tv Education Secretary Betsy De Vos Speaks at Harvard CSPAN September 29, 2017 8:00pm-9:04pm EDT
american television exclusive, as part of the introduction to our american cities tour. for six years, we have brought historical sites to viewers. watch more at cspan.o rg/citiestour. nancy -- secretary betsy devos, speaking at harvard's kennedy school of government. on theyan is indeed administration's energy policy plans. on then zinke administration's energy policy plans. then president trump at the national association of manufacturers. tom price has resigned. his resignation letter reads, i have spent --
>> the white house said that don wright will serve as acting hhs secretary. betsy devos talked about education policy at the kennedy school of government at harvard university. and thestudents audience protested her appearance by raising their face, snapping fingers, -- raising their fists and snapping fingers. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> item the academic dean of the harvard kennedy school. joined by a very special guest to explore the critical question of how to improve our education system.
should we address the challenges of our education system by shifting resources from school districts to parents by giving them tax dollars to choose whether to send their children and to public schools, charter schools, or private schools? this is the latest chapter of the debate that has been going on. in the 1955 essay, the role of government and education -- policy makers developed these programs in the 1990's. people signed the facebook page to protest tonight? the controversy surrounding this andm reflects a large society. this country is more divided now than it has been in many decades. many people on all sides feel fearful and deeply threatened.
educators, this is an especially sad moment. it has made many people stop listening to each other. in this time, what we need most is to listen and understand one another, instead of circling the wagons. is all aboutchool understanding differences and building bridges. creating an inclusive space now is especially difficult. many people from all sides would rather shut each other down, rather than hear what one another are saying. many people have followed the controversy over colin kaepernick and other nfl players. the idea that we are all created feeds into american
aspirations. kneeling americans remind us how we are all falling short of ideals because some of us are imprisoned or killed at much higher rates. many people on the left side of the political spectrum are feeling fear that prevents them from listening to other views. disturbing series of recent events, students and activists are shutting down conservative speakers at several college campuses. shutting people down is contrary to the values of this is space. the exchange of ideas and different viewpoints. even if we do not agree, especially if we do not agree, it is important to hear and allow others in attendance to listen and speak. the practice of the forum and ask these principles by giving thesers the -- enacts
principles by giving speakers the opportunity to articulate their views. people will have an opportunity to ask questions and the last portion of tonight's -- in the last portion of tonight. harvard university police will escort from the forum anyone who disrupts this event. practice of dialogue and debate is critical. when you prevent others from speaking or hearing disagreeable views, when he refused refuse to be challenged by those who disagree, it means that you are right thatt you are you have nothing to learn. choice,sue like school how can anyone be so sure of themselves? see hisom now, we might school choice as a salvation for disadvantaged learners. enablesion that
students to escape failing schools and sees the opportunity -- seize the opportunity for a better life. hand, we may come depleteschool choice the public and exploits uninformed parents who send their children to ineffective by the schools, while enriching their operators. as acy's will choice misguided efforts to abandon the dreams of -- we may see school choice as a misguided effort to abandon the dreams of thomas toferson or thomas mann, learn how to be citizens of a successful republic. now how thew -- k future will judge us. looking at the evidence will help us reach a better future. we will explore these and other questions about education with
our distinguished colleague and special guest tonight. son is the director of the program on education policy and government at harvard university. he is a senior fellow at the hoover institution at stanford university. he is a member of the distinguished academy -- distinguished american academy of arts and sciences. he has written many books. "city limits" is a pathbreaking study of urban politics and policy. has been devos involved in education and policy for more than 30 years in her home state of michigan. in an interview with the philanthropy roundtable, she
recounted how she first got engaged with education in a has christianr's school in grand rapids, where she saw a school that had managed to create a safe, learning environment for many low income children. her family still supports the school through philanthropy. this grew into a larger philanthropic efforts to provide a scholarship fund. she pursued this commission -- this mission working to pass michigan's first charter school law in 1993. she seeks to transform education systems to provided such choices for parents and students. cacy of school choice has drawn fierce criticism. times" wrote it is hard to find anyone more passionate about stealing
dollars from public schools then betsy devos. -- than betsy devos. we have a lot to talk about. i will be returning a bit later to moderate the question and answer. . professor paul peterson and betsy devos. [applause] sec. devos: thank you for that kind introduction. is one of thehool gems of all of american postsecondary education. peterson, i first want to recognize the significance and influential contributions to the advancement of school choice
you have made. few scholars have left such indelible fingerprints on this critical conversation. thank you for continuing to facilitate that dialogue. a special thanks to the harvard as they prepare for their next steps. i wish her nothing but the best. in cambridge, there are many great people working on many great ideas. that has been the case for a very long time. graduates have gone on to shape culture and society, create new businesses and technologies, cure diseases, and lead governments around the globe. it is a privilege to be here. i don't want to talk about my age.
