Lily Eskelsen Garcia forced herself to sit down and listen to Betsy DeVos’ speech at Harvard, where she thought she would be in a choice-friendly environment, surrounded by allies at the Program on Educational Policy and Governance, led by choice advocate Paul Peterson. As we now know, students in the audience rejected her message and unfurled banners expressing their opposition to her policies.

Lily has refused to meet with DeVos because of her well-known contempt for public schools and the teaching profession.

This is her reaction to DeVos’ remarks.

“At times, I felt like I was getting a root canal without novocaine from the dentist in “The Little Shop of Horrors.” When the pain subsided, I was more convinced than ever that DeVos knows little about public schools and even less about their mission.

“Here’s a summary:

“1. DeVos talked about her Rethink School tour, applauding the schools she visited for openly stating: “’We’re not for everybody and we don’t expect everybody to want to come here.’ I think all schools should have that attitude.”

“She doesn’t understand the concept of “public” schools—schools that are open to all students, no matter what language is spoken at home, what the family income is, what their religion or race is, what abilities or disabilities they have, whether they are gay, straight, or transgender. The mission of public schools is to provide opportunities for each and every student who walks through the door, not to roll up the welcome mat, bar the door, and declare: “Sorry, but we’re not for everybody.”

“I think we already went through that time in history. There was even a name for it: Segregation.

“2. When she mentioned the places she visited during her tour, there was one noticeable omission: Michigan, her home state. Who can blame her? She funded efforts in Michigan to siphon funds from students in public schools, allowing for-profit companies to operate schools with taxpayer money and no accountability. The result? Schools with shoddy academic records continued operating for years; no state standards focus on who operates or oversees charters; and schools routinely close without giving families or educators adequate notice.

“This, apparently, is her goal from coast to coast.”

Read on to understand Lily’s reaction.