Betsy DeVos currently serves as the U.S. Secretary of Education. One of the reasons she was appointed to this prestigious position is that she has dedicated most of her career to fighting for widespread educational reforms. She has been particularly active in the area of school choice for all children and has consistently championed this reform mechanism as a way to ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve as much as possible through education regardless of their zip code.
DeVos and her husband are about as involved as anyone can be in the issue of school choice. They founded a charter aviation school in their home state of Michigan. They both view charter schools as a valid option in the area of school choice. In addition, school vouchers, homeschooling and private education are all options that DeVos thinks should be available to all children in the U.S. She formerly worked as the chairman of the American Federation for Children to raise awareness of the benefit of school choice for all.
Her devotion to public education reforms started after her personal experience in sending her children to private school. DeVos noticed that many other families struggled and saved to be able to send their kids to the best school around. School tuition caused a serious financial hardship for many families. The DeVos family started a foundation to raise funds for students to attend private schools on scholarship. Her husband served on the Michigan State Board of Education. While all of these efforts were certainly meaningful, DeVos realized that she needed to expand her reach in order to make school choice a reality for the rest of the country.
One of the reasons why school choice has become such a hot button issue is that many parents are witnessing the failings of the public education system firsthand. They cannot confidently say that their children will receive a quality education if they are forced to attend the public school that is slated for their zip code. DeVos has spent more than 30 years meeting with educational experts who have pleaded for higher standards in the public school system. She believes that school choice is one of the best way to almost instantly raise those standards because schools will be in a position to demonstrate excellence in teaching so that they can retain the most desirable students and continue to receive government funding. This type of competition in the public education system will help dispense with mediocrity and keep school administrators and teachers consistently striving for excellence.
The quality that has allowed DeVos to persevere through years of tough battles on her school choice initiatives is her innovative thinking. She constantly looks for new solutions to serious problems and is inclusive in her approach to solving them. DeVos realizes that she needs to build bridges with other politicians and activists who might not initially view school choice as a positive development and is more than willing to engage them civilly to do so.
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