Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 18
rights and a special Ploughshare
and Anvil trophy.
The secretary didn't take sides-
she sat with the home team Eastern
Hancock Royals for half the game,
and then switched to the visiting
Knightstown Panthers. (Royals won.)
Out by the field before the game,
DeVos shook hands and took selfies
with students, one of whom asked
her if she knew the president. ("I do,"
the secretary said. "He's very nice.").
Her husband, Dick DeVos, whose
family owns the Amway multi-level
marketing corporation, slipped a
"nice" donation to a group of 5th
graders selling pumpkin pies and
baggies of cookies to raise money
to fix-up the basketball court, one
James Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, was pretty jazzed
about DeVos' stop, tweeting that the
secretary was going to see "Indiana
Friday Night Lights. She will love it!"
Scenes From DeVos'
'Rethink School' Tour
Education secretary makes a six-state visit
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy
DeVos' recent tour to "Rethink
School" by shining a spotlight on
promising, outside-the-box educational approaches took her to Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas,
Missouri, and, finally, Indiana,
where she met with students recovering from drug addiction and
chowed down on pork and beans at
In DeVos' view, education hasn't
changed much over the past five
decades or so. That's left many kids
stuck in a "mundane malaise," she
said in a speech to elementary school
students at her first stop on the tour
at the Woods Learning Center, a
teacher-lead school in Casper, Wyo.
But DeVos also said at a Sept. 14
roundtable here at Hope Academy, a
charter school for students recovering from addiction, that she thinks
there are some schools operating
in a "wide-range of settings [using]
unique and creative ways to really
meet students where they are at."
Francie Wilcox, a student at Hope
Academy, told the secretary that she
started drinking when she was 12,
and quickly progressed to LSD, marijuana, and more. She bounced from
rehab program to rehab program in
the Savannah, Ga., area.
"She was burning bridges all
over town," her mother, Mary Anne
Wilcox, said at the event. "Several
schools did not want her to return."
Wilcox was told her daughter
might fare better at a pricey private,
long-term treatment center and
boarding school. But that was out of
the family's financial reach. When
the Wilcoxes heard about Hope
Academy, which doesn't charge tuition, they picked up and moved all
the way to Indianapolis.
Now Francie is away from the
kids she hung around with when
she was using. She's surrounded by
classmates who know firsthand how
tough it can be to beat a drug habit.
Her grades have improved, although
she said she still struggles in math.
"So many people in the world, they
just think of children who use drugs
as 'they're bad kids, they're bad behaviorally, and not worth it, and just bring
problems to the school,' " Mary Anne
Wilcox said. "The reason we had to
come here is you get to the point where
you just want to make sure your child
lives, and possibly graduates from
high school and [has] a life."
Hope Academy, which is located on
the campus of the Fairbanks Addiction Treatment Center, is one of just
about three dozen so-called "recovery" high schools nationwide. Some
of its graduates have returned to
work at the school, serving as peermentors to current students.
Students, who must be participating in a 12-step program in order
to enroll, are reminded on bulletin
boards to embrace things like selfrespect and strength, and leave anxiety and self-harm behind. During
the roundtable, parents, students,
graduates, and teachers all had one
message for DeVos: We need more
schools like this.
The secretary wasn't specific about
what steps she would take to make
that happen. But she had warm
words for the school.
18 | EDUCATION WEEK | October 4, 2017 | www.edweek.org
Eric Gregory/The Journal-Star via AP
By Alyson Klein
"I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to be here to meet you,"
she told the students and staff. "I
take this as another really excellent
example of schools that are specifically meeting the needs of students
where they are at."
DeVos finished her day in Indiana
by chatting with teachers and students over a pulled pork sandwich,
made with meat Eastern Hancock
High School students roasted themselves on a giant spit for hours, including through overnight shifts.
The school's annual pork roast is
a fundraiser, and the long-standing
opening act before the football game
between Eastern Hancock and its
long-time rival Knightstown High
School. The winner gets bragging
FROM TOP: U.S. Secretary of
Education Betsy DeVos
cheers with Eastern Hancock
students during a high school
football game between
Eastern Hancock and
DeVos reads to
visiting St. Mary's Catholic
School in Lincoln, Neb.
But some in the school community
were less enthusiastic.
Kim Lowe, who has taught at
Eastern Hancock Elementary for
more than three decades, said she
was glad to see the secretary make it
to the rural district, whose elementary, middle, and high schools are all
housed in one building.
