Indiana Rep. Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Thursday, asking for DeVos to hire more educators on her staff.
Wright’s letter asks DeVos to hire a deputy secretary with extensive experience in public schools. She says this request follows up on concerns expressed during Betsy Devos’ confirmation hearing: Devos has no experience in public education, which she now oversees.
Wright says she respects that the president can appoint anyone he wants, and she can’t change the confirmation. But she does hope DeVos will add an educator to her staff.
“I think it’s important that we harness the energy of our educators, our teachers, our teacher leaders, our building principals, and our superintendents,” Wright says. “Because they are on the front lines of how we are battling poverty, and in some ways the addiction issue.”
In her letter, Wright said the public education climate is changing dramatically, and it is vital to have high-level input from someone who works in public education:
The implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act will necessitate a decision maker with a firm grasp of problems facing public schools. As schools move from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act to those of the Every Student Succeeds Act, having a close associate with public education experience will help ensure a smooth transition.
Furthermore, the world of public education policy is rapidly changing. There is an increasingly serious challenge to the traditional model of public education for all. As such, it will be vital to seek policy guidance from representatives of various views, including those that have supported public education throughout their career.
Wright is a dance, physical education and music teacher in Daleville and represents parts of Madison and Delaware counties for the state House of Representatives.