U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is heading south — with her eye on outer space — for her second tour of schools and institutions that she says are challenging the status quo in education.
For her second “Rethink Schools” tour, DeVos will spend time in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, starting Wednesday with visits to a university in Georgia and NASA’s teaching center in Huntsville, Alabama.
She’ll be consulting with students and educators in an attempt to answer these existential questions, according to the U.S. Education Department:
- Why limit educators?
- Why assign kids to schools based on their addresses?
- Why group kids by age?
- Why force all students to learn at the same speed?
- Why measure education by hours and days?
- Why suggest a college degree is the only path to success?
- Why believe learning stops at graduation?
Those questions reflect her interest in critiquing the way most U.S. schools operate and instead advocating for new models, particularly ones that allow students to learn at their own pace — though it’s not clear who is advocating for limiting educators, for one.
“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,” DeVos said in statement annoucing her tour’s first stops. “There’s no more time for tinkering around the edges.”
DeVos isn’t the only official crisscrossing the country to highlight favored school models. Last month, DeVos deputy Frank Brogan visited Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, a charter school founded by Purdue University, as well as another Indiana school known for its “active shooter defense system.” Scott Stump, an assistant secretary, visited the Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy in Kansas, which offers courses in automotive repair and building trades.