For the longest time, America has had an education problem. While it was unknown to anyone before the 1980s, a report published under Reagan outlined all of the issues with America’s public school system and tried to implement a way to resolve the problems. However, standardized testing hasn’t help students much.
Many in education believe that standardized testing has only hurt schools who need resources to survive, but they are denied resources when students don’t perform well on standardized tests. This cycle can go on for years, and schools may never receive the appropriate funding because students are not able to pass the exams. These issues continue to cause problems for parents, who don’t want to send their students to a failing school simply because of where they live.
With educational choice, parents and students had a choice on where to go to school. This new student’s choice was always available starting in the 1990s, but it has grown in prominence as it has received both praise and criticism in the public eye.
So what is educational choice?
Betsy DeVos supports educational choice because she believes that it puts students’ needs first. In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” DeVos talked about what it means to be the education secretary and why she wants to put students first above anything else. She even told Stahl that she didn’t believe many of her critics understood how the program worked.
DeVos said that those who don’t like educational choice simply don’t understand it. However, she won’t be able to say that much longer. In 2020, she may not be the education secretary, but will her programs have been successful? DeVos states that she believes Florida and Louisiana have proven that there can be success with educational choice. Florida has an abundance of school options for students now.
If you are student in Florida, you are able to take advantage of every education option available. There are magnet programs for students who want to go to a school that has a performing arts program or a center for international studies. These programs were made for students to explore different interests.
DeVos believes that students should have a choice no matter what, but many say that this leads to public funding for private schools. Are they right? DeVos says that philanthropy has been the major supporter of educational choice all along. In fact, the DeVos Family Foundation has donated over $35 million to education organizations and charter schools in order to help these programs.
For the next year, DeVos will be working with state leaders to bring more educational choice programs to more school districts, but it’s been a slow process. She has stated that many don’t understand what it would mean to have educational choice, but that it would indicate less funding. Still, DeVos says that this is just to provide students with an outlet when they don’t want to go to the school where they are zoned.
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