Chris Holden

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Betsy Devos as the Education Secretary

by Chris Holden - August 18th, 2020.
Filed under: Education.

Do you follow education reform? Since the 1980s, America’s education system has been in decline. However, new policies and changes to the curriculum have made some parts of education better for students in the past four years.


When talking about anything with education reform, one name has constantly appeared since the 1990s. Currently, she is the US Secretary of Education, but before her time in this leading education position, she was a philanthropist and education reformer who always donated to help communities in need.


US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a polarizing figure. Whether you like her or not, it’s hard to deny that she is an incredibly smart businesswoman who has achieved significant success for her programs under President Trump.


While she has always supported educational choice, it was difficult to get these programs approved before her time in office. With her position, she has now campaigned and gotten all 50 states to include some type of educational choice program.


Educational choice is also known as student choice, allowing students to pick where they want to go to school despite where it’s located. If you’re not zoned for the school, you can still enroll as a magnet student or educational choice candidate. Even with a private school, students are able to apply and even obtain vouchers to pay for tuition.


DeVos has mentioned Florida and Louisiana as successful examples for educational choice. Florida has the most programs out of any other state. You can find multiple magnet programs in the Sunshine State, including those for medical sciences, international studies, performing arts, business law, and so forth. Students need only to apply to these magnet schools and get accepted to join a different school.


With students’ choice programs, DeVos was able to work with parents and students in low-income neighborhoods and get out of failing schools. However, it doesn’t work for everyone, and philanthropy only goes so far. DeVos has donated over $35 million directly to education, and she has some significant donors, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.


In addition to her work on educational choice, DeVos also made significant strides in campus safety and security policies in 2018. After the Parkland shooting, the US Secretary worked with local agencies to create a campus guardian program. The new campus guardian protects the campus from all threats and provides training for teachers and students.


DeVos toured US schools in 2019 with First Lady Melania Trump, and she will likely continue to work closely with state leaders on new education reforms before next year.

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