While many believe in the choice that President Trump made in 2016, there are those who are not sure about the new US Education Secretary. Betsy DeVos is a bold education reformer who has worked almost her entire career in educational reform. She says that it was her mother who pushed her into the field, and her mother continues to be an inspiration for the changes that she is trying to make in the American school system.
The US Education Secretary has faced considerable opposition towards her educational choice movement. Many believe that it is a path to public funding for private education. However, DeVos points out that not all the programs under educational choice require vouchers, and much of the funding has come from philanthropists like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and her own foundation.
Still, she has been asked tough questions by the media, public school teachers, and interviewers like Leslie Stahl. Many of these interviewers want to know what she hopes to gain by changing the school system. Some even believe that standardized testing is a good option for measuring student and school performance. However, the test scores haven’t drastically improved since the start of the program. If anything, students have only learned how to memorize instead of comprehend.
It has been a long road for Betsy DeVos. She has worked tirelessly in her home state to get charter school bills past, including the Kids First! Coalition bill which was supposed to create more opportunities for charter schools in Michigan. While the bill was rejected by the government in Michigan in a majority vote, she still believed that there were options to help take the school system in a new direction.
She points to Florida as one of her biggest successes. The state has the most public school options, including private schools, charter schools, magnet programs, homeschooling, and virtual schools. There is also a tuition-based scholarship program that allows students to pick any private school if they qualify. Betsy DeVos says these changes are coming to every state, but most states have been resistant to the new educational reforms. Many do not want to start on a path towards public funding for private schools, although that is far from the case.
DeVos has co-founded her own charter school in Michigan called the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The school trains students to become pilots and learn more about the aviation industry. She co-founded the school with her husband Dick DeVos.
As Betsy DeVos only has two more years left, she has to implement more programs in the next year in order to show proof that her concept works. However, she is currently having to deal with school safety issues. She has been appointment to the head position of the movement and will be discussing what to do to make schools safer, including whether or not teachers should have a gun in the classroom.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.