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Betsy DeVos’s Michigan Legacy

It’s clear how Betsy DeVos wants to change public education.

It’s equally clear how hard Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education will push, and how much she’ll spend, to make those changes. What’s less clear is whether her remedies for public education — unveiled in Michigan over more than two decades — actually help students learn.

The academic rank of Michigan students compared with peers in other states has dropped dramatically since DeVos’s biggest policy victories: the expansion of charter schools (most run by for-profit companies), and breaking down barriers to students attending schools outside their home district, known as school choice.