First, let me congratulate you on your win today.
Second, let me say I was a very vocal opponent to your nomination, as I truly believe someone with public education background and experience should be leading the U. S. Department of Education. In fact, if you look at my previous posts, I actually appealed to President Trump to consider me for the position, though I never did actually hear back despite my letters, emails, and tweets. But - now that a decision is made, it is time to put aside differences and focus on educating students. I am hoping you can do the same and rise above and prove all your naysayers wrong.
That said, now that you are indeed our new Secretary of Education, I feel it is important that you at least surround yourself with support staff that are familiar with, and who have actually worked in, public education to provide a full perspective for policy decisions. I believe I can be a beneficial presence on your education team and, despite our many differing opinions in regards to public education, you and I do have some common ground and I believe your position will require much compromise and understanding of multiple viewpoints.
I am sure you realize how much opposition from both sides of the political fence there was to your nomination, particularly among educators, education leaders, parents and students.This means you will have an uphill battle when considering some education policy changes. It will be incredibly important for you to choose your support staff wisely and ensure that there are those among your staff that do, in fact, represent public education and have been a part of the public education system. This will satisfy your opponents and ensure that education policy is upheld, that there is due diligence when considering funding or defunding of programs, and that you have voices from all sides to ensure education equity and access for all students.
I am a former public school teacher, administrator, and current higher education professor. I went to public schools, received all my degrees from public universities, have worked in the public school environment for over 28 years. I am a parent of two daughters who went to public schools and public universities. I worked in the education publishing and technology sector, supporting both private and public schools, and am familiar with education policy from personal, professional, and business perspectives. I am a strong advocate of public education, and as an independent consultant currently, I work with publishers and school districts supporting teachers and students with technology, standards, and pedagogy. I believe you need someone like me on your team to provide insight, advice, and advocacy.
While I know I campaigned against your nomination, in part because of my strong belief in equity for all students and belief that an actual educator should lead the department, I think it would be important to include on your team someone like me. You need staff with differing opinions and voice, even those who opposed you. This is what our democracy is about - we may have different opinions, but in the end, we all need to stand together and support what is right for the diverse country that is America. This is especially true in our public schools. It will be important to show to your opponents that you are willing to listen and consider education policy carefully, and that indeed, all students are being served by the Department of Education. I believe I would be a beneficial member of your team and would love the opportunity to discuss any possible positions with you as soon as you get settled into your new position.
Again, congratulations. I look forward to hearing from you. I have sent my resume to your Betsy DeVos email on your website, and sincerely hope I hear from you, as I want to be a part of making American education better and stronger than it already is. There are definite challenges and areas that need change and improvement so that public education truly does support and educate all students.
Dr. Karen Greenhaus