Betsy Devos: Education Reformer and Philanthropist

Have you seen Betsy Devos in the news lately? The new US Education Secretary has only a little under two years left to complete the education reform that she set out to do in her appointment in 2016. It’s been slow going as many states are not eager to implement educational choice, although states that have been implementing the programs have been praised by Devos for their hard work and dedication to student education.

 

That’s what Devos says that it’s all about. She also has said recently that she doesn’t believe people really understand what private choice or educational choice is, although they are critical. She believes that these choices are helping students, instead of the administration, which some don’t like. She voiced her opinions on a recent episode of “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl.

 

The US Education Secretary also shared how philanthropy has helped her education reform goals. She has been backed by Mark Zuckerberg, Sam Walton, and Bill Gates. These donors have provided more funding to help with educational choice programs, such as tuition needs for private schools. This is where Devos has begun to shine, as she shows that public funding isn’t going towards private education. However, philanthropists can help with more programs to fund students interests in charter schools and private schools.

 

She believes that the best examples of the new programs can be found in Florida and Louisiana. However, she states that Florida is the one with better programs. Students can currently choose between magnet programs, private schools, homeschooling, virtual schools, and charter schools. Florida also has a tuition-based scholarship program that provides funding for students to get a private education.

 

Devos has said that those who are against educational reform like this are stuck within the public school mentality, where schools are failing. She says that this is all about helping students and parents choose the right school and curriculum for kids. Without these choices, parents are stuck with failing schools simply because of the district where they live. That’s not the right way to do education, according to Devos.

 

While people are still against educational choice, Devos has had other battles added to her plate, including the US school safety reform initiative, which has begun launching ahead of the 2018-2019 school year.

 

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