Since 1979, Betsy Devos has been working in education reform. She has dedicated her life to changing policies, introducing legislation, and supporting charter schools. When she became the 11th US Education Secretary, many were shocked. She had never been a teacher or worked in public school administration. However, she was also quite a polarizing figure for those who wanted to keep public funding out of private education.
Devos has said that people who state that have no understanding of what she is trying to do. She doesn’t believe that some people have even tried to give educational choice a chance, although she believes that standardized testing and common core math are not helping American students. The current system has created failing school zones that never seem to get any better, as well.
So, Devos proposed the educational choice program. This allowed students to choose where they wanted to go to school. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Lesley Stahl talked to Devos about the success of these programs and whether or not, she felt that she had achieved what she wanted. Devos replied that particular programs at the state level were successful, such as those in Florida and Louisiana. However, she also believes that she has a long way to go to get more states on board.
Right now, Devos is experiencing a hard defense from many states who don’t want to change over to educational choice. Devos believes that it’s simply not understanding how the program works. For example, students in Florida are able to choose between magnet programs, homeschooling, virtual schools, private schools, and charter schools. There is even a tuition-based scholarship program to help students get into the best schools if they don’t have the funding.
It’s programs like these that cause concern. Devos says that this is the best option for parents and students who are stuck in failing zones right now. In addition, it helps that students have these choices as they are able to get excited about school again when they can pick where they want to go.
President Trump has also appointed Betsy Devos to lead the school safety movement. She has been meeting with security advisers to affect positive change in schools without resorting to more guns on campus. Most schools will now have additional security, as well as new evacuation routes and more policies regarding their backpacks.
Devos has less than two years to figure out a plan for educational choice long-term. Hopefully she will be able to convince more states to join the program by 2020.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.