Have you heard the latest from Washington regarding education reform? Betsy DeVos is the new US Education Secretary, appointed by President Donald Trump in 2016. She has been working through a lot of criticism, but she continues to be positive and excited about the changes happening across the United States in education. In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” she discussed her plans with Leslie Stahl. She has been doing a great job with interviews as she tours the country in support of educational choice, explaining why it’s a great option right now for students and parents.
Leslie Stahl grilled DeVos on the educational choice programs she is working on in different states. He pointed out that standardized testing and Common Core Math have been increasing scores by 20% in the past few years, but DeVos looks at the reports of students not entering college with the right math skills and reading comprehension. She says that only time will tell if the new programs are more successful. She believes that they will be.
Educational choice has received a lot of criticism simply because many do not understand what it means. Most believe that it is public funding for charter schools, but actually, educational choice is giving students the freedom to pick where they want to go to school so that they don’t have to attend a failing school just because of a zone or where they live.
Educational choice programs are more than charter and private schools as well. Students can choose to go to a magnet program, as well as virtual schools and homeschooling courses. Basically, parents and students now have a way out if they do not like the school where they are zoned. Many ask how this is paid for, but they would be surprised to note that much of the funding comes from philanthropy, not public funding.
Donors like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton have been donating to the educational choice movement for many years. As DeVos continues to move around the country, she has been a champion of this movement and has brought forth a variety of fresh ideas to help students understand that they can have the education where they want to go to school.
This has become an increasing problem for American students who simply don’t want to go to the school where they are zoned. Students now are able to pick the programs, and DeVos hopes that they will see more progress if the programs are allowed to thrive.
She has also been tasked with school safety reform in the wake of several school shootings in the past few months. This has given her time to work on new policies with legislators, but it has taken away from her educational choice campaign. She hopes to help with school safety and new options for educational choice throughout the rest of her appointment.
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