U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says merging the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor will help the country’s schools catch up to our counterparts in other countries, including some she visited on her recent swing through Europe.
“I saw such approaches during my first international trip as the U.S. secretary of education to schools in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom,” DeVos wrote in an Education Week commentary. “Each country takes a holistic approach to education to prepare students for career and life success. But it might be surprising to learn one topic didn’t come up: school choice.”
DeVos said these other countries don’t “rest of their laurels” but instead look to “continually improve their education systems. And she said they offer students a greater array of choices.
“In the countries I visited, ‘private’ and ‘public’ schools alike are each valued and recognized for educating students in meaningful ways, thus contributing to the public good,” DeVos wrote. “Families are afforded the respect to choose which school will best meet their child’s educational needs. Students are exposed to many paths and given the tools to pursue their interests.”
DeVos, though, doesn’t think the feds should take the lead on broader access to choice and better alignment of post-secondary education and career readiness. Instead, she wrote, it should be states.
“Forward-thinking states and school districts should take note of the effective approaches found abroad, and they should consider how they can extend educational freedom to their own constituents,” DeVos wrote.
For more, head over to DeVos’ piece. And while you’re at it, check out DeVos’ other commentary piece for Education Week, which deals with special education.
Photo: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press)
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