Betsy Devos and the Educational Choice Movement

It has not been easy for Betsy Devos, the 11th US Education Secretary, and the main leader of the education reform movement in America. While education reform has been around since the 1980s, it has taken Devos a painstakingly long time to get to this level. For many years, she worked on educational choice through philanthropy in Michigan, raising funding for new schools that had a curriculum without Common Core Math and standardized testing teaching.


Most private schools have been criticized for wanting public funding because of what Devos has been trying to do. Public school administration and teachers believe that funding is being taken away from public schools and given to private schools. However, Devos says that this just isn’t true, and actually, comments like that simply mean that they haven’t looked at the programs at all.


Educational choice is for students, according to Devos. She recently was in an interview with “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl and answered some hard questions about the success of her new programs. While standardized testing has had some time to be tested, she has been under a microscope since taking office. She has said that it has been difficult trying to gain support in every state, particularly those that are against charter schools. However, educational choice is not just about private school funding.


Educational choice simply means that a child has a choice on where he attends school. This means that a student could potentially study at home in a homeschooling program or virtual school, or they may go to a private school or charter school. Magnet school programs are also available. The funding for these projects largely has come from major donations, such as those from Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and the Devos Family Foundation.


Devos has also had to work with security professionals and legislators on school safety reform. She was appointed to the task early in 2018 by President Trump. Currently, new security policies are in place to lock down the school and provide metal detectors in the hopes of deterring gun-related shootings on campus. Devos says that her goal is for students to be able to study in a safe, peaceful environment.


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