U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in Grand Rapids today for a school tour, roundtable discussion and more.

The Department of Education says the goal of the visit is to consider one of several "why" questions Sec. DeVos identified in a speech given in January.

The question considered today is "Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?"

Sec. DeVos will visit Grand Rapids Public Museum School at 9:45 a.m. to take a tour of Grand Rapids Public Museum Middle School classrooms.

At 10:45 a.m., Sec. DeVos will hold a roundtable discussion with museum leadership, school leadership, teachers and students.

Sec. DeVos will also learn more about how the school uses the existing public infrastructure to provide enhanced educational opportunities to students.

Grand Rapids Public Museum School says their school:

...delivers a unique education that you won’t find anywhere else. Our mission is to inspire passionate curiosity, nurture creative problem solving, cultivate critical thinking, and instigate innovation. The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s main areas of focus include history, science, and culture, and the museum maintains a collection of over 250,000 artifacts and specimens. Students who attend the Public Museum School will be able to touch, feel, and see these artifacts from throughout history every day. This hands-on approach to learning activates the mind.

Here is a full list of the "why" questions identified by Sec. DeVos in her speech on Jan. 16, 2018:

  • Why do we group students by age?
  • Why do schools close for the summer?
  • Why must the school day start with the rise of the sun?
  • Why are schools assigned by your address?
  • Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?
  • Why is choice only available to those who can buy their way out? Or buy their way in?
  • Why can't a student learn at his or her own pace?
  • Why isn't technology more widely embraced in schools?
  • Why do we limit what a student can learn based upon the faculty and facilities available?

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