Betsy Devos became the 11th Secretary of Education in 2016. She was appointed by President Trump at a time when many said that she wasn’t fit for the role simply because she had never been a teacher and had never had any education experience. Both of these statements are untrue, as Devos comes from years of education reform work, going all the way back to the 1970s.
Devos is an education reformer. She has dedicated her life to working with educators and changing the education system. She fought for years in the Michigan legislature to add bills for charter schools and private schools, wanting students to have more options, especially when they lived in areas that were zoned for failing school zones.
Now that there has been some time since taking office, you would expect that a lot of states have fallen in line. However, Devos still has to work with states in order to change their minds about educational choice and ending Common Core.
Many have come out against Devos because of her political tactics. She has gone on interview after interview and talked about the benefits of educational choice, while also pointing out to naysayers that it has been philanthropy that has supported these school programs. Most teachers are concerned that public funding will go to privacy school. Devos says that this notion is thought by people who don’t understand the new system.
Philanthropy backing education choice comes from Mark Zuckerberg, Sam Walton, and Bill Gates. In addition, her own foundation has donated an estimated $139 million to different causes, but the majority have been for education.
Betsy Devos says that it will take some more time to determine just how effective her new policies are, especially when most states are still not changing their policies towards educational choice. Devos has less than two years to convince states to add more options.
Currently, the Secretary of Education believes that Florida has the most success program. The schools in Florida allow students to pick from magnet programs, virtual schools, charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling programs. The US Education Secretary has been trying to work with states to change this, but so far, it has been slow.
One of the things that slowed down her progress has to do with gun violence. In 2018, President Trump appointed Betsy Devos to head up the school safety reform movement. This meant changing security policies in schools across the nation and determining how to prevent guns from being brought on school campuses. Devos said that she didn’t think that meant putting guns in the hands of teachers. So far, new policies have been in place for the 2018-2019 school season.
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