I want to begin by saying it’s time for us to break out of the confines of the federal government’s arcane approach to education. Why now? Because Washington has been in the driver’s seat for over 50 years with very little to show for its efforts. We’ll never be able to solve a problem unless we acknowledge it exists, so here’s the current reality:
…The system is based on the Prussian model implemented in the early 1800s. Yes, courtesy of a country that no longer exists.
The effort to open up American education and to provide choices has come a very long way. It started as one program in 1990 in Milwaukee, championed by a Democratic city councilwoman, Polly Williams. It had 341 students in its first year. Yes, you heard that right. The oldest school choice program in the country was started by a Democrat.
—Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit, May 22, 2017
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