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Education Secretary DeVos Finds 'Silver Linings' In Deadly Pandemic

Betsy DeVos sits at the head of a "U" configuration of tables surrounded by administrators, teachers and students of the International Leadership Charter school in Garland.
Bill Zeeble
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hears from administrators and others at the International Leadership Charter in Garland, Texas. She wanted their take on teaching and learning through the coronavirus.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was in Garland on Thursday, learning how some schools are teaching through COVID-19. She found positives in a year of negatives.

DeVos said she found several silver linings to the deadly pandemic that’s now killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S., even as flare-ups persist.

"I believe that one of the silver linings to this pandemic is going to be the much more rapid adoption of technology," DeVos said.

After COVID-19 shut schools down in March, online-learning took over, along with lots of problems. Teachers, students and families not only struggled with technology itself, but with long-distance learning.

DeVos also applauded variations on classrooms that maintain in-person learning.

"We’re seeing families across the country who are electing to start small home schools,” DeVos said, “or micro-schools or pods or some other definition of small schools with few students. And I think we’ll see a lot more of that."

Critics see those small-school options available mostly to families with money. Devos said they should be equally accessible to low-income families, but she didn’t mention a way to make that happen.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.