Which Colorado schools will Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visit?

When we learned that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would visit Colorado as part of her “Rethink School” tour this week, we began brainstorming all the places she could go.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Ashland Elementary School. (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Ashland Elementary School. (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Ashland Elementary School. (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)

By Nic GarciaChalkbeat 

When we learned that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would visit Colorado as part of her “Rethink School” tour this week, we began brainstorming all the places she could go.

The Douglas County School District would seem a good fit, with its large roster of charter schools and ongoing legal efforts to get a private school voucher program off the ground. The politics in Denver are altogether different, but DeVos does have a standing invitation to visit — not from the district, but from Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, its former superintendent.

Well, we contacted both districts, and a DeVos visit is not planned, according to district communications folks.

Charter schools run by former Republican lawmakers? A couple come to mind: Colorado Early College, a network founded former state lawmaker Keith King, and Liberty Common High School in Fort Collins, headed by former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer.

We reached Schaffer by email. His reply: DeVos isn’t coming “unless she knows of our standing Thursday 10 a.m. tours and the Secret Service is doing unannounced drop-ins these days.”

A private school? Entirely possible. DeVos could visit any one of the private schools profiled by the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank that supports using public tax dollars to subsidize private school education.

DeVos’s team is waiting until Tuesday to share which schools the controversial school choice advocate will visit.

We do know that DeVos’s trip to Colorado is part of her first multi-state tour and will include 13 schools in six states.

The 21 schools DeVos has visited so far have been, as you’d expect, a mix, according to EdWeek. She has visited 10 traditional district-run public schools, six private schools and five charter schools.

So it’s a guessing game until then. And we want you to join in the fun!

Tell us in the comment section below, or on Facebook or Twitter, which Colorado school you think DeVos will visit. Remember, the goal of DeVos’s visit is to profile innovate programs that are “rethinking” education.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.