Betsy Devos: A reformer

Betsy Devos has always been a reformer. She has consistently delivered interviews with the same goal. She wants students to benefit from American education more than anyone else. At Calvin College, she was involved with campus politics and saw the ability to affect education most of all. She also states that her mother, who was a public school teacher, instilled a need to help students who were stuck in failing school districts. She has been working for many years in the Michigan Republican Party, but it wasn’t until she was appointed as the 11th US Education Secretary that everything came to fruition. She had been working towards a major political move. Throughout the 2000s, she worked in education reform, creating legislation like “Kids First! Coalition.”


Through her work now, she has helped the states regain control over education. However, it has been a tough road. She has many critics on the left who don’t agree with her politics or educational choice. She was interviewed by Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” and asked hard-hitting questions about her policies, particularly what has been successful since she started.


Betsy Devos has had some measurable success in certain states, particularly Florida and Louisiana. Florida has the most educational choice options out of any state with magnet programs, homeschooling programs, virtual schools, charter schools, and private schools. There is even a tuition-based scholarship programs available for students who apply and get accepted into the program.


Devos believes that America’s education system has a bright future. She has been working with several educators to understand the problems of school security as well. This summer was spent making wide-sweeping changes to America’s schools in the hopes of preventing gun violence in the future. Many schools have metal detectors, new evacuation routes, and a number of policies regarding student safety.


Devos is also a firm believer in philanthropy. While she has received a lot of attention for promoting vouchers for private schools, it’s not because she wants to use public funding. Philanthropy and donations have fueled educational choice. She has some great donors as well, such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart. Even Bill Gates of Microsoft has contributed to the educational choice movement.


In less than two years, all of that could come to an end. Devos is using her time now to persuade more states to join the educational choice movement so that more students have free choice on where to go to school.


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