Betsy Devos is one of the most polarizing figures in United States education reform history. She has not been the first to take on America’s education system, but unfortunately she inherited a lot of problems from previous administrations. She said as much during her address and first speech after taking office of the 11th US Secretary of Education. She stated that nothing that Obama and Bush administration had done for education had worked, including Common Core or “No Child Left Behind.”
Devos has been working in education reform for many years. Most of her experience comes from her work in Michigan with the education system. She proposed such legislature as “Kids First!” Coalition in early 2000s, and she supported her husband’s education initiatives during his gubernatorial run in 2006. However, she has been working to change education in America for many years.
She has used the power of philanthropy to support these goals. She also stated in an interview with “60 Minutes” and Lesley Stahl to state that people who oppose educational choice don’t really understand it. So what is educational choice? While many will tell you that it’s public funding for private education, that’s simply not the case.
Devos has been fighting at the state level to get more states on board with educational choice. The program allows students to pick where they want to go to school, especially when they are zoned for a school that is in a failing zone. They can pick a homeschool program, magnet program, virtual school, private school, or charter school.
Of the new programs, Devos states that Florida has been the most successful. The state has the most educational choice options, and there’s also a tuition-based scholarship program. Students have to apply to get into the program. Devos says that this approach is what students need for a better education in general, and they have been making progress in other states as well, such as Louisiana.
However, Devos still has a long fight ahead of her, but she only has less than 2 years to make changes. While the Trump administration doesn’t support Common Core, education is still controlled at the state level, which means that Devos will have to work quickly to get more of her policies in place before she comes up for office in 2020.
Devos has also been charged with school safety reform. With the abundance of school violence this year, President Trump appointed Betsy Devos to lead the safety reform movement for schools. Throughout the summer, schools updated their policies and security so that they were prepared for students in the 2018-2019 season.
Now Betsy Devos will be working towards a better education for all, and she has the backing of a variety of philanthropists including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. The additional support makes it clear that Devos is doing something right when it comes to America’s system.
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Angelica Del Rio did not believe she would ever make it to the United States much less be allowed to stay, graduate from college, and become a teacher. She was originally from Tijuana, Mexico although her family came to San Jose when she was only a year old. Although her father worked hard there were eight people living in a two bedroom apartment and it took four years before her family could purchase a home.
She began school the same year and her grades were good but she had problems when she was in middle school. In order to maintain straight A’s she started writing everything on paper so she could read and memorize the information. High school was better but taught her the difficulties of not being able to verbalize something in English that was grammatically correct. Her world shattered when she applied for college but was undocumented. Although she could not get a social security number she was able to attend college and pay the tuition on an in-state resident.
Angelica Del Rio attended college at San Jose State with scholarships and hard work. She was able to legally remain in the United States due to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals passed by President Obama. She wanted to help the kids in her neighborhood who were so much like her. She had heard about a school called Rocketship and decided to apply. She was hired as support staff and Rocketship was the reason she decided to become a teacher. She eventually became a substitute teacher and began to learn. She soon started teaching first grade and received a lot of support from Rocketship. She admits most people never though she could make it as a teacher but Rocketship gave her all the tools she needed to succeed. They encouraged her and kept telling her to work hard because she could get there. She is still growing as a teacher but Rocketship gave her what she desired, the ability to give back to the community she loves. Angelica Del Rio is a success story because someone cared enough to give her the help she needed.