Betsy DeVos -On Topic Article

No one has polarized the education reform argument more than US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. After her appointment by Donald Trump, many in education protested and accused DeVos of wanting to fund private education. Is that really the case? There are some facts missing.

 

From a very early age, Betsy DeVos was drawn to education. As a teacher, her mother was an inspiration and showed her how there were no choices for some children who were stuck going to schools that didn’t meet their interests or capabilities. Under Donald Trump’s platform, school choice finally had a voice. DeVos has always been an advocate for educational choice and had tried to pass legislation in Michigan to get more options for educational choice throughout her political career.

 

DeVos has been a school choice advocate in Michigan since before November 2000, when she and her husband Dick DeVos supported a ballot initiative that supposed Michigan students living in a failing student district to at go a non-public school of their choice. The idea was to graduate at least two-thirds of the children and provide $3,000 in scholarships to parents who wanted to send their children to private choice schools.

 

However, the legislation failed to pass and DeVos looked elsewhere. As she has frequently stated in interviews, school choice provides options for parents who know that their children aren’t getting a good education in the public school system.

 

Education reform isn’t a new topic. Ever since the 1980s and the Reagan Administration’s report on American schools, education leaders have been trying to resolve the issues that plague the public school system. Standardized testing seemed to be the answer, and throughout the 1990s and 2000s, it continues to show improvement in reading and math. However, those numbers are statistically low on a global scale.

 

DeVos supports reforms like tax credits, vouchers, and education savings accounts because they have been shown to help students go to a school where they can get the education that they deserve. People are now moving towards this idea because the public opinion has changed on the American school system in general. To be fair, it hasn’t been successful.

 

However, DeVos is also a supporter of charter schools and has tried unsuccessfully to move public funding into private schools before with her legislation in Michigan. DeVos supports all non-public school alternatives, which means that charter schools are also among the choices for students. She believes that students need to have more options than just public schools, including virtual schools, magnet schools, homeschooling, and charter schools.

 

DeVos is not the only one who supports this idea. Her campaign has been funded by some of the top names in technology, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame and Bill Gates. However, both Democrats and Republicans worry that she will not have enough oversight in the long run and will support too much deregulation for American education.

 

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Some Facts About Betsy DeVos: The 11th US Secretary Of Education

Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos, the 11th and current US Secretary of Education is a fighter for the small schools and a woman defined by her ambitions to give all families a chance at a better education. She has spent over 20 years working in Michigan to help fund small private and charter schools and bring initiatives to legislators in Lansing that favor fair education. In February of this year she was confirmed to her cabinet position in a close battle in the senate. But now that she’s in the federal position of leadership, she’ll be advocating for more school-of-choice legislation that allows children to attend any school regardless of zip code or county residence.

Read more: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/interview_with_betsy_devos

Betsy DeVos was born Betsy Prince, the daughter of Michigan billionaire Edgar Prince, the founder of the famous manufacturing company Prince Corporation. She attended Calvin College where he started becoming involved with conservative political action groups, but she became especially interested in freedom of education events. After graduating from Calvin College, she met and married Dick DeVos Jr., the son of Richard DeVos Sr. the cofounder of Amway and former aide to President Gerald Ford. Betsy became a mother to four children who also happen to be part of the reason she started education initiatives at the DeVos Foundation.

While sending her children to private school, Betsy DeVos saw how tough it was for other parents to keep their children in school while having little left over to pay the bills. The first project she got involved in was scholarship funds through Children First America and Education Freedom Fund. Several years later through an education campaign, Dick and Betsy started a campaign to make private schools more affordable by changing the Michigan state constitution to have a clause for vouchers and tax credits, but it was voted against. Betsy DeVos is a longtime supporter of charter schools and founded the Great Lakes Education coalition, and not long after she and Dick started an aviation charter school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy at the Grand Rapids airport.

In addition to her work in education, Betsy DeVos has helped build The Windquest Group, a company for investing in alternative businesses in Michigan. She also served as the chairperson for the Michigan Republican Party for 8 years originally being elected to the post in 1996, and then winning again in 2004. She’s also been on the finance board for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has also been a donor to Republican political candidates, including this last year’s primary candidates Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. While President Trump was not originally supported by her, upon hearing that she would become the 11th Secretary of Education she proclaimed it an “honor” to work with his cabinet. Visit Betsy‚Äôs profile on twitter.com.