Throughout her years in education reform, Betsy DeVos has fought extremely hard for educational choice. In fact, she has gone on several interviews and given away millions of dollars in support of these programs, despite how unpopular they have become in the education community. While many students have said that educational choice helps them go to a better school, public school educators and administrators disagree with these programs.
So what are the issues with Betsy DeVos’ educational choice platform?
For one, many state that DeVos is using educational choice to funnel public funding to for-profit schools. DeVos challenged this in an interview with “60 Minutes,” where she explained to Leslie Stahl how the program works and said that it doesn’t use public funding at all. In fact, philanthropy has helped with educational choice most of all.
DeVos has given away $35 million to education, and she has some major donors who support her campaign. This includes Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart. It’s clear that many people support the ideals of educational choice, but there are some misconceptions of how it works.
After the interview, many people realized that Betsy DeVos is just trying to help out underprivileged students who are stuck in failing school zones. Students should feel safe and inspired to go to school, rather than afraid. It’s clear that in some school districts, it’s been difficult to get resources because of low standardized testing scores. While DeVos says that she can’t uproot the entire system, she can offer relief to students and parents.
This means that students are allowed to go to schools outside of their zones with educational choice. The best examples of these policies are in Florida. The Sunshine State offers the most opportunities to students. They don’t have to pick a failing school. Rather they can choose virtual school programs, homeschooling programs, magnet schools, or private and charter schools. DeVos has toured the state with the First Lady Melania Trump to view the progress.
It’s been remarkable how students are changing towards new schools. Many other states are working towards their own educational choice programs, but it’s been difficult fighting the stigma that these programs would use tax dollars for private school vouchers.
In addition to education reform, DeVos has also been working on campus safety and policies regarding gun violence on campus. It’s clear that America’s schools have problems, which is why new guardians have been placed on campus to keep them safe. There have been new drills and other policies regarding teachers with guns that have also helped to protect students.
DeVos has said that she will continue to fight for educational choice despite the opposition. She has one more year to convince more states about the effectiveness of her programs.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.