Parents have been complaining about it since the very first assignment was brought home. Common core method has drained students and parents by making them memorize answers to math questions on standardized tests. While theorists state that it’s supposed to make students critically think about the questions, the tests have shown the opposite. The United States is still one of the lowest on reading comprehension and math skills across the world.


So what is the issue? Why are so many people fighting over education reform now that Betsy DeVos is in office? The 11th US Education Secretary has a background in education reform, but as her critics point out, she has never been a teacher. How did she come to hold the highest position in education, then? Well, many point to the DeVos foundation and its charitable giving.


However, DeVos is a brilliant businesswoman who has championed education reform for many decades. In the past, she has worked in Michigan trying to reform their laws around educational choice to bring in more options for underprivileged students stuck in failing school districts.


What does DeVos have to say to those who criticize her experience and reasons for educational choice? She says that they simply don’t understand educational choice and what it’s about. She told Leslie Stahl in an interview with “60 Minutes” in 2018 that her critics don’t understand how it works. They have simply forgotten to ask. This was a great interview answer by DeVos because it showed that people may not be doing their research when it comes to student choice.


In fact, educational choice programs are funded by philanthropy and donors like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Betsy DeVos has given over $35 million to education, and she has been able to build a strong educational choice program in Florida. Louisiana also has educational choice options, but many other states are refusing to implement any educational choice programs at all. DeVos thinks that this is silly and sets back children in other states because they will be forced to go to schools that don’t have the right programs.


In Florida, students have the most options for schools. They can choose between magnet programs at another public school that cater to their interests, such as performing arts, music, international studies, or business law. Then there are charter schools and private schools.


DeVos says that she will continue to work with other states through the end of her term, hoping to change the tides for educational choice programs in America.


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