For many years, Betsy DeVos has been working in educational reform. It all began as a graduate at Calvin College where she studied. She moved on to work on the Jimmy Carter campaign. Now that she is the US Education Secretary, she has received a lot of slack for her lack of educational career. However, that doesn’t phase DeVos who has been a champion for education reform for some time. She knows why the opposition is against her position, but she says that what she is doing is for the students.
Educational choice is her platform. She has been its champion since the 1990s. While she started the charter school movement in Michigan, she has been unsuccessful in getting “Kids First! Coalition” bill passed in her home state. It has been states like Florida and Louisiana where she has seen the most progress, mostly because they have been the most accepting of the new programs. For now, she continues to go across the country championing educational choice and reform.
Many do not understand educational choice, but they hear that it may lead to public funding for private schools. Betsy DeVos says that is not the case. In fact, philanthropy has been the major driver of educational choice reform so far. Through her own foundation and those set up by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton, the educational choice movement continues to gain ground. DeVos is hoping that be the end of her term, more states will have joined in educational choice support.
Educational choice means that students have the option to pick where they want to go to school. They do not have to stick to the schools that they were zoned for. This is helpful for both students and teachers as many schools do not stand up to the standards of others. Now students have the options to pick from magnet programs, charter schools, private schools, homeschooling, and virtual schools. With these options available, students don’t have to worry about going to a school that doesn’t have the right programs or curriculum.
DeVos has faced some tough questions on her new policies. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” she answered questions about the successes of her educational programs. She answered that it will take more time to really see the progress. There has been too much conjecture to get educational choice implemented in all states. She is still working on that, but she has also been given a new task.
President Trump placed DeVos in charge of school safety, wanting to end the gun violence in schools. While she’s not sure if gun training will be required for students, she does believe that a unified solution will be made to keep students and teachers safe.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.