She wishes, though, that someone
was running the department who
had a better idea of "what goes on
day-to-day" in schools like hers.
And an elementary school teacher,
who declined to give her name, was
disappointed that DeVos had spent
her day at charter schools in the
state and didn't leave time to see the
great instruction at Eastern Hancock Elementary.
Another teacher echoed those views.
"I'm a big fan of public education,"
said Dana Anderson, a 5th grade
teacher. She pointed to the families
who came out in droves for the game.
"I can't imagine a charter school
that has a community like this."
Outside Hope Academy, at a demonstration featuring just two protestors, Krisztina Inskeep, a former
teacher and the mother of a transgender son, held up a homemade
sign saying "Sec. DeVos: Stand Up
for Trans Students."
"They are not a threat to anyone,
they are just kids and they deserve
the same safe schools that all of our
children deserve," said Inskeep, who
founded a local group for parents
of transgender children under 12.
"And we want Secretary DeVos to
stand up against discrimination. ...
I haven't heard her say she'd step in
and stand up for [transgender kids].
She equivocates on that point."
The tour also presented a political
opportunity for local candidates who
oppose vouchers and charter schools.
Jane Raybould, a Democrat running
for Senate in Nebraska, where DeVos
visited a public school that shares a
campus with the local zoo, fired off
a widely circulated email filled with
harsh words for the secretary.
"Nebraska's schools are already
world class, so why would Education
Secretary Betsy DeVos want to rethink them?" asked Raybould.
So do the protests get to DeVos?
"It doesn't bother me," the secretary
said in an interview.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 4, 2017
Education Week - October 2, 2017
States Are Making It Easier To Transfer Teacher Licenses
Union Fees Again Reach High Court
Education Advisers Say White House Has Ignored Them
News in Brief
Independent Charters Aim to Elevate Their Status
In Devastated Puerto Rico, Reopening of Schools Is Far Off
Are Selectivity and Diversity Competing Goals for Teaching?
Teachers Found to Miss More Work In Regular Schools Than in Charters
Math, Reading Hurdles Drawing Joint Scrutiny
Growing Numbers of States Embrace Career Education
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: From Theory to Practice, Hurdles for Personalized Learning
New SAT Results Hard to Gauge
K-12 Budget Woes Dog States As School Year Advances
DeVos Expounds on Policy In One-on-One Interview
DeVos Gives Schools Options On Handling of Sexual Assault
Watch List: High Court, 2017-18 Term
Scenes From DeVos’ ‘Rethink School’ Tour
State ESSA Plans: One-Stop Guide
Arts Education: A Look Ahead Researchers, professors, and practitioners make their case for the future of the discipline
Susan Riley: The ‘A’ in STEAM Completes the Puzzle
Jay P. Greene: Arts Integration Is a Sucker’s Game
Howard Gardner & Ellen Winner: We Still Have So Much More to Learn
Emily Gasoi & Sonya Robbins Hoffmann: For the Future, Arts Assessment Is Indispensable
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Mariale Hardiman: Asking the Right Questions for a Creative Future
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Education Advisers Say White House Has Ignored Them
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 2
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 3
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Report Roundup
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 5
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Independent Charters Aim to Elevate Their Status
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - In Devastated Puerto Rico, Reopening of Schools Is Far Off
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Teachers Found to Miss More Work In Regular Schools Than in Charters
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Math, Reading Hurdles Drawing Joint Scrutiny
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Growing Numbers of States Embrace Career Education
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: From Theory to Practice, Hurdles for Personalized Learning
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - New SAT Results Hard to Gauge
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 13
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - DeVos Expounds on Policy In One-on-One Interview
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - DeVos Gives Schools Options On Handling of Sexual Assault
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Watch List: High Court, 2017-18 Term
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 17
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Scenes From DeVos’ ‘Rethink School’ Tour
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 19
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - State ESSA Plans: One-Stop Guide
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 21
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Susan Riley: The ‘A’ in STEAM Completes the Puzzle
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Jay P. Greene: Arts Integration Is a Sucker’s Game
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Emily Gasoi & Sonya Robbins Hoffmann: For the Future, Arts Assessment Is Indispensable
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Letters
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 27
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - Mariale Hardiman: Asking the Right Questions for a Creative Future
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - CW1
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - CW2
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - CW3
Education Week - October 4, 2017 - CW4