For those who have been following education reform the past three decades, there haven’t been too many successes to bring America’s students up to the same level as other countries around the world. America still ranks low in reading comprehension and math skills. While common core method and standardized testing have also caused problems, it’s been the lack of consistency between administrations that has caused the real problems.
Betsy DeVos has always made students her first priority. As the US Education Secretary, she has been at the center of controversy since her appointment in 2017. One of the main problems was that she didn’t have experience as a teacher before becoming the highest leader of the education reform movement. That hasn’t deterred her from doing what’s best for America’s students in the face of controversy.
While she grew up in Michigan, DeVos always wanted to be in Washington. She fought hard for education reform in her home state and donated over $35 million to educational causes. When she was appointed to the US Education Secretary position, she was able to work with many more states on ways to improve education. Her go-to was educational choice. She has always believed that students should be able to pick where they wanted to go to school. Parents have had to agree as well, as common core method has caused many problems with the public school curriculum.
Educational choice isn’t a new movement. It started in 1990s with charter schools and private schools, then it expanded into magnet programs at public schools. Students were able to pick where they wanted to go to school no matter where they were from and what school districts were zoned. Failing school districts have kept students back for many years, but it’s also been the fault of previous administrations.
No Child Left Behind and common core method have become two major issues for the current administration. President Donald Trump stated that he wanted to get rid of common core method within the term of his administration. However, it’s still predominantly taught at public schools across America.
DeVos has been fighting for students to have the right to pick a school. She believes that it’s better for students in underprivileged areas to pick where they go to school, and why not? Students shouldn’t be afraid to go to school. DeVos has supported charter schools and educational choice programs for many years.
She started in the early 1990s and continued to support legislation in Michigan, including the “Kids First!” Coalition in the early 2000s. This legislation wasn’t approved in Michigan, but DeVos continued to support charter schools. Now that she has risen to the highest post for education, she has been able to work with state leaders and support a campaign for educational choice across the United States.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Leslie Stahl asked poignant questions to Betsy DeVos about the success of educational choice. While it hasn’t been widely implemented in just two years in office, DeVos has had success in some states. In particular, Louisiana and Florida have been successful. Florida has the most educational choice programs, including a tuition-based scholarship to help pay for private school programs.
In addition, DeVos says that she plans on bringing more programs to make students face on school campuses. This included policies and regulations that would prevent school shooters on campuses across the United States.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.