Teachers Trump

When Trump Met with the Teachers of the Year

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“A parent of one of the (Teachers of the Year) said in an email:

“ ‘There was no planning, no care, no water in the hot rooms, and no respect for the families…. One state coordinator who had been working on her job since 1999 said it was a disgrace and the most terrible thing she had witnessed.’ ”

Here’s more of the article in question:

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VALERIE STRAUSS of Washington Post:

“It’s a time-honored tradition: U.S. presidents, every year, take some time to meet the 2017 state Teachers of the Year and single out the national winner. But things went a little differently Wednesday when President Trump welcomed this year’s winners to the White House.

“Usually, the National Teacher of the Year speaks. This year, that didn’t happen.

“Usually, the president spends some time talking with the teachers, giving many of them individual attention. That barely happened Wednesday, according to several participants who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because they said they fear Trump addressing them on Twitter or press secretary Sean Spicer bringing them up at a daily briefing.

“Usually family members join the winners to meet the president. This time few were allowed — and relatives of the teachers, some who had traveled at their own expense for many hours to attend, were left to wait in a building near the White House, with, as one said, ‘no water in the hot rooms.’

“Meanwhile, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, were family members of the teachers, most of whom were not allowed into the ceremony, participants said. Chaffee’s husband and young daughter were kept waiting in a hallway before being allowed to enter the Oval Office, according to participants.

“A state school superintendent had flown to Washington to support the winner of his state, but he wasn’t allowed in either.

“DeVos met with the family members, some of whom were upset, for pictures, according to several participants.

“A parent of one of the teachers said in an email:

“ ‘There was no planning, no care, no water in the hot rooms, and no respect for the families…. One state coordinator who had been working on her job since 1999 said it was a disgrace and the most terrible thing she had witnessed.’

“The event was obviously different from those put on in recent years by other presidents.

“Last year, President Barack Obama hosted a ceremony for the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes from Waterbury, Conn., in the historic East Room of the White House. Pop-music artist Nate Ruess sang some songs; Hayes stood at the podium with Obama and was tasked with introducing him to the crowd; the president then gave a speech praising the teachers and calling for more federal funding for public education.

“Obama then listened to Hayes, a veteran high school history teacher at a high-poverty school, give a speech. She described how her experience as a teen mom who grew up in the projects surrounded by poverty, drugs and violence fueled her passion for teaching.

[Obama honors teachers at the White House]

“Obama had significant ceremonies for the Teachers of the Years during his tenure, and Vice-President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, sometimes hosted the teachers in their residence before the White House event.

“President George W. Bush spent time with the winning teachers too. In 2004, for example, he hosted the Teachers of the Year at a seated ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, where first lady Laura Bush spoke first and then the president gave a speech, noting:

” ‘Every President since Harry Truman has presented this award — Teacher of the Year Award. And there’s a good reason for that. When you’re in the company of some of the nation’s finest citizens, our greatest teachers, you’re in the company of people who give their hearts and their careers to improving the lives of children. You’re in the company of the best of our country.’

“Bush recognized Teacher of the Year Kathy Mellor from Rhode Island, who then spoke while the two Bushes and the rest of the crowd listened.

“This year, Trump angered many teachers by proposing a 14 percent budget cut to the Education Department. Many also are skeptical of his education secretary, DeVos, a longtime advocate of private school vouchers. During his inaugural address in January, Trump characterized public education as a ‘system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge.’

“This system, he said, was part of an ‘American carnage’ that he pledged to stop.”

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