Chris Holden

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A Reflection on the Career of Betsy Devos

by Chris Holden - September 27th, 2019.
Filed under: Education Reformer.

Today’s political environment is as exciting as its ever been. There is constant shouts from across both aisles, as the government continuously tries to figure out a way forward. Education has always been one of those battlegrounds where federal and local governments struggle to find the funds to purchase up to date materials. Betsy DeVos holds an important role in the current government as Secretary of Education of President Trump. She earned this spot through her years as a reformer of schooling teachings. Her name came be attached to numerous organizations as she pushes for more children to consider alternative options to teaching. In a interview from 2013, Betsy DeVos expands on her unique approach to education.


The interview begins by addressing the current state of Betsy DeVos’s long held belief that student choice is the superior option over public education. She is very encouraged by the trend in the numbers. Students is 17 states are showing strong signs of moving away from public education. Betsy DeVos describes how she became interested in this approach to schooling when she and her husband researched options for their child. They were stunned by how a local private school had a safe, effective, and strong learning environment where all students succeeded. Over the years, she and her husband steadily increased their involvement with bringing more children into the program.


Betsy DeVos and her husband took two different routes in becoming involved with bringing more kids into this program. Her husband took his approach to the front lines by running for the Michigan State Board of Education, where he won the election in 1990. At the same time, Betsy DeVos started her own series of scholarships. The couple soon quickly realized while their methods would help some students, it would not solve the overarching problem. She and her husband moved closer to the realm of politics as each of them pushed the government step-by-step to support more options for children. This was the origin of her involvement with the American Federation for Children.


This was an organization that brought a new push for student options around the country. Betsy DeVos describes how her increase in experience only served to better refine her approach over the years. She learned to navigate political environments, push legislation, and sell her ideas to the general public. Betsy DeVos cites the greatest accomplishment attached to her name was creating a tax credit in Florida. They are the single biggest state that supports student choice education programs. Louisiana and Indiana are two additional states that have showed significant promise down the line as their efforts are starting to bear fruit.


In the current condition of the United States education system, public schools and private schools have been competing harder to capture the attention of fresh students. There are pros and cons to each option, but Betsy DeVos finds that the private options offer a higher long term potential for students. She has continued pursing this agenda as Secretary of Education.


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