Key Coverage

Betsy Devos’s School Choice Ideas Are a Reality in Sweden, Where Student Performance Has Suffered

It was one of many tense moments at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing this year. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., repeatedly asked DeVos if she believed that all schools that receive public money, including private schools, should meet the same accountability standards. DeVos would not answer yes or no; she eventually began repeating, “I support accountability.”

Many people were alarmed by her answers. They fear what will happen to American education if school choice is expanded without mechanisms in place to ensure students are learning and schools are of high quality. Some point to Sweden, and its plummeting international test scores, as a warning of what more school choice in the U.S. could bring without an accompanying rise in accountability.