Now just over a year in office, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos continues to be a lightning rod in the field of American education. The debate over her K-12 philosophy and policy ideas remains vigorous in many quarters. Education Week’s opinion editors were interested in hearing from people in the field about what they believe matters most when it comes to schooling children. To that end, we asked a handful of participants to briefly consider if they were given the chance to sit down with the secretary, what issue or course of action would they urge her to prioritize, and how would they make their case. This is what they had to say.
—The Editors

Higher Education

It’s no secret that change is underway in education and beyond. Industries are morphing, jobs are shifting, and new careers are emerging because of technology. A century-long trend toward a highly skilled workforce is accelerating, and our economy will demand greater levels of education.

More Americans, both young and old, will need education beyond high school. And our institutions will have to evolve in profound ways to meet their needs.

That’s why we must seize this moment as Congress debates the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which governs colleges and universities and provides them with federal financial support. Our national legislative framework must enable and encourage the changes we will need over the next decades to build a stronger system for higher education. Our country has changed significantly since the act was last reauthorized in 2008…

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