Betsy DeVos squeaked through her appointment as President Donald Trumps Secretary of Education on a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Pence casting the deciding vote. She has a reputation for being polite in public, but a fierce fighter when it comes to politics. Betsy’s vision for the future is that all parents, wherever they live, are able to choose the best educational opportunities for their children and for all to have the chance to live up to their natural potential.
Her plan for achieving that goal is to offer parents a range of choices among educational options. Charter schools, homeschooling, digital learning, blended learning, vouchers and tax credits, virtual schools, and magnet schools she considers all of them valid possibilities.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy is an example of a tuition-free public charter high school, where ‘attitude meets altitude.‘ The school’s high academic standards help propel students into careers as pilots, airport administrators, or aeronautical engineers. Kids receive hands-on training and the chance to fly a glider when they enter 9th grade. Critically, kids are highly motivated to excel in courses in science and math.
Betsy sees this as a valid educational choice. Disenchanted with their lack of power to determine in which school their children are educated, parents increasing numbers of parents, including in urban areas, are taking charge of their children’s futures and educating them at home. This is not necessarily limited to mothers and fathers, some of whom may not have done that well in school themselves, struggling to relay tricky concepts in mathematics alongside the nuances of party politics throughout American History. Professional, paid tutors may also play a crucial role.
How many of us have watched in awe as a two-year-old deftly navigates their parents’ tablet computer to play a game or watch Moana for the tenth time. Kids have an amazing capacity to learn technology. Digital learning embraces that capability. Remember sitting resentfully through a half-hour lecture on a hot afternoon listening to someone drone on about something? How much more you could have learned while engaging in a program that made learning fun.
Magnet schools are public schools with specialized curricula. The term ‘magnet‘ refers to their ability to draw students across normal boundaries designated by authorities. Nationwide, there are more than four thousand magnet schools educating an estimated 3.5 million children. Educational themes in magnet schools include:
- STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- International Studies
- Arts/Performing Arts
- Career and Technical Education
- Languages (immersion and nonimmersion)
Indeed, Betsy DeVos may have some controversial ideas on who uses what bathrooms and have scant experience inside government. For all her perceived faults, her heart is in the right place as far as educating our nation’s children is concerned, and she does get things done. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/10/devos_family_stryker_heir_make.html