PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Felicia Wong, the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, explained her organization’s opposition to Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, stems from her unwillingness to commit to more fully integrating the nation’s public schools.
Wong, while speaking to Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said DeVos seems tone deaf to their concerns regarding the segregation that still exists in schools.
“Betsy DeVos is part of a larger problem and what I’m really focused on, and a number of us are really focused on, is not just her basic competence and not just the fact the her experience is almost exclusively with private and or Christian schools, but what that really means underneath is the fact that many, many, many schools in our country today are increasingly racially segregated. I think there is a track record of racial segregation that’s connected to both private and public institutions. I’m very concerned that Mrs. DeVos would not address those issues.”
She stated the issues surrounding integration of our schools should be debated as prominently as more common areas of concern like funding, teacher quality and school choice.
“I definitely understand the desire that individual parents have to choose schools for their kids. I definitely understand the desire for charter schools or for vouchers but I think the answer to that is to improve public education, in part, with increased funding for public education and, in part, and this is the really hard part, because we spend a lot of time talking about money in public schools and teacher quality, which is, of course, critically important, but one of the things research shows you have to address, if you’re going to really develop high quality public schools, is schools that are racially integrated. That’s important for a whole lot of reasons. It’s been important for 50 years.”