Following her confirmation as Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos shared that she views her department as useless, but sees an opportunity to minimize its impact.
“It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job,” said DeVos to Axios. “But I’m not sure that — I’m not sure that there will be a champion movement in Congress to do that.”
School safety should be a priority for the federal government, DeVos said, but she also expressed her belief that the historical issues of segregation or gender bias have no modern counterpart.
“I expect there will be more public charter schools,” said DeVos. “I expect there will be more private schools. I expect there will be more virtual schools. I expect there will be more schools of any kind that haven’t even been invented yet.”
She also mentioned that successful execution of the Every Student Succeeds Act to reduce federal intervention would be the initial measurement of success.
DeVos detailed her agreement with Trump concerning higher education and school choice. Both the president and the secretary believe in advocating for technical schools, which they deem better-suited than four-year colleges for both employment preparation and student debt reduction.
The Secretary of Education reflected that her example of a Wyoming school needing a firearm to defend against grizzly bears was “valid,” but perhaps not “the best illustration.” She also backtracked her proposal to delegate implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to the states, this time agreeing with Tim Kaine that federally-funded schools are needed to meet the statute’s requirements.
“I have so much compassion for families who have to avail themselves of that law,” DeVos explained.
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