Report: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticizes ‘sycophants of the system’ at Acton dinner
Religion & Liberty Online

Report: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticizes ‘sycophants of the system’ at Acton dinner

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was warmly welcomed at the Acton Institute’s 27th Annual Dinner on Wednesday night and won applause for her plans to promote innovation and choice in schools.

MLive news reported on the event. “We can amplify the voices of families that only want better for their kids, we can assist states who are working to further empower parents, and we can urge those who haven’t to start,” said DeVos. The “outdated education model” is to blame for the present lack of school choice and it is this “”antiquated approach, which, incidentally, is being imitated today by too many private and parochial schools as well, fails families by forcing them into the same one-size-fits-all box.”

MLive reporter Brian McVicar notes that “DeVos also touched on the status of education” in her home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She said that while the city is home to great schools — both traditional, charter and private — “there are still too many kids in neighborhoods on both sides of the river who don’t have a good option.”

“They are why our work is never done,” she said, adding that all schools need to be challenged to do better.

“I acknowledge change can be scary, particularly for sycophants of the system,” she said. “But we owe it to our children to be fearless, we owe it to them to be undeterred by the loud voices who protect what is.”

The dinner, however, was not without protest. “About two dozen people gathered outside the event, waving signs and chanting against what they described as DeVos’ efforts to undermine public education,” McVicar wrote. While the dinner drew a number of protesters, as seen in the video below, the Acton Institute’s dinner went off without a hitch.


Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.