tv Education Secretary Betsy De Vos Discussion at Education Conference CSPAN April 13, 2019 7:00pm-7:32pm EDT
they were thrilled to give me a limit bar. announcer: more on being a hollywood conservative tonight at 9:30 on c-span. you can listen on our free radio app. education secretary betsy devos on testing standards and opportunity zones. she spoke during a legislative conference. this is 30 minutes. molly: thank you. my colleagues, i don't usually get a full introduction. it is just coming here is molly. thank you.
thank you secretary devos for being with us today. day,e having a wonderful -- congress room, who believe just like you that every child has the opportunity to reach their potential. i am so happy. a few weeks ago you came down from south carolina. i really appreciated that. you chose where you would like to go. i was a bit surprised because it was not necessarily the school or district that had the bells and whistles, but it was a --ool that is 92% property, poverty and at one time was the lowest performing school in our state, and that has changed. i would like you to reflect on what you saw at the school. and also at the manufacturing career center that we visited. sec. devos: thanks, molly. thanks all of you for having me here today. it is a pleasure to be back after being with you a year ago. i have visited many schools and done many things since then.
i really, really enjoyed the day and south carolina. thethanks, molly, for hospitality there. i wanted to visit a school that had really major medic improvements in turning around. it was palpable the energy in from theing leadership, from the teachers, and importantly, from the students. seeas really encouraging to how acknowledging what some of the challenges were, making the changes necessary to address those problems and those issues, and really going after implementing the new direction, you know, fully embraced -- it was making a measurable this -- difference in the kids lives there. of course, it is always fun to talk to some of the students. they loved their experience there. that was at the elementary school. and then the career and technical high school that also
serves adult populations, that was exciting to see as well. focus focus of much of your conversation here is around career and technical education. i look forward to talking more about that. molly: it has been. lot ofare in a gotten a great ideas from states that are doing some very innovative things. i know the u.s. department of education recently held the re-think cte conference. i know one of our principles, former national principle, spoke and said it was a wonderful day. what do you mean when you say re-think cte? sec. devos: i have talked a lot about rethinking education in general. and the fact that we have, for many decades, really siloed education into specific buckets. pre-k, k12, career and technical education, community colleges, four-year college and university.
between twitterverse entry requires that we really re-think really21st century requires we rethink how we offer education and how we collectively learn. that learning should become a lifelong pursuit. and matt these silos that have artificially developed over these decades, we endeavor to take those down, and encourage students at an early age, and i would argue in middle school, to start exposing them to a wide range of pathways beyond their 12th grade year. and know and understand what those options are, and know that what they decide in that 13th year may be something that they would do for a handful of years and then go back and further their education and repeat that several times, perhaps, during their lifetime. but i really appreciate this administration's focus on elevating what we have known as
career and technical education in a way that will help encourage more students to embrace it earlier, and will help -- some of the biggest impediment to encouraging students in those very viable directions our perceptions that parents have that overlay onto their children. but it is really exciting to see how some states in some regions have begun to think about this differently, have been very intentional about partnering with employers in their area to talk about what the opportunities are and what the needs are and how they might be able to partner with educators to help students find the right thing for them. molly: we heard earlier today in pennsylvania, they really neat program that i had not thought about, where they are offering
two weeks working with their businesses, they take teachers into the industry to learn more. you're right. the parents don't understand the opportunities that are out there now. but teachers, i found educators did not either. we have to get out and be in industry and assess our needs. just a minutepeak about the perkins five and the new reauthorization and how it opens up, and really requires us to work closely with businesses. sec. devos: certainly. i am sure you are familiar with the process right now where states are putting plans together to really take advantage of the new flexibilities in the reauthorization of perkins five. challenge is for states to think differently about what their unique needs are for their state. and multiple regions often within their state. what is right and
appropriate for a state like wyoming is probably going to be very different than a state like connecticut. opportunities afforded in the reauthorization there are very broad. i hope that creative people will take that opportunity seriously and think differently about what the next several years might in how they offer career and technical education to students. molly: the flexibility we have had in es as a and now with perkins has really allowed us more opportunities to work, and really been an incentive. i think almost every state has talked about their relationships with business community, how , or are working together with their commerce department. our superintendent from colorado just told us that they have added education as one of the
sector strategy industry that has a great need in colorado. with a teacher shortage, i am taking that idea back to south carolina. i know you recently announced the education freedom scholarships. in looking at that, i think there is opportunities there and with career technology dual credit and romans for families. we talk about that program and how it would work? sec. devos: i would love to. this is part of the proposed budget this year. it is actually in the treasury portion of the budget. it would be a federal tax credit in the amount of $5 billion a year. individuals and corporations could take a tax credit, designated a portion of their tax burden to an approved 501(c)(3) organization as approved by participating states. no state would be forced to participate.
