When Betsy DeVos was nominated for the position of Secretary of Education, she faced a barrage of criticism about her policies of school choice and school vouchers. Her critics, largely coming from political opponents charged that she would want to destroy our present educational system and that she was a danger to our society.
Of course, that would be a disaster for anyone to try, as DeVos is a very concerned citizen regarding the state of our affairs concerning education. She has been a strong advocate of finding ways to serve better the inner city students as well as students in rural areas where funding is usually not as great as suburban schools.
Betsy DeVos operates with the same assumption that consumers do whenever they purchase any product. Rather than more choice resulting in the current public school model becoming destroyed, it should provide wider choices for parents and students regarding their education.
When Uber and Lyft came out, offering ridesharing, the taxi companies had a fit, stating that it was unfair, but not mentioning that the Taxi companies have a monopoly in the larger cities where no new companies can ever start another taxi company. The same is true for the school districts.
DeVos asks the question to the point of why is it mandatory that students receive their education where quality is determined by the zip code in which they live? Would it not make more sense to give a quality education to students no matter where they live?
The technology that is available should be able to be applied to the problem. Most students already know how to operate a smartphone or a tablet, and there may not be a better device to use for delivering education than those types of products.
We are still using methods of educating our children that are the same as they were 400 years ago. The students are forced to come to a location and endure 4 or 5 30 minute lectures about subjects that are unconnected and have little or no meaning to the students. Why not rethink how students receive information and deliver it in the most meaningful way?
No one mandates that people take a Uber ride to the store, as there are many choices and people can usually decide for themselves how to handle most of their opportunities. DeVos has been very proactive in helping to set up and see first hand how school choice systems work.
She was very involved in the Detroit publically funded Charter School project that showed very promising results. Reading scores were way up, and so were graduation rates. This project took place over just a few years, but there was positive measured progress. This same idea is transferable and should be investigated more thoroughly. Visit dbdvfoundation.org to know more about their foundation.