Betsy DeVos is a polarizing figure in education reform in America. While it isn’t a new issue, DeVos has been fighting against old administration policies as well as criticism from Democrats over educational choice. Despite this, DeVos continues to fight for educational choice, believing that it is the right thing to do for America’s students.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” DeVos sat down with interviewer Lesley Stahl who had some tough questions about the successful of DeVos’ campaigns. While it was clear that there haven’t been conclusive results since she only took office in 2017, standardized testing scores have been going up. DeVos says that this is because students have been able to go to magnet programs and take online courses, not necessarily that public schools have been able to teach students.
There are still widespread reports that failing schools are not receiving funding. DeVos says that her plan is to put students first and allow them to use educational choice opportunities to get ahead. Students are now able to choose whether they want to go to the school where they are zoned or pick another school. If it’s a magnet program, private school, or charter school, the student still has to apply to get accepted into these programs.
DeVos says that the state with the best educational choice options is Florida. In the Sunshine State, you are able to pick a magnet program where you can study everything from performing arts to business law. You don’t have to stick with your designated school based on where you live. Parents are also loving this idea because they don’t have to force their kids to go to school where common core method is taught.
In addition to educational choice reform, DeVos has been working with school safety officials to improve campus security measures. In the “60 Minutes” interview, DeVos talked to Lesley Stahl about improving campus security and ensuring that students have a safe place where they can learn and study. She doesn’t believe that means putting more guns in the hands of teachers or administrators. DeVos has recently put in new security measures as of 2018 to ensure that campuses remain gun-free.
DeVos will working with other state leaders to hopefully get more educational choice programs in other states. So far, only Louisiana and Florida have distinct educational choice benefits.
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