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This week on “The Learning Curve,” guest co-hosts Denisha Allen and Kerry McDonald talk with Betsy DeVos, a former United States Secretary of Education and the author of the book, Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child. She shares how she became one of the country’s foremost proponents of school choice, educational federalism, and bold changes to K-12 education. They discuss her tenure as U.S. Secretary of Education in a politically turbulent D.C., where special interests cling to the status quo. They review efforts to advance federal control over states and school districts, despite the fact that only 10 percent of total education spending comes from D.C. She offers key lessons from her new book and discusses the need to reset the USED’s internal administrative culture toward improving students’ academic achievement. Finally, she shares her vision for the future of American education and how states, schools, and parents could exercise greater authority.
Stories of the Week: Have America’s urban school districts become so large, consolidated, and unwieldy that they can no longer improve student outcomes regardless of the size of their budgets? With Republicans assuming control of the House of Representatives, and the Senate remaining in Democrats’ hands, how will federal education priorities shift?