VAN WERT – On Thursday, April 20, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will tour public schools in Van Wert. The visit comes in response to Weingarten’s challenge to DeVos to visit a great public school system and engage with teachers, parents, students and the community about what is working in their public schools and what they need in order to strengthen them.

Weingarten, DeVos, local union leaders and school officials will have roundtable discussions with pre-K, early childhood and special education teachers and staff. They will tour classrooms; hear presentations from students in robotics and engineering classes, as part of the district’s project-based learning focus; and discuss Van Wert’s public schools with teachers, students, parents and the community.

Van Wert, a rural district in northwest Ohio, exemplifies many of the strategies Weingarten outlined in a speech earlier this year on building great neighborhood public school systems, according to the AFT. "These strategies include promoting children’s well-being, engaging in powerful learning, building teacher capacity, and fostering cultures of collaboration; they stand in contrast to the massive budget cuts and privatization efforts being pushed by the Trump administration."


School Visits, Discussions

WHAT: School visits, conversations with teachers, students, parents, school officials

WHO:       Randi Weingarten, AFT president

                 Betsy DeVos, secretary of education

                 Jeff Hood, Van Wert Federation of Teachers president

                 Melissa Cropper, Ohio Federation of Teachers president

                 Paolo DeMaria, Ohio state superintendent

                 Ken Amstutz, Van Wert superintendent

WHERE:            Van Wert schools, Van Wert, Ohio

WHEN:            Thursday, April 20 11 a.m.-3 p.m.