kennedy is the first president i can personally remember. i can't say i remember all that much. i do know that president kennedy understood the proper role of that,ate, and once warned every time we try to shift that problem to the hands of the government, we are sacrificing the liberties of our people. president kennedy had it right. despite the fact that we disregarded his observation, he is still right today. one of the pernicious effects of the growth of government is that people worry less about each other. thinking their worries are in the hands of so-called experts in washington. is no better example than our current education system. many inside and outside of government insists the government system is best equipped to educate children.
scenario, they state replaces the family. he school house becomes the -- theecomes the schoolhouse becomes the home. the child becomes the constituent. we should invest in a system of great public schools for all kids. the union bosses care more about a system, one created in the 1800s, than they do about students. their focus is on school building instead of his schoolk -- instead of school kids. education is an investment in individual students. that is why funding and focus should follow the students. i have been on the job for some time. i came into office with a belief, it is the inalienable
right and responsibility of parents to choose the learning environment that best meets their child's unique needs. i am more convinced of that today. this symposium rightly asks us to consider the future of school choice. the current reality is, the vast majority of futures in america today are left to chance, not to choice. the world got to see what many less new in the film "waiting for superman." parents who want to freak their child from a failing school are sometimes allowed by the system to enter a lottery for a few seats in a different school. viey, thousands of children for limited openings. and audents are numbered representative of plastic balls rolling around in a cage. as if children were part of a
bingo game. i suggest that citizens who are skeptical of choice of these lotteries. watch the faces of these parents, many of whom are struggling to get by. inch their faces hidden their hands were covered in tears because they didn't win a new future for their son or daughter. this scene is heart-wrenching. downright disgraceful. hildren's futures aren't too began. too many kids are trapped in a school that doesn't meet their needs. themany parents are denied fundamental right to decide the best way to educate their child. it is what makes me so passionate about changing this paradigm. i have been called the school choice secretary by some. it is meant as an insult. i wear it as a badge. let us talk for a moment about what choice really is. school choice.
this system would have you believe it means doctors. they say it means private or religious schools. it means for-profit schools. taking money from public schools. no accountability or standards. the wild west. i have to give it to them. they have done a mighty fine job. they did so by trying to paint , of a false line dichotomy. nothing could be further from the truth. think about food. probably a good time to think about it.
it is just about dinnertime. we all need food to grow and thrive. or need the want exact same thing at the exact same time. what tastes good to me, may not space to good to you. -- may not taste good to you. how to best get the food that meets our needs. you could visit a grocery store or convenience store or a farmer's market. you could visit a restaurant. maybe a sitdown or fast food place. maybe a hybrid. there aren't many restaurants near the department of education. food trucks provide options. some are better than others. local restaurants
that have added food trucks to their businesses. if you visit one of those food trucks, do you hate restaurants? are you trying to put grocery stores out of business? you are simply making the right choice for you, based on your needs at the time. eat,as in how you education is not a binary choice. the need for equal access and choice,ity, being for is not being against anything. type or against anyone brand or breed of school choice. i am not for any type of school over another. the definitions we have worked thathave become tools divide us. isn't the public made up of students and parents? isn't public money really their
money? taxpayer money? doesn't every school in to serve a public good? a school that prepares students to lead successful life -- lives is a benefit to all. the definition of public education should be to educate the public. that is why we should fight less about the word that comes before school. all of you here at harvard will take your education and contribute to the public good. when you chose to attend harvard, did anyone suggest you were against public universities? no. you and your family figured out which education environment would be the best fit for you. you compared options and made an informed decision. no one seems to criticize that choice.
