncan). And not someone who is an activist for private schools and who admitted publicly to “not intentionally visiting schools that are underperforming” (that, of course, would be DeVos).

I am tired of being tossed to and fro by ill-conceived education platforms that chain America’s education be-all, end-all to standardized test scores. And that is why I believe a seasoned K12 classroom teacher needs to be the next US ed sec: A seasoned K12 classroom teacher knows the sting of the idiocy of standardized testing firsthand. The foolishness of trying to gauge the value of American education via test score is not an intellectual exercise to a seasoned K12 classroom teacher. It is not theoretical. It is not removed. It is a frustrating reality stretching across school years and decades.

The genuine, career K12 classroom teacher knows firsthand the stupidity of wasting time, money, and personnel pretending that grading schools and teachers using standardized tests somehow informs teachers, parents, and the public about the quality of the multifaceted educational life of a school and its students.

We need to break free of this testing prison, and we need an experienced K12 classroom advocate in our US secretary of education. Not an ideologue. Not a dictator. Not a politician. Not even a higher-ed academic.

An advocate. With. Career. K12. Experience.

Someone who can help the president and Congress understand that what may sound good (i.e., accountability through test score) has actually been a decades-long, waste of resources and a practical dead end.

I’ve asked before, and I’m asking again:

Joe Biden, let our next US ed sec be a career K12 classroom teacher.

I look forward to Biden’s answer in the upcoming weeks as he plans and announces his cabinet.


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  1. Please make a few suggestions. One name thrown out there is Julian Vasquez Heilig. Any others?

    • I don’t want to make suggestions other than the person have career K12 classroom experience.

      • While that is very gracious of you, you have a voice, a voice that needs to be heard in this matter. Please use it.

      • I am using it as I see fit.

  2. Danny permalink

    I nominate you Mercedes! Go for it. You’re the right one at the right time.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider to Biden: Please Choose a Real Teacher for Secretary of Education | Diane Ravitch's blog

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