Secretary Of Education Betsy DeVos

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Common Core math turned education into a controversial issue over the last decade. Parents have struggled to participate in their children’s education and are furious. With this in mind, President-elect Donald Trump surely considered his appointment of Secretary of Education very seriously.

On November 23rd, Trump selected Betsy DeVos to fill this position.

Why Is The Secretary Of Education Important?

Department of Education Seal
DOE Seal | Image Credit WikiMedia Commons

In years gone by, this position would not be an important one. The states controlled their education with little interference from the federal government. In 2009, the federal government forced states to meet their guidelines by awarding funds through Race to the Top grants. Then, in 2010, the National Governors Association released the Common Core Standards.

Now the focus is on the Trump future. On their website, the Trump campaign stated that they plan to invest “$20 billion towards school choice”. While these funds will go to children living in poverty, there will be significant resistance. Even with Trump support, the Secretary of Education will face an uphill battle.

Over the last decade, democrats have attacked republican efforts to open educational opportunities. Charter and home school efforts have been suppressed by organizations who want the government to maintain control over education standards. In many cases, legal suits brought down school choice grants and charter school programs.

Who Is Betsy DeVos?

Betsy Devos Photo
By Keith A. Almli – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betsy_Devos.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Enter Betsy DeVos, an education activist and Michigan business woman. A graduate of Calvin College, DeVos served as Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.

On the education front, DeVos has advocated for voucher programs that would give under-privileged children the opportunity to attend better schools. In addition, she has been very active in the movement for school choice. She has also taken a strong stance against the influence of teacher’s unions.

What Can We Expect From Secretary Of Education Betsy DeVos?

Unlike other cabinet appointees, Betsy DeVos does not have a publicly expressed platform to reference. Despite experience in public service, she does not currently hold a position that needs to be public. As such, there are no stated promises at this point.

We can expect her to continue moving forward with projects she has worked on in the past. School choice will probably be one of her top priorities. DeVos has demonstrated her concern for creating competition in education. Likewise, we can expect her to continue supporting voucher programs across the country.

With recent tests demonstrating reduced performance in education, we may see DeVos discourage the continued use of Common Core Standards. However, with these standards already in place in most states, this will be a challenge. She may work to dis-incentivize these programs.

One thing is for sure; She is likely to support President-elect Trump’s campaign agenda. Undoubtedly, Trump and DeVos have spoken and are on the same page. DeVos will need to work hard to reallocate federal funds and meet the goals of the Trump campaign. No place will produce a bigger challenge than his campaign pledge to support merit-pay for teachers. DeVos will have to face the teacher’s unions head on if she plans to meet that goal.

Your Thoughts

What would be the one thing you would like to see DeVos accomplish as Secretary of Education? Although she will have to work with individual states to get things done, what do you think her greatest federal accomplishment will be?

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