no one thinks choice and higher education is wrong. why is it wrong in elementary, middle, or high school? instead of dividing the public when it comes to education, the focus should be on the ends, not on the means. we should be for students. all students. that is why i am for having the right learning environment that is the right fit for the child. i believe in students and trust parents. with that understanding, what does the future look like? i am not a creature of washington. i am not afraid to say, we do not know what the future of school choice looks like. not only something with which i am ok, it is something i celebrate. the future of choice should be what ever parents want for their children. future of choice relies upon
parents being empowered to make choices for their children. what this looks like for one family in a wyoming, will be different from what and indiana family decides. the choices for one child may be different from a sibling. families are dynamic. children are unique. be free to pursue different avenues that lead each child to his or her fullest future. that is why i wholeheartedly believe the future of choice does not begin with a new federal mandate. that may sound counterintuitive. after eight months in washington, and three decades i know in states, washington tries demanding if they try demanding choice, we will end up with a circuit that spending and a -- with bureaucracy
assertive spending and a bloat of bureaucracy. we can amplify the voice -- with of those who only want better for their kids. we can assist states who are working to empower parents and urge those who have not. we don't need a federal program to administer. washington and the u.s. department of education needs to get out of the way. the real future of choice is in states. it is their future to shape. tour of the heartland to visit teachers, parents, and students. ol call this the "rethink scho tour." learn from innovative educators who were breaking free of the standard mold to better meet the needs of students. i saw traditional public
schools, charter, independent, private, parochial, home schools. they were all with unique approaches. what they all had in common was just that, a deliberate focus on serving students. students and parents chose them. what worked in those schools for those students might not work everywhere. it might not work for you. it might not work for you. it worked for them. that is the future of school choice. they all embraced doing right by students, without anyone in washington giving them permission to do so. without anyone in washington telling them no. that is the future of choice. ,ust as no one school regardless of its rigor, is the right fit for every student, there is no one-size-fits-all
approach from washington dc or any state capital when it comes to education. the future of choice lies in the states, laces that have been at the forefront of this effort for several years. arizona, florida, indiana, wisconsin. montana, mississippi, and even where some might have thought unthinkable, illinois. 26 states and the district of columbia offer more than 50 different private school choice programs that allow parents more opportunity to access more educational options to serve their kids needs. no two are the same. different states, different students, fornt and solutions. that is the future of choice. it is important for all of us remember we are not just talking about abstract theory or some
wild social experiment. this is about putting people, parents and students, above policies and politics. i have seen the tremendous empower parents, and the corresponding impact on students. i saw it again on my "re-think school tour." i've heard it from students, parents, teachers, administrators. one student at kansas city academy, a private, art-focused said, i feel like i belong. i didn't have that at my other school. every student in america deserves a shot to experience that same thing. this isn't just about feelings. it is also about learning and achievement.
it is about putting students at the center of everything we do. shown that more options yield better results for all students. released at the urban institute that looked at florida's tax credit scholarship program, a program that provides low income parents the opportunity to send students to the school of their choice. this program was one of the first in the nation and serves more than 1 -- and has served more than 100,000 students. studies have shown increased achievement for scholarship recipients and a significant increased college attendance rate. demonstrated the longer a student participated in the choice program, the better their long-term educational outcomes. the data are encouraging. i didn't need another research paper to know the program works.
i have seen living proof. a student failed third grade twice and was on the path to dropping out, like her mother and brother. foundully, her godmother the florida tax credit scholarship program, and a small school that fit her needs. a week or 10hat attending, she knew she had found a fit. she graduated high school. the first in her family. graduated college. this may, she earned her master's degree. she is living proof that choice works. there are many more students like her out there. hundreds of thousands who don't have those same opportunities. i firmly believe we as a nation to stand at a crossroads. are now agrees what we
is not working. the debtor are quite clear in confirming that. are quite clear in confirming that. we are average compared to other nations. with which iren't am comfortable describing the united states. what do we do? what does the future hold? more funding? is that fixed the problem? otherwise.uld show [jeers] the data would show otherwise. with the u.s. is spending more than every other country -- with the u.s. is spending more country than every other country in the developed world. we can keep doing what we're doing for generations. that is the definition of
insanity. we can do something different. we can be bold. we can be unafraid. to do what is right, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. many thought kennedy's words were a dream. some thought they were dangerous. his vision and determination made them a reality. that is the reality we still reap the benefits from. if we can put a man on the moon, we can put families in charge of their own destinies. l. can rethink schoo i posit we do that by embracing the future of education as one that fully integrates choice into every decision. not choice translated as vouchers or charter schools or private schools, or any other delivery mechanism. givingtranslated as
every parent in this great land more control, more of a say in their child's future. more choices. the future of choice lies in trusting and empowering parents. not just those who have the power, prestige, or financial wherewithal. no more choice for me, but not for thee, from politicians in washington or state houses. the future of choice lies in thatg less about the word comes before school, and more about the individual student the school seeks to serve. choice lies and funding and supporting individual students, not systems or buildings. lies ande of choice allowing students to progress at their own pace, to take charge of their learning, and recognizing them as unique individuals.
