Not long after President Donald Trump selected Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education, it became clear right away that the Michigan native has reforms on her mind.
It is no secret that DeVos is a staunch supporter of charter schools. That is the position most people in the country likely associate with her. DeVos is a firm believer in the potential of charter schools and she has made it clear that she would like to see them increase in number over the coming years.
DeVos is also known for being a vocal supporter for the use of vouchers. To be more specific, these vouchers are intended to give poor families public funds that they can then decide to use to pay for private schooling, per The Atlantic.
For DeVos, this is all about giving parents the ability to exercise more control over how their children are educated. The default option currently for millions of American parents is to send their children to public schools, but DeVos would like to give them more choices.
However, it is worth noting that expanding charter schools and spreading the usage of vouchers are not the only ideas DeVos has in mind.
In an interview with The Philanthropy Roundtable, DeVos also stated that she would like to do away with the common practice of letting a zip code determine where kids will go to receive their education. Once again, DeVos insists that she wants to change that because she is for providing parents with as much as freedom as possible.
She is also open to integrating more technology into the system.
In that same interview with The Philanthropy Roundtable, DeVos remarked that it would be “unconscionable” not to use new forms of technology as tools for educating children and helping them reach their full potential when it is clear that they have taken well to those innovations.
She pointed out that there are accessible programs that can make learning a more enjoyable process for kids that are available right now. Perhaps that is an indicator that DeVos would like to see smart devices utilized more within the educational setting.
DeVos also said, “the tendency to equate ‘education’ with ‘specific school buildings’ is going to be greatly diminished” now that the internet has become a more prominent part of modern life. That could be a sign that DeVos is also open to having more classes take place online. Still, it may take time before the country fully welcomes more technology into the educational setting and DeVos herself acknowledges that.
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DeVos is also not against more parents opting to homeschool their kids. She is open to more homeschooling because she sees it as a way to give parents more power over how their kids are educated.
It’s clear that above everything else, DeVos wants to provide parents with more options when it comes to the education of their children. Whether or not she will succeed in giving parents that greater level of control over how their kids learn still remains to be seen.