A closer look at the D.C. school that DeVos visited: Jefferson Middle


Betsy DeVos didn't see the whole picture:

Jefferson was thrust into the spotlight when DeVos visited Feb. 10 and encountered protesters outside. ­DeVos praised the school that day, but a week later, she told a conservative columnist that she saw teachers in it whose attitudes were “more of a ‘receive mode.’ ”

“They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child,” DeVos said. “You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”

DeVos later sought to clarify: “Your teachers are awesome! They deserve MORE freedom to innovate and help students,” she wrote to the school on Twitter. “Great teachers deserve freedom and flexibility, not to constantly be on the receiving end of government dictates.”

This week, The Washington Post also visited Jefferson, a school facing many academic challenges. Test scores show that less than a fifth of students meet math and reading standards. But the school also has an energy that cannot be captured by standardized exams.

The staff display an all-in attitude to improving the lives of students and families. Students and teachers appear to have a close rapport. Classes seem attentive, with students turning to each other to ask for help.

The whole story can be found at the Washington Post.

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