FREMONT – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was in Nebraska yesterday as part of her 2017 “Rethink School” tour.
Secretary DeVos toured Midland University’s Code Academy in Omaha. She is on a six state “Rethink School” tour to highlight the innovative and groundbreaking work happening in schools across America. The tour will showcase creative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.
Secretary DeVos stated Midland’s program is an example of a university creating career-ready students.
“Midland is definitely an example of a school that is meeting the needs of students today,” said DeVos. “And providing schedules and classes that are effective and flexible, and relevant to what is needed in the community, and what’s needed for students to be energized and take a new direction in their lives.”
During an interview, Secretary DeVos discussed her view on charter schools.
“I think charter schools are a great opportunity for parents to be able to find schools that work for their kids,” said DeVos. “Most importantly, I think it’s important that parents be empowered to make the right choice for each of their children’s education and find the right environment for them.”
Secretary DeVos also commented on what she thinks the federal government’s role in higher education should be.
“I think we have a great opportunity now with Congress considering the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act to look more holistically at how the federal government does support higher education,” said DeVos. “Career and technical education has been very much segmented off in the past. And frankly I think we’ve done a disservice to young people for many years, by suggesting that the only path to success as adults is through a four year college and university.”
Midland University’s President, Jody Horner, says it’s an honor to have Secretary DeVos visit the Code Academy.
“We’re really proud of the programs that we have at Midland University. I think the Coding Academy is a great example of that,” said Horner. “So it’s a true honor to be able to share our story and hear from the secretary on things that are interesting and innovative in our space.”
Secretary DeVos will continue on the “Rethink School” tour through the rest of the week. She’ll visit three schools — a mix of public, private and parochial — in Omaha and Lincoln on Thursday. They are the private Nelson Mandela Elementary School in north Omaha and St. Mary’s Catholic School and the Science Focus Program — known as the Zoo School — in Lincoln.