give theiruals would tax credit moneys into visa 501(c)(3) organizations to then be granted out to students as defined by the state to make a choice that is right for them and their education. i have encouraged people to think much more broadly about what we mean when we talk about choice. it could be a dramatic expansion of career and technical education in your state. it could be enhancing dual enrollment opportunities, or introducing an increasing apprenticeship opportunities. for it could be providing transportation from a rural community to a place that was a little farther away than they might otherwise be able to go to pursue some career and technical opportunities. thinking very broadly and to addely about how
additional choices and opportunities to students that today might not be in the right fit for the right place for them. one of the other areas that often comes up too is what about rural communities? rural communities have smaller school populations but this opportunity could introduce things like course choice into their school where students could take a course that their school cannot hope to offer because of the size of their school, or the lack of teachers qualified to teach them. recent -- a recent visit i had to mississippi to a very rural area where the school there was having a hard time even finding enough teachers for the basic courses. o, they partnered with a 501(c)(3) organization that has been providing ap physics to
students in that school that really wanted to pursue that particular study. i will just say as an aside, physics was not my favorite subject. but it has worked really amazingly well. a yale astrophysics professor asynchronously these students and each of those students was paired up with a college age physics student to interact with during the week if they had questions and needed help with some of the work they were doing. again, really thinking creatively about how to expand choices and options and opportunities for students and states -- in states is the real goal of the education freedom scholarships initiative. molly: i really appreciate the proposal and especially opening it up. we are looking at that right now in south carolina. we have very rural areas were
the students don't have the same in career programs as the students in the urban areas do. we are looking at regional career centers but transportation is going to be an issue. i believe this funding would flow to the family. sec. devos: yes, it would be through 50 13 c scholarship granting organizations that would provide scholarships to families. if a state wanted to target specific students by income or children with disabilities, or it could be a wide range of programs in any one state. molly: we have a tax credit program now for special -- for children with special needs. i think we would qualify. i am very interested. of ustalk about -- all have been about a year now into full implementation of our first round. and went fairly well. we are all looking at our plans and adjustments that might need
to be tweaked. i know you have pretty open philosophy on granting waivers. would you talk about your philosophy and what you would like to see us do? sec. devos: i know that the waiver process is well underway. say, at a high level philosophically, if you expectationincrease around your -- what your students can achieve and set the bar higher for those with whom you work, anything that is going to ultimately result in greater student achievement is going to be seen very favorably by the department of education. on the other end of the spectrum, if it is a request to offyou skate or put
something that you should be doing today for students, that will not be as well received. ofhink we all share the goal wanting to see every student in each of our states and nationwide see every student have the best opportunity to succeed. we have to continue to raise the expectations that are continually setting our sights on what the next level of achievement might be. that is very broadly the philosophy. of course, anything than that falls within the law, we would look at favorably. little bitalked a this morning in our meeting about the waivers that have been asked and granted. i know new hampshire and louisiana i believe are working waivers on their assessments. sec. devos: actually, those are
around some of the flexibilities that are built into it. the innovative student pilot and new hampshire was really the inspiration for that. divede they have really deeply into personalized learning. really trying to see if this is the right direction for students in their state. see how thater to continues to unfold for new hampshire, for louisiana which is similarly aligned. i would encourage more of you to more broadly about what you might be able to accomplish with an alternative innovative assessment. i know there has been a lot of discussion over the last number of years around how much testing there is, too much testing, what kinds of tests, but again, i think if you have an idea about the bar fort raise
student achievement in a way that could be a, creative, new approach, we would encourage you to consider applying for that particular flexibility. and then the other one around test out ining to student centered funding, the funding following the student, of course this is more for local districts, would very much encourage some creativity in testing around that as well. don't think anyone has applied for that particular flexibility. but this is another area that congress granted flexibility to states and local communities. so, we would really love to see some more states and communities consider these types of
