One of the main issues with today’s American education system started in the 1980s. When the Reagan Administration released the report on the state of America’s schools, there was no plan on how to address the problem. There wasn’t even a sense that anything was going to work. A few decades later, America still has the same education problems that it did before.
Betsy Devos is the new US Education Secretary to inherit these age-old questions of how does the US teach children without being able to provide proper standards? With the Common Core fully in place, many believed that the education system was headed for better places, but Devos has said that Common Core actually has put students back a grade level. In addition, she doesn’t believe that the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” policy works either.
Devos said that it was time to start fresh, and she has been campaigning ever since to get more states on board with educational choice opportunities. However, she has met resistance at every turn, mostly from America’s public school teachers who say that Devos has no experience.
For the past 30 years, Devos has been working in education reform. It started during her days at Calvin College, where she joined debates and political clubs. She worked on the Carter administration, and then eventually, she would begin working in the Michigan Republican Party. Throughout the years, one thing has bound her to politics and that is educational reform.
Devos’ main platform is educational choice. While many do not support it, educational choice has actually been successful in a few different states. Florida has been the most successful, according to Devos. Florida now has the most educational choice options, including a tuition-based scholarship program that students can apply for and receive with their admission into a private school. This has been groundbreaking for students who have been stuck in failing school zones.
However, in 2018, a new challenge faced Betsy Devos. President Trump appointed her to lead the school safety reform movement after there were numerous school shootings. Now more than ever, schools are reporting threats of gun violence every day. Devos has been working with security officials to add new security protocols without adding more guns to school campuses. As of the 2018-2019 school season, new policies have already been put in place over the summer.
Devos has less than two years to change America’s education policies. She will have to fight in the next two years to keep states informed of the success of current programs.
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