Betsy Devos has become a polarizing figure in American politics. For one, she has been criticized for her inexperience, and she has had to deal with a much larger criticism: that she works for private interest. However, Devos says that simply isn’t true and everything that she has worked towards in the past year is proof of that.
Educational choice isn’t about public funding. She says that those who believe that simply don’t understand how the program works or that philanthropy has largely supported the program for many years. Philanthropy is one way to describe the support that she has received from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sam Walton. She has also donated $134 million from the Devos Family Foundation.
Philanthropy has supported much of the changes that have been made to educational choice, including programs in states like Florida. The state is well known for its educational choice offerings, as it has the most options out of any state. Students in Florida don’t have to go to school in a failing zone. They can choose to go into a magnet program, virtual school, homeschooling program, private school, or charter school. Florida is also the only state with a tuition-based scholarship program as well.
So are the programs successful? Devos believes that they will be. She has only been in office since February 2017. Standardized testing has been around for 20 years and barely achieved any progress. Common Core has been around for many years and has yet to achieve any success.
It’s clear that Common Core must go away to Betsy Devos, but it hasn’t been her focus. She has wanted to implement educational choice in more states. Unfortunately, most states are still trying to change over to Common Core and won’t consider using educational choice at this time. There are a lot of benefits for the program according to Devos.
In addition, Devos has said that people don’t understand what she is trying to do and that as the programs go forward, it will be clear to see how they are helping families remain in control of their education.
School safety has also been a major concern for Devos. She was appointed to lead the school safety reform movement after there were multiple school shootings in early 2018. So far, schools have made changes during the summer of 2018 in preparation for the new school year. Many schools have had new security guards put in place as well as different evacuation routes and drill exercises.
Devos has another two years to affect change at the state level. It’s clear that she will have to campaign harder in the new few months.
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