If you have been watching the news lately, you have probably seen Betsy DeVos in a ton of interviews, defending the idea of educational choice. While many states have refused to embrace the idea of private choice and more charter schools, some states have fallen in line including Florida and Louisiana. These states now have the most options for private choice. Florida also has a tuition-based scholarship program that helps sends students to college.
However, are these new programs successful? What does Betsy DeVos think about public educators condemning her actions as elitist and in support of public funding for private schools? DeVos has brushed off the protests, claiming that they don’t have the real interests of students at heart. Students are the main focus, she says. Every student should have the right to choose where they go to school, which is why she supports educational choice and vouchers.
Still, many educators believe that Betsy DeVos’ plans are ruining public education entirely and don’t seem to support teachers at all. Since teachers have to work with students on a daily basis, shouldn’t education reform include them in the policymaking as well? DeVos doesn’t seem to think so.
DeVos believes that non-public schools are the way to go. She has received hard questions from the public, fellow Republicans and Democrats, as well as Leslie Stahl, the interview for “60 Minutes.” She defended her position as an education reform advocate well, stating that mediocrity in public schools should not be tolerated.
Private schools have come to the forefront of the conversation as many people wonder whether these schools will be receiving public funding. So far, much of educational choice is supported by philanthropy, and you will never guess who has contributed.
Not only has Betsy DeVos contributed through her own organization the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, but she has also received help from Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. These heavy hitters have donated millions to helping the educational choice movement. Doesn’t that account for something?
Both Democrats and Republicans have shown some skepticism towards DeVos’ policies, mostly because she is in support of deregulation. She has consistently worked in Michigan for the deregulation of charter schools. Michigan’s charter schools are hardly regulated compared to the rest of the country. This means that private companies are running many of the charter schools in Michigan. This means that schools may not be fairly regulated so that they serve students’ best interests. This has garnered some concern from federal authorities in the past.
In addition, Trump has charged Betsy DeVos with school safety and gun control. She now has to decide what to do that will prevent school shootings, although she has declined to say what that plan will entail. She is also not a huge supporter of the Common Core Method.
What do you think of Betsy DeVos’ plans for education reform?
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.