Betsy Devos – The New US Education Secretary

From her days at Calvin College to her days in Washington as the US Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos has always been a proponent of education reform. While the movement started in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, DeVos was working hard long before that to change education in America.


In the 1990s, she became a champion for charter schools and helping underprivileged students go to charter schools instead of failing schools, where they were zoned. Failing schools have become a major problem for many American families. These are schools that are zoned in districts with poor performing standardized test scores. This leads to less funding, and because of this system, many students are left without books and resources to learn properly.


DeVos isn’t a fan of standardized testing or common core method. While it was mentioned in a recent interview with “60 Minutes” and Leslie Stahl, DeVos answered questions about educational choice and whether she felt that it was successful so far. She stated that multiple states have educational choice programs that have helped families and keep students in school.


Many students are able to go to a different school especially when the zoned school has been known for violence or poor performance. Students can choose to go to magnet programs, which allow public schools to accept schools from other zones due to special programs and classes. For example, a magnet program might be for business law or international studies. Students can switch from their zoned school to magnet programs by applying to these special courses.


In addition, educational choice opens up charter schools and private schools as options for students who face going to a failing school or simply would rather attend a school with a curriculum that goes beyond common core math.


DeVos has been touring the country with the First Lady Melania Trump starting in Miami. Her tour for educational choice has brought other states on board including Florida and Louisiana. DeVos has more work to do if she wants to get more state legislators on board with educational choice.


In addition, Betsy DeVos is working towards school safety as well. She was appointed to head up school safety reform and protection against gun violence in 2018 by Donald Trump. In the summer of 2018, new policies were implemented before the next school year.


In addition to her work with educational choice, she has spoken out about campus safety and making students the top priority. She wants students to feel safe when they go to school, which is why new safety procedures and policies were implemented to protect students. Now, there will be campus guardians that are allowed to carry weapons on campus to subdue threats.


School campuses seem to be safer now, but it’s been difficult for other schools to implement some of these policies due to budgets.


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