GOP Senator Tells DeVos To Send Her Staff To Substitute-Teach To Learn About Public Schools [VIDEO]

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

A Republican senator suggested Tuesday that the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos send her staff to substitute-teach to learn how public education works.

Louisiana GOP Sen. John Neely Kennedy made the recommendation to the Education Secretary during a Senate hearing of the subcommittee responsible for education appropriations, reported The Washington Post.

“A lot of our policymakers don’t understand what our public schools are like today,” Kennedy told DeVos.

He proceeded to suggest that the secretary’s staff members should substitute-teach in urban public schools.

“I don’t mean going in and talking to a civics class about how a bill becomes a law,” the senator said. “I mean signing up as a substitute …. You start at a quarter to 7 and you go to 2:45 ,and you do either bus duty or lunch duty, and it’s you and 25 or 30 kids …. And you’re going to learn some stuff.”

DeVos said she thought it was “a great idea.”

Kennedy’s suggestion did not come entirely out of the blue. The senator substitute-teaches in Louisiana public schools multiple times a year.

“Teachers just don’t have to teach. They have to be mamas or daddies and social workers and psychologists,” the senator explained. “And it’s so much harder being a kid today. These young people are seeing things in the sixth grade that I didn’t even know about until I was in college.”

“I just think a lot of our policymakers have lost sight of that. It’s easy to tell teachers, ‘Well, just maintain discipline in the classroom.’ But in a lot of our schools…violence is common and learning is rare. And it seems to me that is an appropriate place to start.”

Kennedy made the same suggestion to the secretary during a 2017 hearing, at which he also compared school choice to selecting mayonnaise at the grocery store. (RELATED: Two-Thirds Of Voters Support School Choice, Minorities More Likely Than White Americans)

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