lies ande of choice embracing learning that fosters creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. the future of choice lies in recognizing america, the greatest country in the history must dond can and better for our students. all of them. because we must do better for our future. are 100% of our future. they deserve 100% of our efforts. thank you again for the opportunity to share my thoughts and i look forward to our conversation. [applause]
>> madam secretary, thank you very much for joining us at harvard. it is gracious of you to come. it is an honor to have you in our midst. you have focused so much of your time and energy over the years on education and i know that is an important thing, but some people say that unless we address the problems of poverty and malnourishment, among so many children, education is not going to have a chance. so shouldn't those problems be given priority? secretary devos: that is an
important question. issues go beyond just issues of education but my focus has been on offering opportunities for all children to have a great i am a firmd believer that if parents are empowered with those opportunities we will see some significant changes in opportunity in general for those have faced generational poverty opportunityot felt in our country. i believe this is the biggest barrier to opportunity ultimately is the lack of access to and the opportunity to choose the kind of education that works for their child. >> some people say we have 14,000 school district in the country and people can move to the community of their choice and they can choose their school inchoosing the neighborhood which they choose to live. don't we already have school choice? unfortunately,:
many families do not have that opportunity. they are stuck in the school to which they are assigned and they do not have the opportunity of living somewhere else. i have heard many stories from families who wish they could send their child to a school other than the one to which they are assigned and they do not have the economic means to make that decision. if they are empowered with choice, the funds for their child to choose a school that will work, it will have opportunities that will be well beyond the ones that are right there in their assigned district. this broadensd choice to people without means but aren't some parents that are ,quipped to make those choices more skilled, can figure out how through a choice
system, what they take advantage of that opportunity at the expense of others? secretary devos: i have met a lot of parents over the years that have been working on this and it is an insult to parents to suggest they cannot figure these things out. it is an insult to parents from low income situations that suggests because of their economic situation figure things care. do not think the young woman i referred to, in her case, her mother was not capable of making a decision but thankfully, she had a godmother in her life who cared about her and who found a better option for her. -- a livingg example of what a difference an opportunity like that can make. >> one of the arguments we here in massachusetts especially, election in the
campaign, if you expand charter schools and give parents a choice she will be taking money away from the public schools, the district. what is your take on that? secretary devos: i am trying to we shouldrgument that be focused on funding students, not funding bill dems are -- buildings or systems. if students are empowered to go to a place that will work for them, those environments are going to format and supportive i think we get hung up on what words come before school and we do not think about the fact that we are talking about kids' lives while we are arguing about systems and approaches to education that
have worked for some but they are not working for all too many. my view is empower parents to make those choices and the schools -- that are not able to keep kids attracted to their school, they will start to make the changes as a result. we have seen that in florida where there is the widest range of choices and in the district greatest number of choices exist and students go to a wide variety of schools, the traditional public schools have improved as a result. i think we would see that ubiquitously. this is a matter for states to do with an focus on. >> how rapidly should we expand our choice system, is there a pace that you think is the right pace, it has been very slow until now. yesterday would be good. we are losing thousands and
thousands of kids every year and we cannot wait any longer. we really cannot wait any longer. we have been doing things the same way and expecting different results for more than a couple of decades. this country was built on creative entrepreneurial risk-taking people and education is ripe for those types of people to grab hold and self problems and meet the needs of students. re-think schools to her, i went all kinds of schools and -- tour, i went to all kinds of schools and they were open to meeting the needs of kids and they were open to saying we do not -- we're not for everybody and we do not have -- expect all of kids to come here. schools should be rethinking how the can meet their students'
needs. >> would you think of creating blended learning programs, introducing technology. is this a force to disrupt the system in a major way? secretary devos: technology holds great potential. i have seen places where it has not been introduced particularly well where it has been bandied -- band-aided on top of something. that is not the right answer. we need to have a lot of different approaches be able to take root and see what ultimately will work for the most kids and that is not to suggest that moving from where we are today that we should move to another scenario where it is very much the same, only in a different approach or format. i happen to think that personalize learning -- personalized learning and math aced competency holds great
