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Betsy DeVos Can't Think of Any Education Issues the Federal Government Should Intervene With

Betsy DeVos Can't Think of Any Education Issues the Federal Government Should Intervene With

Betsy DeVos gave an interesting interview with Axios, published this morning, where she discussed things she wished she would have said during her less-than-smooth confirmation hearing.

Revealed in the interview is the way she feels about both the Department of Education and her job. According to Axios, DeVos would ultimately be happy with the position being done away with.

"It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job, but I'm not sure that—I'm not sure that there will be a champion movement in Congress to do that," she reportedly said.

Further, she seems to be in support of the Department of Education being significantly stripped of some—if not all—of its powers. "There's clearly an opportunity to slim down the department in some ways. I don't know if that will ultimately significantly reduce the overall expenditure, but it may, it may help incentivize states in other ways," she said, according to Axios.

When asked if there are current issues involving education that the federal government has a place intervening in, she said: "I can’t think of any now," though she acknowledged the Department played an important role in desegregating schools and promoting gender equality in the past.

DeVos admitted that becoming education secretary had never been something she considered, but became excited about the position after she found out President Trump shares her views on school choice.

Overall, she says she will be focusing on promoting alternative school options like charter, private and virtual schools.

DeVos has not yet answered questions about how she will ensure these alternative schools are held accountable for their quality.

Virtual schools, especially, raise many concerns about quality because reports have found such schools are academically "unacceptable" and have graduation rates that are less than half the average of public schools.

The 74 has found that DeVos and her family have a long history of supporting virtual schools, including investing in for-profit related companies, despite continuous reports finding mixed educational results.

Read the full Axios interview with DeVos here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

2/17/2017

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