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Washington — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says her predecessor wasted billions of dollars trying to fix traditional public schools.

DeVos says former Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s signature $7 billion project targeting failing schools did not produce significant results. Therefore, she says, it is vital to give American parents the options of charter, private and other schools. She asked, “At what point do we accept the fact that throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution?”

DeVos spoke Wednesday at the Brookings Institution.

Asked whether school choice options also can fail, DeVos said, “I am not sure that we can deteriorate a whole lot.”

During the Obama administration, high school graduation rates reached record levels but scores on standardized tests showed mixed results.

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