Rise & Shine: Betsy DeVos is only touring private religious schools during her first trip to NYC

Good morning from JFK Terminal 5!

By the time you read this, Chalkbeat New York will hopefully have landed in Los Angeles for the national Education Writers Association conference. But for now, your humble Rise & Shine scribes are trapped in an endless weather delay — leaving us plenty of time to chew over Betsy DeVos' first visit to New York City since becoming the nation's top education official.

After initially refusing to publicly announce her visit, DeVos made her way to a private Jewish girls high school on the Upper East Side on Tuesday.

The visit certainly fits within DeVos' efforts to tout school choice. But, in another sense, the visit is a little strange: Some of the city's Orthodox Jewish schools, known as yeshivas, have come under scrutiny for failing to offer students basic instruction in subjects like reading, math, and science. DeVos' visit has already drawn attention to that controversy. And some of the country's highest performing charter networks — arguably strong examples of school choice — have a big presence in New York City and may have made for less controversial school visits.

DeVos does not appear to be stopping by any public schools during her visit — district or charter — which has upset some advocates. Instead, her trip consists entirely of private religious schools: She is planning to visit a boys yeshiva in Queens later this morning. Although we won't be there in person, we'll be sure to give you a full rundown in tomorrow's newsletter.


DEVOS IN NYC U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made an unannounced visit to a private Jewish school in Manhattan Tuesday — part of a multi-day tour that will not feature visits to any of the city’s public schools. Chalkbeat, New York Post

DeVos’ decision not to visit any public schools during her time in New York City upset some advocates. Wall Street Journal

BAD BEHAVIOR A school aide at Manhattan’s P.S. 194 allegedly attacked a 6-year-old student, according to a lawsuit. New York Post

REST IN PEACE An elementary school teacher at PS 29 in Queens — who died on a camping trip — was still alive when rangers found him. New York Post

TOWN HALL The city’s School Diversity Advisory Group hosted a town hall on Staten Island Tuesday night. Staten Island Advance