Betsy DeVos Addresses SXSWedu

Challenges audience to open up U.S. education system to choice, innovation and freedom

BDV sxsweduAUSTIN, TX (March 11, 2015) – This morning Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children, delivered remarks at the SXSWedu conference on, “Competition, Creativity & Choice in the Classroom.” DeVos challenged the audience to open up the nation’s education system utilizing choice in order to improve outcomes and create new educational models not yet imagined.
“Here’s my thesis for your consideration — we must revolutionize our education delivery system in America.   That’s it – that’s all I’m asking for.  Open education up; allow for choice, innovation, and freedom.”
DeVos laid out six “inconvenient truths” about our nation’s education system:

#1 — Our education delivery system in America is antiquated and it is quite frankly embarrassing.

#2 – American education has been losing ground to other countries for at least half a century.

#3 — We are stuck in a partisan rut.  The political parties are dead enders when it comes to education revolution.

#4 — Government really sucks.

#5 — We don’t pay teachers enough, and we don’t fire teachers enough.

#6 — In America we do NOT provide equal educational opportunity to our kids.

And, before taking questions from the audience, ended the speech challenging attendees of SXSWedu.

“I don’t care who the winners or losers are in the current partisan political debate.   That is immaterial.  If we can manage to break free, to open the system and embrace all choices for education, we will be the first to give politicians awards to hang on their office walls.

“But most importantly, the next generations of kids will be the real winners.  And collectively, as Americans, we will all benefit from their unleashed horsepower.

“If you claim you are for freedom…if you claim to be an innovator or you value innovation….if you claim to be an entrepreneur, …if you claim to believe in equal opportunity…if you claim to embrace social justice….then you have to embrace educational choice, and you have to embrace opening up our closed education delivery system.”

Full transcript of remarks:


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