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Position Statement Regarding the Nomination of Secretary of Education

a blue apple with a green leaf and brown stemThe Board of Directors of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education has issued a statement regarding the nomination of Secretary of Education. The statement includes the Board's beliefs regarding the essential qualifications of any Secretary of Education.

Position Statement Regarding the Nomination of Secretary of Education
Virginia Society for Technology in Education
Board of Directors

We, the Board of Directors of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education, explicitly thank Senator Tim Kaine (D) and Senator Mark Warner (D) for their statements of January 25, 2017 and January 31, 2017, respectively, in which they addressed the appropriate and necessary qualifications for a United States Secretary of Education.

As Senator Kaine said in his statement, three qualifications are essential in any Secretary of Education.

Firstly, an appropriate candidate for Secretary of Education must have a strong track record of being “pro-public schools.” Such a candidate should ideally have been a public school teacher and a public school administrator, and must have demonstrated instructional leadership, educational leadership efficacy, and a consistent and unquestionable support of the importance of quality public schools in every community in America.

Secondly, an appropriate candidate for Secretary of Education must have a strong track record of being “pro-accountability.” Such a candidate should have strong data analysis skills, a robust understanding of assessment philosophy and practices, and be well-versed in current issues facing the education profession regarding curriculum, standards, and the evaluation and reporting of individual student skill mastery.

Thirdly, an appropriate candidate for Secretary of Education must have a clear, abiding commitment to civil rights. Every single student in the United States of America is innately deserving of dignity, personal identity, and equal protection under law. An appropriate Secretary of Education must have special concern, and ideally a strong track record, when it comes to protecting and empowering students with disabilities, students in at-risk categories such as those based on socioeconomic status, and students facing mistreatment.

Our Secretary of Education must be a strong advocate for every child in America, must have a track records as a “champion” for public schools, and must demonstrate an unflagging ability to conceive, articulate, and implement policies that will support both children and public schools without undue private or ideological influence.

As the elected leaders of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s chief educational technology advocacy organization, and as experts in the field of education, the Virginia Society for Technology in Education believes it critical that educational leaders have clearly-expressed, consistently-held commitments to all students in all schools, most especially public schools, and who do not advocate for the wholesale privatization of public education.

We applaud Senators Kaine and Warner for their positions on the post of Secretary of Education, and support their advocating for an appropriate candidate in this and any nominee confirmation process.

Undersigned,
On behalf of the Board of Directors,

 

 

Chairperson
Board of Directors
Virginia Society for Technology in Education

PDF Version of Full Statement: VSTE Statement on Secretary of Education Nomination.

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