Information courtesy of the American Federation of Teachers

VAN WERT — On Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will tour public schools in Van Wert, Ohio.

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. 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.