In the past few days, I have received countless correspondence from every online vendor I have ever purchased anything from—the gym, doctor’s office, restaurants, stores. Each one of them taking the time to tell me, their customer, what their plan is for safety and the closures associated with the coronavirus. Each message explained when they will be closing and supports they will have available to the community and offered reassurance that we are all in this together.
This is not something I ever expected from those businesses, but I do expect this from my government and, more specifically, the U.S. Department of Education.
Please correct me if I am wrong—because this is a time I want to be wrong. But where is the U.S. Department of Education and the Secretary of Education during all of this?
Has Secretary DeVos made a statement to the public that I missed? I do not expect the Department of Education to have all of the answers or even a solution—I just want them to say something.
Where is Secretary DeVos when we need her most? She offered no official statement, message, press briefing or even a tweet reassuring the American public that the U.S Department of Education is working to support U.S. schools—until late last week after the U.S. Senate put on the pressure.
Did I miss a link with resources for families and schools to help them support children at home academically? Is there guidance for seniors hoping to graduate in a few months?
Regardless, on the first and most certainly not the last day of the quarantine in Maryland, teachers, administrators and schools were busy doing everything they could for their students and communities.
Many showed up to work on Monday and learned how to become a virtual school overnight.
Educators were sharing on social media ways to help overwhelmed parents as best they can from afar.
Most importantly, those in education are doing what they always do and will always continue to do: No matter what happens, they will be there for their students and their families. I wish I could say the same about Secretary DeVos.
Educators will always shoulder what is troubling the nation, especially for the students in their schools. This burden might not weigh as heavily on them if they had the support of the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Kara Ball is the 2018 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year finalist. She works as the Elementary Science/ STEM Education Specialist in Maryland.
Kara believes students should have opportunities to demonstrate their understanding through real-world experiences that brings learning to life. Every lesson she teaches is embedded with ...