In Washington, Betsy Devos has been having one of the most difficult campaigns for education reform. As the new US Education Secretary, she has been grilled by many in the press as well as peers and educators. She is a polarizing figure with a lot to say on the state of America’s education. However, she believes that she has the solution that will help students get the education that they want.
Educational choice has been around for some time, but Devos is a champion for the movement. Educational choice means that students get to decide where they go to school in case they don’t want to go to the school where they are zoned. Instead of basing school decisions off of location, Devos says that it is beneficial to have a range of options. This means that you can get education from a virtual school, homeschooling program, private school, magnet program, or charter school.
While some have voiced their concerns because it would mean allowing public funding to pay for private schools, Devos says that most of the funding has come from philanthropists, who have donated millions of dollars to the education choice movement. Some of these donors include Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton.
Devos recently did an interview with “60 Minutes,” where she was interview by Leslie Stahl. He asked her if she felt that any programs had been a success since the start of her appointment. She believes that Florida has shown significant progress, as it is the state with the most educational choice options nad it has a tuition-based scholarship program.
In addition to championing school reform, now Devos has taken on security and safety of students. With many reports coming from Washington that schools are being updated for next level safety, it’s still unclear how teachers and students will protect themselves within the new state. President Trump has appointed Devos to head up this effort.
As Devos nears her third term in office, she will be coming under fire more if the programs don’t stand up to what she has claimed in the beginning. Many are waiting to see how she will be able to reform schools in other states, besides Florida and Louisiana, where she has had the most effect.
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