Group to protest Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during visit to Kansas

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stops in the metro area Thursday for her ‘2017 Rethink School’ tour.

The Johnson County Community College website indicates she will be there from 4 pm – 6 pm.  The itinerary released by her staff says Secretary DeVos will visit and participate in a barbecue at Johnson Community College.

On Tuesday in Wyoming, DeVos kicked off the Rethink School tour, which highlights innovative ways educators are teaching Kindergarten through 12th grade students and those in higher education.

U.S. News & World Report says during the kickoff  DeVos was critical of public schools that she claims have changed very little from generation to generation.

“Most students are starting a new school year that is all too familiar – desks lined up in rows, their teacher standing in front of the room framed by a blackboard. They dive into a curriculum written for the average student. They follow the same schedule, the same routine – just waiting to be saved by the bell,” U.S. News reported.

She claimed the school routine ‘dampens dreams, dims horizons and denies futures.’

DeVos will also visit Kansas City Academy, 7933 Main St., a private middle school and high school that says students are ’empowered to find their voice, encouraged to question, and prepared to shape the future.”

The curriculum includes creativity, arts, music, theater and culinary, farm-to-table lunches.

On Wednesday evening, Indivisible KC, a grassroots group whose slogan is: ‘Grassroots. Issues-focused. Multi-partisan. You call it resistance. We call it democracy,‘ announced a protest of DeVos’ visit starting at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at  Johnson County Community College in Overland Park. Look on the FOX 4 Kansas City Facebook page for a livestream of the protest, if it develops at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Meanwhile, at the University of Baltimore,  students are speaking out against DeVos’  invitation to be their fall commencement speaker.

DeVos was announced as commencement speaker late last week. On Monday, University of Baltimore President and former Democratic mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke sent a letter to the student body explaining why he believes she is the right choice.

“I anticipated the reaction both pro and con to my decision to invite her,” Schmoke wrote in the letter. “It is the type of reaction that one would expect to have in a vibrant university community.”

DeVos has been among President Trump’s most controversial picks for his cabinet, with her critics saying she doesn’t have enough knowledge of the public school system and only received her position because her family is a large contributor to the Republican party.

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