promise. that might work for a lot of kids but it might not work for everybody. we should not expect that everybody is going to learn in the future the same way. >> you mentioned in your remarks tax credit program quiteen identified as successful in getting kids to college. myike that because it was students who did that study. i have to confess that. so thank you for that. secretary devos: i was pleased to see it come out. >> but there has been a lot of talk about a federal tax credit program. are you going to announce the unveiling of a tax credit program? secretary devos: not here and not now. >> is there hope we can see this coming down the track? secretary devos: there is a lot
of hope for that. but as i said, if we go with a federal tax credit approach, we need to ensure that it is not one that is going to create a whole other bureaucracy to administer. i again believe that states are best equipped and best positioned to address the broadest range of choice on a state and individual state level. i think it is great to see states taking this on in creative ways. i would just hope that more states would embrace this notion and the ones that have it would expand their offering and get assertive about offering parents more of these choices. >> i appreciate the fact that state and local governments are primarily responsible for our there is some federal, we do have a department
of education. say are theou compliments you have been able to realize, it is only eight months into your term but can you sum up what you think are the most important things that have been done? secretary devos: obviously, the employee -- implementation of the every student succeeds act that congress passed this last term is an important part of the responsibility of the department. the intention of that bill was return a lot of flexibility to the states and allow the states to become more creative in their approaches to meeting the students needs there. that process is underway, we have 35 or seven more states to -- with plans to approve. that is part of the case-12 focus at the department. we have been reviewing and in some cases either pausing or
starting a new rulemaking process on a number of regulations related to higher education. that process is ongoing. we are in the midst of a big review of the department in general. to look for ways to streamline and make more effective and efficient the work of the department and to also review all of the regulations, every administration there is more regulations while don and very few times do you take a step back and say what is really relevant and what is necessary today? we are committed to devasting of many of those as we possibly can. respect to the every student succeeds act which was passed in 2015, they asked for measuring something other than test scores, that is one of the things that congress wants and
an idea that has come up is let's look at chronic absenteeism. what is your thinking on that measure? secretary devos: all the states are coming up with different measures. that is an interesting approach. i not sure if that is the right approach or test approach. i will withhold judgment and see what they states' results are. another thing to remember is these plans are words on paper. the real proof is going to be in how they actually implement things. a lot of the creativity or flexibility that congress intentionally built into the law will come in the implementation of these plans in the states. one of my goals is to continue to urge and encourage states to press things as far as they possibly can, take what opportunity you have and let's
switch from being a compliance mentality which has been the case over the last decade or two and into one that takes more ownership around your education in the state for which you are responsible. fascinating all comments that you have, but i think i better turn the others.ation over to >> thank you very much. i know a lot of people have questions to ask and there are four microphones as per the usual forum drill scattered around and let me remind everyone in the room of importance of discourse and mostnge and civility and important, allowing everyone to fully participate in this question and answer period,
listening, hearing, and speaking, and the rules of the forum question and answer are designed to do that. the first rule is please identify yourself, the second is ask a question that is compact i will have to cut off anything like a lengthy statement and questions and with -- questions and with a question mark and the rule is one per customer, one question per person. hello, i am a parent here, i do not know how many parents there are in this room. i have children who have been in district schools, charter schools, and parochial schools. all systems can work for us but i think as a whole, most systems are not working for us and not working for black parents like me, it is not working for
parents who are not rich. i'm going to assume you have good intentions. i think that there should be [inaudible] why should you think you should have any say or control over setting minimums of what that should look like, the systems are not the wild west and the systems popping up our not serving our people. >> what is the role of the government for setting rails to make sure it is functioning for everyone? secretary devos: let me thank you for asking that question and it is great to hear about the fact that you had experience with different schools. how many kids do you have? three. what grades are they in? >> i have a two-year-old, a and when in high school. [inaudible]