directions to test out and see how it works for the students they are serving. molly: that's great. i'm sure our folks are listening and will take that home. i know there is a lot of innovation going on. we talked about it this morning and our chiefs meeting in hawaii -- and hawaii i believe had been granted a waiver to give their assessment in native language, which has been very important to them. work in us are doing personalized learning. you, south carolina, many other states -- utah, south carolina, many other states. i think a lot of us are watching new hampshire, as their success as they move forward, we will be jumping on that same road. it takes a while. it is not something you can change overnight. it really takes a while to get the community all involved and then to really redo the assessment. it is a process. sec. devos: i know. i understand. it is a big pivot away from what
we have known for so long. i know for almost everyone, change is sometimes scary. change is hard. but we know it is also the right thing for a lot of kids. molly: it is. we are busy at work of redesigning -- i've shared with you before we can on stage, some of the students that have been here in the programs that have been explored and talked about, really some exciting things topening across our country when you were in south carolina, we met with a group of teachers and i was embarrassed because one talked about preventable development. she had been to that "was a waste of my time." they could not have been something we sponsored, i'm sure. [laughter] molly: but it had to be at one of those universities someplace. [laughter] molly: but i know that you have a very exciting proposal about teacher professional development. would you share that with that -- with us? sec. devos: i would love to. i've talked with hundreds of
teachers over the last couple of years. them hear very often from how they would really like something different for professional development. for some, it is a waste of time. for another, it is a check the box exercise. for someone else, it is whatever they have been assigned to go to is totally irrelevant. the proposal we have that is part of the budget is to toablish a pilot program give teachers and jurors to choose their own professional development. -- teachers vouchers to choose their own professional development. formed its not fully come a would be in the range of several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars to make it meaningful. in an early stage, a teacher wants to have more development around managing the classroom.
and maybe a mitchell -- a middle to enhanceer wants their particular subject matter area in a really deep way. teacherlater stage wants to find out and learn how to become a mentor or a teacher of teachers to others that they work with. that actually couples with another part of the proposal we have which is to establish mentorship and residency program for teachers that would encourage really awesome teachers to continue to stay in the classroom, but still be able thatvelop a career path would continue to give them advancement opportunities by taking on more responsibilities around teaching the teachers.
or being a director of a residency program to oversee new teachers, new into the profession. but give them a pathway so they do not feel like, in order to continue to advance their careers, they have to become administrators. molly: right. some of us are doing work with credentialing for teachers, same type of thing you're suggesting. theow you agree with me, most important person really and all of our work is the classroom teacher and having them well prepared, and well supported. i could talk all day with you. we will open it up. questions from any of you in the audience? let's see here. up front. this superintendent come if you will give your name and your position please? >> good afternoon. good afternoon, secretary.
pedro, from the commonwealth of pennsylvania. molly: you just happens to be our president of the association. isone of the opportunities taken issue on our platform over the course of the year. this year, i have been fortunate to work with colleagues to , equity and looking at the systemic barriers that exist working across agency to bring resources to students. at home, in their districts, and within their schools. i am interested, as you are looking at many of these policies in moving forward and creating partnerships, how do you imagine moving forward with an agenda to provide opportunities and resources to some of our most vulnerable kids, both within the department of education but trying to work across agencies? for example, with health answer -- and human services and the like to bring in those
opportunities? sec. devos: thanks for that question, pedro. i think one of the most exciting opportunities i see, first of all, i want to say, all of these things are really community -- best addressed at the most local level. because every single community is unique and different. to do thingsreedom that are most going to address those specific needs in the think a first imperative. proposal forax cut the tax-cut plans from last year establishes opportunity zones as many of you know, those have been identified across the country. i think 40% are in urban areas, 40% in rural, and the balance in ex urban or suburban areas.
