U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' Prepared Remarks at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference
Thank you for that warm welcome. I always love the energy and enthusiasm CPAC
brings together every year.
Betsy DeVos. You may have heard some of the “wonderful” things the mainstream
media has called me lately. I, however, pride myself on being called a mother,
a grandmother, a life partner, and perhaps the first person to tell Bernie
Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
media has had its fun with me, and that’s OK.
job isn’t to win a popularity contest with the media or the education
establishment here in Washington. My job as Secretary of Education is to make
education work for students.
today, we know the system is failing too many kids.
our nation’s test scores have flatlined.
1.3 million children drop out of school every year.
the previous administration spent seven billion of your dollars on “School
Improvement Grants,” thinking they could demonstrate that money alone would
solve the problem. Yet their own report,
issued as they walked out the door, showed that it had zero impact on student outcomes and performance.
tested their model, and it failed… miserably.
is not an indictment of teachers. We all know good public school teachers. My
mom was one. Good teachers make a real difference. Good teachers deserve to be honored and compensated accordingly.
the education establishment has been blocking the doorway to reforms, fixes and
improvements for a generation.
not a Left or Right issue. This is an American issue. We need education to work
for every child.
me ask you: Do you believe parents should be able to choose the best school for
their child regardless of their ZIP code or family income?
Me too. And so does President Trump.
have a unique window of opportunity to make school choice a reality for millions
of families. Both the President and I believe that providing an equal
opportunity for a quality education is an imperative that all students deserve.
Now let me ask you: How many of you are
fight against the education establishment extends to you too. The faculty, from
adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more
ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, you’re a
threat to the university community. But the real threat is silencing the First
Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.
Secretary, I don’t think the Department of Education in Washington should have
more power over your decisions than you do. I took this job because I want to
return power in education back to where it belongs: with parents, communities,
can do this, but only with your help.
of the status quo will stop at nothing to protect their special interests and their
gig. So we need you to engage, to be loud and to never stop fighting for what
we believe. We need you to call, write, email, Tweet and Snap every politician
who thinks the status quo is ok and that they know better than you when it
comes to your education.
we can make American education great again. The next generation deserves no
thank you, and I look forward to fighting alongside you.