secretary devos: my goal, my hope is that parents like you and all others would have the power to be able to choose a school that is right for your child, to have the funds they go to your child, traditionally today that go to a system rather than being directed, being able to be directed i you. you would be able to say this school is not working for my kids today and i -- i am going to find one that is working better. accompanying that there has to be a lot of great information available to parents to be able the schools is approach to teaching and learning and what are the results, how our kids doing who go here? and all of that information i think first and foremost needs to be transparent to parents, that would help inform your decision. it starts with you being empowered to make that choice and that decision for your
child. we have -- i guarantee in this audience we have lots of families, representatives from lots of families are able to make those decisions because they had the economic need -- means to do it. it is not right for some people to be able to choose and you not to be able to and yet we spend more and more money funneling through a system that tries to tell you we are going to do better next year and then it does not. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] to talky devos: i love to parents. >> i have been lucky enough to take a class with professor peterson on education at the kennedy school and we looked at academic research that shows the effectiveness of school choice programs and vouchers and charter schools. how do we bring that
accountability and transparency, and choice we have seen with charter schools and vouchers and apply it to public schools and what role does the federal government play in making that transition? secretary devos: nice to meet you. first of all, every student succeeds act will bring more .nformation to individuals schools will have to report more information to parents. that is a good step. but i think we have to go much further in many cases. i will refer back to the school tour that i did a couple of weeks ago where schools have thrown out with the have done before and have taken -- considered the student population they have and have re-addressed their approach to helping students learn. the first school i went to was wyoming.,
it is a traditional public school. the county that casper is and has open district choice. they do not have any private school choice there. yet. that they have open district choice and the school has been run by teachers for 26 years and just within the last few years, they switched to a mastery-based competency approach to teaching and learning in the school. and they did so without anyone else telling them they had to do that. they as a community decided that was right for the students they were serving. -- i loved visiting with them. if i had that opportunity when i was in school, there are a few others in here who could move as fast as you were able to in whatever subject or take as long as you needed, that kind of an approach could have some revolutionary results for a lot
of kids who are either getting bored to death or getting left hind. i would challenge all schools, all existing schools today to look seriously at some of these new approaches to making sure kids are engaged and their curiosity is not snuffed out by the time they are in fourth or fifth grade. >> thank you. up here in the balcony. i am a master's fellow in the program on education policy and government and i am a dual degree candidate here and at harvard law school. before this i was a teacher in district and charter schools. have agreed, we that keeping kids safe in school is one of our prime values. making sure that every kid who walks into school at the beginning of the day, is physically and emotionally and -- safe.
makeof the policies educators such as myself feel that we have fewer tools in the toolbox toward keeping safe -- kids safe in the classroom. whether that is keeping transfer ransents safe or -- ta students safe or repealing protection for students have been sexually assaulted. can you talk about about how your administration thinks safety for all kids, especially the most vulnerable kids when you are thing about passing or repealing policies. thank you very much. secretary devos: let me say first and foremost, i agree that one of the most important things we can do is ensure all kids have a safe and learning nurturing environment and i am committed that and everyone in the department of education and the administration is committed
to that too. the policy that you have referred to or some of the regulations that you have referred to, i think often with issues, we start talking past one another instead of talking about the issue itself. transgender to the bathroom guidance, as you know, the whole legal history on that issue is very complicated, difficult, unclear, and uncertain. with respecty that to any student that feels unsafe or discredited against in their school, that is the last thing we want, and the office for civil rights in the permit of education continues to hear and work with the schools that have to dealhose issues with. we are committed to doing that on behalf of the students, any
student that has any issue of just -- they feel is discriminatory. we are committed to continuing to do that. with respect to the title ix sexual assault on campus issue, as you know, we have taken steps to start a rulemaking process go about thisto in the right way. i credit the former administration for having raise the issue of campus sexual assault to a level where we are talking, it is not an issue that we are sweeping under the rug or putting into the back room of the college administration building. it should not the that way. i willsaid it before, say it again. one sexual assault is one too many. by the same token, one student that is denied due process is one too many. we need to ensure that that policy and that framework is there to all students.
