Have you seen the latest news about the US Education Secretary? Betsy DeVos has been in the spotlight since her appointment in 2017 to the 11th Office of US Education Secretary by President Donald Trump. At the time, her appointment was opposed by many in the education community. It was clear that she didn’t have qualifications as a teacher, but that hasn’t been what DeVos has worked on for the past few decades.
Since her time at Calvin College, DeVos has been an activist and philanthropist, working with students and schools of all kinds in her home state of Michigan. The problem was that many in the Michigan Congress did not see eye to eye with DeVos’ plans for educational choice programs.
Educational choice programs came from the issue of failing schools due to poor standardized testing scores. As standardized testing became the way that schools received funding, it was clear that there was an issue with schools in poorer school districts. These schools weren’t receiving the same funding, and it was because of low testing scores. This cyclical issue began to tear away at many school districts, and many students wanted to go to school in other areas.
Students shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school or be under-stimulated due to the lack of funds. DeVos began to work with schools in Michigan, promoting charter schools as a way to get around the issue of failing schools through educational choice. While many have criticized her for using public funds to support these “for-profit” schools, DeVos points out that it simply isn’t true.
DeVos has donated millions of dollars to education in this country. She has some of the biggest donors, as well. This includes Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart. Each of these companies understands that educational choice benefits students in all areas. It allows students to immediately get out of a bad schooling situation as well. Parents and students have sun the praises of these programs.
In early 2019, DeVos toured the country with First Lady Melania Trump because she wanted to show off the progress in certain states where educational choice has been implemented. This included Florida, where the tour started. In Miami, they visited charter schools and talked about how the program has many other options besides choosing a private schools.
Students can choose to go to a magnet school, after all. These magnet schools have programs for educational choice students. You can switch to a magnet school if you join their special program, such as business law or performing arts. This allows students to get into a curriculum that inspires them.
Betsy DeVos has only a year left to bring educational choice to more states.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.