i see a real huge opportunity for schools and community leadership, and community organizations that are -- that may be on the rim of or doing things on the rim of some of these opportunities. there are tremendous opportunities for partnership in these opportunity zones to really change the trajectory for our brothers and sisters who live in these communities in a way that has not been empowered before to have private capital flow into these areas in a way going to allow patient capital to reside there and help address some of these intransigent issues in specific communities, i think has a tremendous potential. i see great opportunity for
education and learning broadly to be a very, very key part of all of that. >> that's great. i'm glad the opportunities and, i will have to give a shout out to my own senator tim scott from south carolina who was the original sponsor of that and it is making a big difference in neglected communities really all across the country and in south carolina. they be time for another question? -- may be time for another question? christina from hawaii. aloha. >> chief in hawaii. thank you for your phone call when i joined the hawaii public schools. we had an opportunity to chat then. aroundtion is really recruitment and retention. we know it is a challenge, there it is a retention of teachers across our state. i had that challenge when i was a superintendent. i had states to take teachers from which does not solve the
problem. now i am in the middle of the pacific ocean, and there is no one to take teachers from. the number of teachers that are in our teacher preparation program, in spite of lots of incentives, is about one third of the number of teachers we need annually. this is a real challenge. i would like to know ways in which you and the department are willing to work with us to think about different policies solutions to really get the heart of teacher recruitment and retention for isolated districts that have one set of challenges and also just across the board? thank you. sec. devos: thanks, christina, for that question. what i understand is a very real issue for you geographically, and other factors in that consideration as well. i think the two new proposals we toe in the budget this year elevate what i think needs to
happen is elevating the profession of teaching in a way that empowers teachers and gives them more autonomy and freedom to do what they do best. them to really a firm their profession in new ways. hasink teaching in general gotten a bad beating over the years. and we have not focused on ways to continue to encourage those who are particularly effective as classroom teachers. and perhaps to encourage some that may want to -- or maybe better in a different profession to find that profession more quickly. state clearlyach has their own specific issues with teachers that are hardest to find.
opportunity to really a firm great teachers in new ways is one that we are excited about doing with the proposal that we have put forward as part of this year's budget. welcome andtainly entertain other thoughts and ideas that you all have. and as you continue to meet and challengesr shared and also the unique ones, ways to continue to elevate the teaching profession, and recognize it as the profession it is, will be good and important for all of us to have. molly: that is a great lesson and a reminder for all of us on how important our teachers are. the teacheracing shortage. i know through history, when the economy is strong and our economy is certainly strong right now, usually there is a
teacher shortage. but it is a reminder to us that we have to continually do things to support teachers, to make sure that they are getting competitive salaries, and to support professional development that they need. tells ushe big clock our time has gone. this has been really wonderful to have you with us this afternoon. we all appreciate your time and your service to the country. and for sharing the same goal we all have, and that is to make sure that every child in the united states of america gets the opportunity to be successful when they graduate from high school, that they are ready for college, career, and citizenship in this wonderful country. thank you so much for being with us. sec. devos: thank you all. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national [applause]
>> missus senator cory booker official -- if you missed senator cory booker's official announcement and campaign rally, you can want to write here tonight on c-span. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal. live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning. new york democratic representatives paul will be with us to discuss legislative discussion. barbara bush had finally had enough. they were out of the white house and she did not bite her tongue anymore.
she took offense at herreporters were doors asking questions about it which was not true -- that was just the sign to give nancy reagan heartburn. she said to nancy reagan, and don't you ever call me again. and she hung up. todays week on q&a, usa chief onn juror her biography on barbara bush. >> she said, you will never see my diaries. her diaries are kept at the bush library but they are not available for public view, until 35 years after her death. i understood that and i thought that she was unlikely to let me see her diaries. at the end of the fifth interview, she said, and you can see my diaries.