It was the early ’90s when Betsy DeVos was first swinging momentum toward the concept of school choice. As an advocate for education reform, Betsy DeVos knew that she’d have to bring an outsider’s perspective to a topic that so rarely allowed for change. Education reform in the United States has often been touted by both sides of the political divide but rarely addressed in full. DeVos, citing the works of Milton Friedman, has helped to engineer real enthusiasm for education reform based on conservative values. Now the Secretary of Education for the United States of America, DeVos is in a rare position where she can be expected to make reform a reality.
As a reform advocate, Betsy DeVos came to know how important it was to reach people as individuals rather than demographics. In the ’90s, DeVos employed grassroots activism in order to raise awareness about the concept of school choice. School choice is a system of education reform that relies on distributing tax dollars equally between public schools and privately owned educational facilities. While members of both sides of the political aisle have turned up their nose at the concept, it is becoming increasingly popular with mainstream conservatives. Educational choice as a concept promises to level the playing field for children who learn in special environments. In short, it could be one of the most important education reform plans in recent memory.
While Betsy DeVos hesitates to cite a specific incident that made her an advocate for education reform, she does have a general idea of when her interests began to take root. DeVos and her husband had been touring different educational facilities when their children were young. The DeVos family would end up visiting the Potter’s House Christian School. This facility had been dedicated to serving up quality education to low-income families throughout Grand Rapids. DeVos was floored by how positive the environment within the school was. She was overjoyed by the energy in the room and how electric the atmosphere was with genuine excitement. In short, DeVos saw how much of an impact school choice could have.
Betsy DeVos ended up at the top of President Trump’s list to lead the Department of Education. In her new position, Betsy DeVos is going to have to navigate turbulent political waters. The 2016 election showcased just how extreme the political divide is in America. As a result, DeVos is going to have to work hard in order to get her concepts into the ears of friendly colleagues. Betsy DeVos has already seen old-school politicians push back against her concepts, as evidenced by her contentious Senate hearing. Now, DeVos will have to prove that she belongs by pushing right back at them.
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