all students. we are committed to doing that. >> one more question. in publicaster administration student. you are a billionaire with lots of investments. and the so-called school choice movement is a way to open the floodgates for interests to make money off the backs of students. how much do you expect your net worth to increase as a result of your policy choices? and what are your friends in wall street and the business world like the coat others saying about the potential to get rich off the backs of students? >> you can choose not to answer that, secretary. have beendevos: i involved with education choice for 30 years. i have written lots of checks to kidsrt giving parents and options to choose a school of their choice. -- on my income
has on the other way and will continue to do so. committed to ensuring every child, every child has the opportunity to get an equal opportunity to get a great education. that means every child. not rich kids. parents arese politicians and can get them into the right school under the right circumstances. every kid. >> are you suggesting -- >> one at a time. i will do a lightning round. to secretary can choose answer the ones she wants to deal with. three rounds. ism sorry, the event scheduled to go on till 7:00 a.m. and she has got to go.
i will remain for as long as you want to talk. we have time for a lightning round of three questions, very brief, beginning with you. >> thank you for being here tonight. i am caroline, a student at harvard law school created as a graduate of m.i.t., i truly believe in the power of stem education to prepare the rising generation for marriott careers. i am aware of your department's announcements of millions of dollars to support stem education. how can that investment interpersonal involvement ensure that more young people and specifically young women pursue careers in stem? >> i will select two more. >> i am a first year student and a former high school math teacher in new orleans. child inoned every education is important. i share that view. my question is about the $1
billion of title i funds that you proposed to be portable to allow for more choice. what steps will you ensure that that pooro ensureto ensure schools will be helped? >> the third question and i will turn it over to the secretary. >> i'm a senior at the college and i am from grand rapids, michigan. my question relates to michigan. you mentioned taxpayer dollars belong to the taxpayers and individual families. thanks in part to your efficacy in michigan, we leave -- lead in nation in for promise -- for-profit schools. a review of michigan charter schools in the church rate area found widespread wasteful spending, poor student progressce, and little
at the expense of students. given the fact that in michigan, students have a lot of choice but not good choices and corporations are profiting from that, why do you think that choice is appropriate for the nation? [applause] young people, women, charter schools. secretary devos: first of all, of the students that are still left in the city of detroit, 49% of them -- excuse me. everyone who has had means and wants to has moved out of the city of detroit area and -- detroit. the students that are there, 49% have chosen to charter schools. no one is forcing them to go to charter schools. of the traditional public schools in detroit, not one of them has ever been closed down because of performance. not one.
yet there have been over 20 charter schools closed. statistics andse ask you to think about that. is there room for improvement, absolutely. at the reality is that of kids going to charter school in michigan and in the city of detroit, they are gaining three or four months more per year over their public school counterparts. so there is a difference. now, $1 billion no longer in the budget but that would have been an optional program for states to embrace if they wanted to go to a student weighted funding formula in their state to provide parents more choices. it was a choice thing. stem, great for young women to be encouraged to pursue stem related careers and with a special emphasis on computer science which has not traditionally been discussed as part of stem more broadly.
we are looking forward to rolling out an opportunity for young kids to get more opportunities to be exposed to and engaged in stem subjects and particularly young girls because science is cool and math is cool and we need to make sure that they understand that and know the opportunities for the long-term. >> thank you very much. minute and -- a to close the evening. i have been meant -- been too many form offense, and this has been the most -- forum events and there are many strongly held views and in a context like that, conversations like we just had our very difficult. our verye just had
difficult. we did a reasonable and good job of this exchange. we have a lot of [inaudible] thank you for coming here and -- ink you,r professor peterson for an extremely good conversation on one of the most important policy topics there is among which is how we educate our next generation. thank you very much. [applause] >> the white house announced health and human services secretary tom price has resigned. his resignation letter reads in part, i have spent 40 years as a doctor and public servant putting people first. the white house said effective tonight, deputy assistant secretary for health don wright
will serve as acting hhs secretary. zinkeor secretary ryan eight talked about the trump administration policies aimed at increasing domestic energy production and addressed reports that he had taken multiple trips using military air travel and since becoming secretary. this is over 30 minutes. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. auditorium.ur welcome back to the heritage foundation. where always delighted to have you and we are honored you decided to give your first major policy address here at heritage and we look forward to hearing from you. secretary ryan