Joe Biden told members of the nation’s largest teacher union during a virtual event that his profession is “the most important” in the United States.
On Friday, the same day that Donald Trump said America’s public schools teach students to “hate their own country,” Biden addressed members of the National Education Association at its annual Representative Assembly and responded some questions while detailing his vision of education.
“You are, and I’m not kidding about this, you are the most important profession in the United States,” said Biden. “You are the ones who give wings to these children. You give them confidence. You let them believe in themselves. You equip them.
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“And I promise you will never find a president in America’s history who focuses more on teachers and who supports them more than I do.”
Mr. Biden noted that his wife, Jill Biden, is a veteran educator and member of the National Association for Education, and that her late first wife was also a teacher. He promised to appoint an educator as education secretary to replace Betsy DeVos, Trump’s controversial election.
Biden’s tone and opinion on public education contrasted with Trump’s, who said in his Friday speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota that public schools are teaching children to “hate our country” with a ” extreme left fascism that demands absolute loyalty. ”
Trump, in a coup in public schools and teachers, said: “Against all the laws of society and nature, our children are taught at school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who they built it they weren’t heroes, they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies, every perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition. ”
Joe Biden was vice president for two terms during the Obama administration, whose Department of Education pushed a school agenda that included using high-scoring standardized student test scores to evaluate teachers, expanding charter schools. and the Common Core State Standards.
Although the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) had supported Obama in the 2008 and 2012 general elections, they turned on Arne Duncan, Obama’s longtime education secretary, for what they said were policies that hurt asked the teachers and NEA to resign in 2014.
Biden was never at the forefront of Obama’s educational agenda, but Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teacher union, said that when the AFT didn’t get along with the Obama administration, Biden was “our north star” and our “favorite boy who always listened to us”.
Biden has said that as president he would triple federal funds for high-poverty schools, increase teacher salaries, and ban charter for-profit schools. It has also voiced its opposition to standardized testing.
At the NEA event, Mr. Biden said it was time for teachers to have more control over what is happening in the classroom. “You should have more information about what you teach, how you teach it, and when you teach it,” he said. “You are the ones in the classroom. You should have more information.
The alleged Democratic nominee was praised at the event by Lily Eskelsen García, who was elected president of NEA, the country’s largest labor union, in 2014 and is about to resign.
“As President of the United States, Joe Biden will fire Betsy DeVos on his first day in office, replacing her with an education secretary who comes from a public school classroom and believes that educators should be essential partners in developing an educational policy, “said Eskelsen. Garcia said in a press release.
“It will work to dismantle systemic racism that prevents too many Native Americans, Blacks, and Hispanic Americans from reaching their full potential, while building an economy that works for all Americans.”
The Washington Post