by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
DeVos is a school choice supporter, and her testimony argues that the federal government needs to encourage a wide range of choices to help students get through high school.
“Parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child, and they know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, religious, or any combination thereof,” her prepared remarks state. “Yet, too many parents are denied access to the full range of options… choices that many of us — here in this room — have exercised for our own children.”
While DeVos has been attacked as someone who wants to tear down public schools, she said she would work to make sure both public schools and other alternatives are “great.”
“But, if a school is troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child – perhaps they have a special need that is going unmet — we should support a parent’s right to enroll their child in a high quality alternative,” she said.
DeVos indicated that college may not be the right path for every student, but said even non-college choices should be celebrated and encouraged, depending on the student.
“Craftsmanship is not a fallback – but a noble pursuit,” she said.
“Students should make informed choices about what type of education they want to pursue post high school and have access to high quality options,” DeVos added. “President-elect Trump and I agree we need to support all post-secondary avenues, including trade and vocational schools, and community colleges.”