COLORADO SPRINGS — Less than a month after President Donald Trump gave the commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy- a member of his administration made a visit to Colorado Springs.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a speech at an invitation-only luncheon at the James Irwin Charter Academy to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the group “Parents Challenge,” which aims to encourage parents to utilize school choice.
Outside the campus along Powers Boulevard, dozens of teachers from across the state- some traveling from the Western Slope and the Northwest corner protested the secretary’s visit.
“She did not attend public school, her children do not attend public school, she has no background in public schools, she’s trying to privatize them, she’s pushing toward charter schools,” Chris Christoff said, a teacher in Denver Public Schools who traveled to protest on Wednesday.
DeVos is a proponent of school choice, or as she noted during Wednesday’s event, “education freedom.” “I like education freedom because it opens up our vision about education can be beyond buildings,” DeVos told the crowd. Adding that school choice is the same thing.
Teachers protesting outside Wednesday’s event say DeVos’ is moving towards a model that privatizes education.
“It feels like the teaching profession is being de-professionalized,” Christoff said.