There have been a few people in politics who have polarized America. One of those is currently the 11th US Education Secretary. Known as Betsy DeVos, she was appointed by President Trump in 2017 to lead the education reform movement and help students. So far, DeVos claims that she has been doing just that. In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” she discussed working with state leaders to evolve educational choice and how she wants to put students first.
The past two years have been difficult for Betsy DeVos. She came into an administration that was struggling to define itself, but now that she has been in office for nearly two years, she has been getting work done and opening up states to the idea of private choice or educational choice. These programs allow students to pick where they want to go to school, instead of being forced into a school district based on zip codes.
While the idea seems normal, many people have criticized these policies. Educators think that it is a way to take away funding for public schools at a time when schools need it the most. However, that’s not what DeVos is doing, according to her interview with Lesley Stahl. She talked about wanting to put students first, and she says that people who say that about educational choice simply don’t understand it.
In fact, many of these programs are supported through philanthropy. She has big donors including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. She has also donated to educational causes including $35 million from DeVos Family Foundation. It has been difficult to get every state on board with educational choice, but DeVos is continuing to work with the states in order to affect change.
She has been touring the south with the First Lady Melania Trump in order to stop at campuses and talk to schools about her campaign. It’s her goal to ensure that educational choice is implemented in every state, but it’s been slow going. So far, the top state for educational choice is Florida, where students have the most opportunities to go to private schools and public schools of their choice.
Students can pick between magnet schools, virtual courses, private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling programs in Florida and Louisiana. While educational choice is certainly important, DeVos has also been focused on making school campuses safer. She has been working with state leaders to ensure that new policies were enacted as of the 2018 to 2019 school year.
So far, there haven’t been any school shootings since these policies, but DeVos continues to work with safety officials to ensure that students are protected.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.