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Betsy DeVos’ many choices

April 2, 2017

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave her first big policy speech on Wednesday, and you probably didn’t read about it because the media barely covered it. The speech discussed the evidence that school choice can improve the lives of millions of students, but that’s so much less important than, you know, how Sean Spicer answered questions at the White House press gaggle.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Mrs. DeVos discussed her support for the many varieties of education choice and how they can help the many varieties of children and families: “Open enrollment, tax credits, home schools, magnets, charters, virtual schools, education savings accounts and choices not yet developed all have their place, but no single one of these is always the right delivery method for each child.”

This is welcome modesty from a federal government that has for years tried to find the single education model, or single reform, that could be replicated everywhere. That top-down approach may have fit the U.S. society and economy of 120 years ago, but it doesn’t work now. Mrs. DeVos’s entire speech is worth reading, but with that one insight she is off to a fine start.


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