Betsy DeVos was asked in 2013, what her goal as an advocate for educational reform and quality was. Mrs. DeVos answered at the time that her goal was to see that every kid in America could attend a high-quality school regardless of their zip code. This was about the fact that some students are forced to attend failing public schools that do not adequately prepare their students for college or employment. Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos also stated that she would like to give parents a choice to send their children to the school where they will receive the best education and not be forced to attend the school that their zip code dictates.
The primary way that educational reformers and advocates such as Elizabeth DeVos are hoping to change American education for the better is through what is known as school choice. It is a simple concept, but it can be very effective regarding student outcomes. DeVos states that when a parent chooses the best school for their child, then it will make that child more likely to look forward to going to that school. It is common sense that if a child likes their school, then they will be more likely to engage in activities there and study harder.
DeVos is pushing for public money to be granted to parents in the form of vouchers. The vouchers can then be used to pay tuition at private, preparatory and religious schools. Instead of funding public schools that have dismal results, DeVos says that the money can be given to parents instead and spent on schools that will actually give them a high-quality education in academics and build character.
Many studies have shown that voucher programs can save local, state and federal governments considerable sums of money while improving educational outcomes for students. If something continues to fail, you scrap it in business. This same approach should be applied to our educational system according to educational reformers such as Betsy DeVos. Why are we continuing to fund the same failing schools, when instead we can send a child to the private school next door?
As with all things that have to do with a vast bureaucracy or organization, there are special interests dug in that feel threatened by educational reform. Teacher and employee unions do not want to lose the government funding that funds their salaries, pensions and other benefits. They are resisting the moves towards greater school choice for parents and kids. People like Betsy DeVos are trying to find a middle ground for both sides that will ultimately benefit the kids who are America’s future.
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