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Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on DeVos’s Attack on East Hartford Public Schools

Betsy DeVos’s attack on East Hartford Public Schools is alarming, demoralizing, and unwarranted—but not unexpected from a woman who is totally unqualified and unfit to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, representing the nation’s public education system.

In an attempt to undermine public education in our country and push her privatization policies, she continues to insult the millions of professional educators who dedicate their lives to teaching and empowering students.

We know that East Hartford teachers are passionate professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping their students succeed, and we will not stand for baseless attacks against them or any other educators providing students with the support, attention, and instruction they need to succeed.


My colleagues are some of the most dedicated and hardest-working teachers you will ever meet. It is demoralizing for our teachers and our community to be subjected to this undeserved attack—especially by someone with no experience in public education who wants to privatize our schools and strip $10.6 billion in funding from public education, taking precious resources from students who need them most.

Rather than criticize what she doesn’t know, DeVos should focus her attention on providing our schools with the education funding so desperately needed to ensure our teachers have the resources they need to help our students succeed. DeVos represents the opposite of what we know leads to student success: well-resourced public schools and community support services, such as health care and after-school programs, that address the needs of the whole child.

We invite DeVos to visit an East Hartford classroom so she can witness for herself the exceptional work of our teachers and students.

  1. Mark DiBiasio #

    As President of the teachers in Farmington Ct I am shocked by the comments made by Mrs Devos. We get it, you want to offer charters throughout the country and undermine the great programs that are being done in our schools. That is your destiny not the destiny of all the terrific public school teachers that give 150% effort each day with programs you seem to have no knowledge of. Keep your divisive,unproven facts to yourself and get out there to East Hartford and see for yourself that your unfounded statements are meaningless. We are proud to stand next to the teachers in East Hartford in support of all they do daily

    May 30, 2017
  2. Lloyd W Stableford #

    As a former Westport career teacher, I have always maintained that those who teach in city/inner city schools have the toughest assignment, an assignment that we in the suburban districts rarely face, if at all. The vast array of students, the varying needs that have to be met, the financial shortages, the spotty support of parents and even administrators all have an impact on the classroom teacher. Kudos should be directed at the amazing job that is brought to the fore each and everyday!

    May 28, 2017
  3. Mary Anne Bojko #

    East Hartford teachers work harder than any district I know. I taught in East Hartford for 26 years. The system is second to none. Everyone knows that Betsy Devos is not qualified for the job. That is why I think we should ignore her and not make a media frenzy out of this. Why give her the time of day? Why do we have to defend ourselves from someone we have already discounted? Let’s not play into the politics.

    May 26, 2017
  4. Linda #

    Plenty of local politicians, including our governor, have been bashing our schools and degrading our teachers, especially in the cities, for years now. Let’s not forget their disdain for our profession and schools.

    May 26, 2017
  5. Thank you for the defense of our colleagues in East Hartford. I am afraid that CT has a big target on its back with the new administration. We need to let DeVos and others know that CT will not become another casualty of education mal-reform. Thank you Sheila and Annie.

    May 26, 2017

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