A Connecticut school district is reacting to comments made by the National Education Secretary on Wednesday.
East Hartford Public Schools were discussed during Betsy DeVos during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
During the hearing, DeVos said she met a man named Michael who grew up in East Hartford. According to her remarks, Michael told DeVos that "students really ruled the classroom" at East Hartford High School.
DeVos said Michael told her that he "was constantly bullied, to the point he was afraid to walk the halls alone." Michael described East Hartford High School to DeVos "nothing more than adult day care ... a dangerous daycare."
East Hartford Public Schools said they were "disappointed and puzzled by the characterization of East Hartford Public Schools and teachers made by Secretary DeVos."
“Her depiction of East Hartford Public Schools as a 'dangerous daycare' does not align with the incredible and superhuman efforts I see from our teachers and faculty on a daily basis when I visit our schools. Furthermore, I am concerned that the proposed funding solution would further strip vital resources from kids who need it most," East Hartford Public Schools said in a statement on Thursday.
East Hartford Superintendent of Schools Nathan Quesnel told Eyewitness News "There are no perfect days here in East Hartford but we are a district committed to finding outcomes for kids and giving kids high-quality outcomes so it doesn't align to what we see in our school system at all."
He even made DeVos an offer to visit East Hartford and walk the hallways and see how the public school system is actively working to help all students succeed.
In her remarks, DeVos said Michael was simply being passed from year-to-year and often received Ds in class. She said that "Michael got a diploma, but not an education."
"Michael's story is important, because there are literally millions of students in this country just like him. The system simply passes them along. They are trapped in schools that fail to meet their needs and that fail to unlock their potential. And they don't have a lot of hope for the same second chance Michael was afforded," DeVos said.
East Hartford Public Schools went on to say "that the proposed funding solution would further strip vital resources from kids who need it most."
"We would welcome Secretary DeVos to visit East Hartford, walk our hallways and see how a public school system is actively working to help all kids succeed. We hope this visit could be part of a national conversation about how to best fund and support public education," East Hartford Public Schools said.
To read the full comments by DeVos, click here.
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