Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made big news—twice—the first time she visited a school in her new job. Ever since then, educators, advocates, and others have expressed keen interest in keeping close tabs on each time she visits a school to see how things go, and what she says during and after her visit.
Now you can easily keep up with DeVos’ visits to schools: Click here to use our handy interactive map and tracking tool. Each time she stops by a school, you’ll see a slide with the name and location of the school, along with any other pertinent information and coverage we have of her trip. The interactive tool also adds up not just the number of times she’s visited schools, but the types of schools she’s visited: traditional public, private, and charter schools. You can also check out an embedded version of the tracker below:
School visits and the accompanying photo ops for education secretaries are part of the job, of course. Former Secretary of Education William Bennett, for example, the nation’s third education secretary, visited 75 schools from 1985 to 1987. And it was one of his favorite parts of the job.
Education secretaries aren’t afraid to use them as a backdrop for significant policy announcements. Last year, former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. visited a Washington, D.C. school to unveil the department’s draft accountability rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act. (As you may have heard, Congress just overturned the final version of those rules last week.)
So far, in addition to that notable first visit to a D.C. public school last month, DeVos has only visited one other school, a private Catholic school in Orlando, Fla. President Donald Trump joined her for that visit. DeVos is a long-time advocate for school choice, and has consistently cited a trip to the Potter’s House Christian school in her home state of Michigan as an inspiration for her support for vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and charters.
Lastly, if you don’t see a DeVos school visit included in our interactive tracker, let us know—we’ll happily update it.
Education Week Librarian Holly Peele contributed to this post.
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