Betsy DeVos is the new Secretary of Education of the United States, sitting on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. Her concerns for the state of education in this country is real, and rightly so because of our rankings with the rest of the world as far as the quality of education our children receive continually rank lower and lower.
Betsy is a strong advocate of school choice and school vouchers because, in America, education is still not equal to all, but the goal is that it should be. Having a choice is a pretty big deal in America today. We have it in lots of other things in our lives, why not in elementary and secondary education. We have it in college, but not so much in elementary education and high school.
Betsy DeVos also believes in innovation. A good example is the recent idea of Uber and Lyft, two ride-sharing companies who have solved the taxi problem in America. While it would seem that there are plenty of taxis in our country, that is not always the case. When Uber came out with their concept of calling for a ride from anywhere to anywhere on your smartphone, the taxi business revolted. Read more about their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org.
The same thing happens in our school systems when homeschooling or school choice comes into play. The established monopoly gets very irritated when it is threatened, yet the consumer suffers from higher prices and lower service.
Our educational system is both good and bad, depending on where you live. We have very nice suburban schools all over the country that do a very good job, and we have other schools in the inner cities which are underfunded and lack resources. This is why DeVos is so adamant about the utilization of different methods of delivery.
She asks the question about the curiosity of continuing to use the same model that has been used for the past 300 years when modern technology offers so much more. Just about every student knows how to use a smartphone or a tablet so why not utilize these devices more in the process. The homeschooling model has proven that students can do very well with different delivery models where extra-curricular activities can take place in an organized way elsewhere in select groups.
Giving broken school systems more money has simply proven not to work at all, so we need different ways of presenting education opportunities to parents and students. It takes agreement from community leaders, parents, students, and educators to pull it off, but the rewards are well worth the efforts. When people come together to decide their fate, they tend to become seriously good at it. All of the input comes from the people most likely to benefit from that information. That is what DeVos is counting on moving forward.