Betsy DeVos has been one of the most polarizing figures in American education. However, education reform is not a new topic, nor is it going away any time soon. The question still remains as to whether the new programs will be more successful than standardized testing. Betsy DeVos believes that if given a chance, they can be extremely successful. She says that the goal should be to cater to the student’s needs and support their growth, while also providing excellent options that the student can access no matter where the student is zoned to go to school.
The idea of educational choice has brought about much debate. Public school teachers have been outraged at the idea that more funding should be taken away in favor of supporting charter schools and private schools. However, there have been problems in public school education for awhile. Public schools cater to standardized testing and Common Core methods, which have not improved the comprehension or math skills of students across the country. In fact, America is still ranked poorly for both areas.
Betsy DeVos wants to be a voice of change and forward-thinking. However, she has been met with challenges along the way. Despite touring the country and answering an endless stream of questions about her past as a “non-educator,” Betsy DeVos has always been a proponent of education reform. Her mother was a public school teacher, which gave DeVos firsthand experience of what it took to be a teacher and student in America’s school system.
Educational choice is all about the student. It is meant to provide students and parents with the choice of where to go school. It’s not all about charter schools and private education either. In fact, philanthropy is the major supporter of private schools and charter schools, not public funding. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sam Walton are some of the biggest donors for educational choice.
In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” DeVos had to answer some tough questions about the success of her platform and whether she thought that it was working better than previous ideas like standardized testing. DeVos said that success is hard to measure after two years. Standardized testing has been in place for multiple decades and it still hasn’t garnered the success that it was originally meant to have. In many cases, teachers feel that it doesn’t help students at all, and that comprehension is still poor among American students.
That has to change, according to DeVos. She believes that one of the ways to get there is to provide as many options to students as possible. In Florida, for example, the state has the most educational choice options for students, including virtual schools, homeschooling programs, magnet programs, private schools, and charter schools. Florida also has its own tuition-based scholarship program.
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