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Betsy DeVos Launches Four-State ‘Rethink Schools’ Tour

By Alyson Klein — October 02, 2018 2 min read
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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is embarking on her second back-to-school road trip since taking over the department.

This year’s theme is the same as last year’s: “Rethink Schools.” DeVos will swing by four states: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Last year, her tour focused on the Midwest. DeVos visited schools she said were trying outside-the-box approaches, including a school based at a zoo, and one that serves students recovering from addiction. She also met plenty of protestors.

No official word on the specific stops for this year yet. But the Clarion Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, reported last week that DeVos would be visiting the Holmes County Consolidated School District to learn about its participation in an initiative that helps to bring Advanced Placement classes to rural schools.

DeVos isn’t the only department official hitting the road. Mick Zais, the deputy secretary; Frank Brogan, the assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education; Scott Stump, the assistant secretary of career and technical education, and others have also been out visiting schools. They’ve visited 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. (The department has not released more specific information on where they went.)

“Our team is crossing the country this year to challenge local leaders, educators and parents to rethink school,” said DeVos. “We know the current system is leaving too many students unprepared, so we must question everything about the way we do school in this country. There’s no more time for tinkering around the edges. No more trying the same things and expecting different results. I’m excited to highlight pockets of innovation around the country that are truly challenging the status quo and working to ensure all children can have access to the education that fits their learning style and prepares them for a successful future.”

Click here for an interactive map of schools DeVos has previously visited as secretary.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos fills her plate during a hog roast held before a Friday night high school football game on Sept. 15 in Charlottesville, Ind., during her 2017 “Rethink Schools” tour. (Darron Cummings/AP)

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