Betsy DeVos has been leading the way for education reform for the past two years. Since taking office, she has polarized the educational community with her unconventional ideas for educational choice. While many teachers are against it, parents and students have supported these changes, as it gives them the opportunity to choose where they go to school. These choices have been criticized by educators as many say it will lead to public funding for private schools.
In a recent interview with “60 Minutes” and Lesley Stahl, DeVos talked about the success of these new programs and whether she thought that they would out-perform previous administration policies, such as standardized testing, Common Core method, and No Child Left Behind.
DeVos has said that it’s been difficult to get states on board with educational choice. Many who criticize the program don’t realize how much philanthropy has paved the way for these options. Students are able to pick where they go to school in certain states because of these reforms. DeVos says that Louisiana and Florida are two of her biggest successful states. She hopes that many others will join the cause before her term is up in 2020.
As the 11th US Secretary of Education, DeVos has received a lot of slack for her policies since she has never been a teacher. However, that doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with educational reform. DeVos is concerned with putting students first, she said in the interview with Stahl. She wants parents and students to have a way out of the system that has been failing them for many decades.
These options have grown in recent years as online courses have become available as well. Students no longer have to go to school in order to learn. They can choose to attend virtual courses if their state allows educational choice options. Florida is one of the best options because it has the most educational opportunities out of any state.
Florida can provide magnet programs, virtual courses, homeschooling programs, and private school options to those who apply. In addition, students can go to a charter school. If they need help paying for those courses, they can apply to a tuition-based scholarship program. How are these programs being paid for? DeVos has some serious backers, including donors like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton.
In addition, DeVos has donated over $35 million of her own through the DeVos Family Foundation. She has also co-founded a school in West Michigan, and she continues to work hard to see students every day. In fact, she has been touring the south with First Lady Trump, visiting schools throughout Miami.
In addition to education reform, DeVos has been working on school campus safety and reforming gun laws for school campuses. While she doesn’t want to allow more guns on campuses, she has beefed up policies at schools around the country. So far there has not been a school shooting since these new policies were in place.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.