Betsy Devos has always been an education reformer. Since her time at Calvin College, she has been involved in the Republican Party and has made an effort to steer legal efforts towards education reform. Much of her platform is about educational choice, but she also stated that putting students first is her main priority.
While she has many critics, Betsy Devos has also proven that she can be a powerful legislator when it comes to education. She doesn’t back down from a fight, and she has taken on interview after interview, despite some questions being ridiculously biased. In her interview with “60 Minutes,” she was asked whether she thought that any of her programs had been successful so far. It was a difficult question, but since she had only been confirmed in February 2017, it was easy to explain that education reform wasn’t a new problem. It would take longer than a year to fix all of the issues.
However, Devos did say that Louisiana and Florida have been more successful because of educational choice,. For one, Florida has the most programs out of any state in the US. These educational choice programs allow students to go to school wherever they want, within reason. Students can apply to go to magnet schools, virtual schools, homeschooling, charter schools, and private schools. While most students can be accepted on their merit, there are students who are also accepted because they are in a failing school zone because of their zip codes.
Students deserve to come first in our education system. It has taken this long to get an answer to the problem of a failing curriculum. Now students are able to go to a school of their choice that will provide them with a better education. Devos says that this is her main goal for all of the United States, but it will take more time before all states are on board. Currently, education is controlled by states.
There have been issues in her fight for educational choice, mostly because of other problems coming up in school safety and student debt relief. With school safety, Devos has had to take a step back and look at schools from the point of security, instead of academic merit. Students must feel safe at school, she stated in her interview with Lesley Stahl.
Since then, there have been many policy changes and updates that went into effect before the 2018-2019 school year. Much of these have to do with security on campus as well as new evacuation routes and drill planning for schools.
During the last two years of her term, it will be important to uphold these new policies but also look for new ways to help students. She has already started by introducing the FSA mobile app, which helps students apply for financial aid.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.