Defending Public Education & Opposing DeVos on the Senate Floor
Senator Jon Tester
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Bravo, Senator Tester. There are many citizens of Montana who are equally appalled at the choice of a person with absolutely NO experience and is antagonistic toward public education being promoted to direct the DOE. I can appreciate the sentiments of people who aren’t happy with public education and want the option to send their children elsewhere. What no one seems to realize is that one-size-fits-all standardized education is what is failing their children…and that is NOT the choice of teachers or schools — it is mandated by the federal government.

The former secretary of education (Arne Duncan) sends his children to a progressive school founded by John Dewey 100 years ago. Others who can afford the tuition send their children to schools whose goal is to help each individual develop their unique potential. At the same time, they double down on one-size-fits-all standards and standardized tests for “other people’s children.”

We can and should have “school choice.” But why isn’t that choice available in our public schools? I don’t want my tax money to go outside of public education. I DO want public education to provide equal access to appropriate learning environments that address the needs of all children. Turning the department over to someone who has NO experience in public education is not the answer.

I’ve written to your Republican counterpart…Senator Daines…a number of times and received the standard response that she has “30 years experience in educational policy.” What a crock! If nothing else, any Senator who has received contributions from her (including Senator Daines) should recuse themselves from voting on her confirmation. If that obvious conflict of interest had been addressed, she never would have made it out of the committee hearing!

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