Betsy DeVos: Turning Frustration into Funding for Private School Systems

There children coming home from school every single day frustrated and angry with the entire process. Maybe their homework doesn’t make sense to them or they just felt anonymous throughout the day. There are lots of students that are learning things that they don’t understand and that they don’t enjoy. Basic concepts can be presented to children in a way that is amenable to them, giving them the opportunity to store it in a meaningful way. When children are able to store information with the meaningful contacts, it can make it easier for them to recall that information at a later date such as when they are required to take tests on the material. It seems as though; the modern public-school system is more interested in cramming information into students minds instead of encoding it in a thoughtful way. This means that the burden to fill in the gaps fall on the parents, who may not have the time necessary to reteach vital concepts that have been glossed over in the past. Children are being sent to school to learn, but they are coming home the exact same.

 

When Betsy DeVos had her own children in school she met a low-income family that was struggling to keep their child in that school system. Even that family knew that placing their children into the public-school system would take away any opportunities that they would have available to them because they would not receive the quality of education that they were receiving at this private school. The family elected to go without certain luxuries so that they could ensure that their child got the best education in their area. This prompted her to not only start a scholarship service, for which the student qualified, but it got hurt thinking about why these parents would choose to go out of their way to ensure this degree of education.

 

Betsy DeVos already had her children enrolled in private schools, but she wanted to learn about the inadequacies of the public-school system. She was eventually elected to the Michigan Board of Education where she helped implement sweeping changes, but they were not enough to provide students with even basic education needs. During this time, she resolved that the best way to overhaul the system would be to give private school systems the opportunity to serve the students instead. It says something about a system that is so broken it is easier to close it down than repair it. In her current role as Secretary of Education, she has much of the same attitude about the systems. The difference is that she is in a role where she can advocate for them better and implement changes that will better serve a wider variety of school choice. Her recent interview with Philanthropy Roundtable discusses some of the other options she is considering at this time. She advises the interviewer that there are many viable options for parents on different budgets that will allow them to put their children’s education first. Anyone interested in viewing this interview will find it on the Philanthropy Roundtable website.

 

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