Hundreds protest Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in Denver

DENVER -- Hundreds of people gathered to protest Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in Denver on Wednesday.

The group started the protest at the Colorado State Capitol around 10 a.m. and later marched toward the Hyatt Regency.

DeVos is in Denver to speak at the 44th annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting at the Hyatt.

“DeVos will be in town plotting with ALEC to dismantle public institutions that support opportunity for Colorado students, educators and families,” said Christina Medina, a DCTA member-teacher at Academia Sandoval. “The policies championed by DeVos have a negative impact on all students, but are especially harmful to students living in poverty and students of color.”

“Our Secretary of Education should be someone who will advocate for students with great needs in marginalized communities, not someone who schemes with wealthy corporations to benefit the chosen few and while expecting the rest of us to take what we’re given," Medina said.

DeVos recently made headlines with her scrutiny of Denver Public Schools, saying that  DPS is an example of a district that appears to be choice-friendly, but actually lacks options for parents. She said without vouchers to pay for private schools, the application process doesn’t benefit every child.

Denver Public Schools was ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row by the Brookings Institute, which acknowledges the district has high-quality public schools, both district-run and charter.

Among the other notable speakers at the ALEC meeting are Newt Gingrich and Peter H. Coors.