Betsy DeVos Leads the Way in Education with Help from Philanthropy

Betsy DeVos became the 11th US Education Secretary in 2017. She was appointed by President Donald Trump, and she has been a polarizing figure in American politics. Many have criticized her policies on education, but she has never wavered in her promise to bring better education to students.


In several interviews conducted between 2017 and 2019, DeVos talked about her plans. She was also asked about the success of educational choice, which is a program that allows students to pick and choose where they want to go to school. Up until now, students have mainly been designated to a school based on their zip code and school zone. However, what happens if your student is in a failing school zone?


Many areas around the United States have failing schools that aren’t performing with the national average. DeVos has tried to address these concerns by focusing on students who need more programs and a better curriculum. While many don’t believe in the common core method, DeVos has been working on ways to help students pick a curriculum that works for their style.


Betsy DeVos has also been working side-by-side with many security advisers and school safety officials. In an interview in 2018, she discussed gun violence in schools and what schools should do to counteract this violence. The topic of teachers with guns was brought up, but Betsy DeVos didn’t want to say what she felt either way. Instead, she said that she didn’t believe adding guns to school campuses was the answer.


On “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl, DeVos was questioned about educational choice and whether it would take American tax dollars to pay for private education. DeVos replied that this wasn’t how the program worked, but she didn’t say yes or no. This has contributed to many believing that public funding is going towards paying for private school vouchers.


DeVos has continued to deny this, and she has been working with state education leaders around the country to change the laws towards educational choice. She believes that these programs put students first, and she has contributed much of her time and money to promoting this idea.


Recntly, DeVos has been touring with First Lady Melania Trump. The pair have visited many schools and have been looking at ways in which schools can be better protected. Currently, all schools are expected to have a “school resource officer,” who is a member of the police force and trained to prevent school gun violence.


DeVos has less than two years to work with other state leaders, but it’s been difficult to get legislation in favor of educational choice. While students are able to choose where they go to school, many say that the programs take away funds from a public education system.


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