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DeVos continues 'Rethink School' tour with stop at Air Force Academy

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with leadership and cadets at the Air Force Academy during the second day of her 'Rethink School' tour across six states including Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Indiana. 

'I think this institution is a very fine example of approaching education in an innovative fashion not being satisfied  by doing things the way they've always been done,' said Secretary DeVos. 

In a press release from the Department of Education DeVos said the tour's goal is 'to highlight what’s working. We want to encourage local education leaders to continue to be creative, to empower parents with options and to expand student-centered education opportunities.'

During her visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy, DeVos toured the chapel- which will be closed starting next summer for renovations, the secretary also ate lunch with the cadets, visited some classrooms, and watched a P.T. test- a physical fitness exam that takes place at least once a semester.

4,000 cadets packed the dining hall as DeVos made rounds shaking hands and introducing herself to them. 

During DeVos' stops to academic buildings- the secretary had the opportunity to test out a flight simulator and see some of the work students are doing in the CyberWorx program. 

"We have visits fairly often by some dignitaries," said Cadet James Brahm,"it's very unusual to have a secretary level position here so this is really a huge honor for us."

 Brahm will graduate from the Air Force Academy in 2019- the cadet said he was looking forward to talking to DeVos about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.

"I think it's really important that the next generation has a really strong foundation in STEM both for our national security and the overall well being of the nation," said Brahm. 

"It's a really great experience to get her perspective on how the academy does education," said Brahm. The cadet added he felt the academy has a unique mission to prepare future officers "it's great to have her insight here and see what she thinks about how we do things," said Brahm. 

'I mean clearly it's a very different higher-ed institution and yet at the same time it's really serving the needs for preparing them for a very full life beyond the 4 years here,' said DeVos. 

In a brief interview with media Secretary DeVos explained her stance on Colorado's school choice program: 'I continue to be impressed with the move of the community to offer parents more and better options for their children's education,' the secretary went on to say 'I hope that they will continue in that vein we think parents  are best equipped to make the decisions on behalf of their younger students and students need choices at all ages to pursue their education.'

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