It has been one year since Betsy DeVos become President Trump’s Secretary of Education. Her public support for homeschoolers and Christian and other private school options has generated a great deal of controversy among those who think all children should be given an atheistic, cookie cutter public school education; however, many Christians have welcomed her tenure and many of her ideas. Following is an overview of how the secretary is changing the DOE, what educators and parents can expect in the future as well as a peek into some of her biggest challenges.
Betsy DeVos stands out from past individuals who have held her post because of her unwavering support for school choice. She has spent decades advocating for school choice so that parents do not necessarily feel that they have to send their children to the local public school and her position has not changed since taking office.
While she has said that she does not feel she can push laws such as a national voucher system for non-public schools, she continues to use her very public platform to air her ideas. Furthermore, the fact that Secretary DeVos publicly supports school choice has led state legislatures to introduce pro-school choice bills that make it easier than ever for parents to pull their children from public schools and put them in private ones.
Furthermore, Betsy DeVos is an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump’s push to expand apprenticeship programs and boost vocational schools. As the Secretary accurately notes, many students who study for a traditional college or university degree simply do not have the skills needed to get a good job.
While there are many reasons for this, one problem is that not all the students who are pushed into going to college will actually benefit from a college education. Many students would do better entering an apprenticeship program or studying for a trade such as welding, electrical work, carpentry and plumbing. While such jobs do not appeal to most young people, the fact is that these fields offer multiple job opportunities and offer great pay and benefits.
What is more, it costs far less and takes far less time to study at a technical school than it does at a traditional college or university. It is also worth noting that apprenticeship opportunities include not just traditional construction jobs but also jobs in the educational, IT and banking industries.
Unfortunately, changing the way the educational system works in the United States is no small task, especially when powerful people are fighting to keep what is at best a marginally successful system just the way it is. Public school advocates across the nation are rallying against Betsy DeVos and fighting her program at every turn.
The Senate, which barely approved her appointment with a 50-50 vote, clearly does not hold her in high esteem. At the same time, pro-choice advocates are stating that opposition to the secretary is coming from a vocal yet small minority and that most people are happy with her work and views.
Yet another interesting factor that sets Secretary DeVos apart from her predecessors is her commitment to donate her entire salary to needy causes. While it has taken time for her to make good on her offer due to various laws involving donations made by government officials, she has recently split her nearly $200,000 annual salary between faith-based mentoring organization Kids Hope USA, the Special Olympics, the Vision to Learn program that provides free eye exams and glasses to poor students and Dream Soar, an organization that encourages girls to learn about STEM fields.
Given the fact that state and federal governments have not always been favorable to private schools and homeschool parents, those who believe that the government does not have the right to dictate how every single child is educated are happy to have a pro-choice advocate head up the Department of Education.
While Betsy DeVos has and will continue to face a great deal of opposition from public schools and politicians from both sides of the aisle, her work has the potential to help not only Christian schools and homeschool parents provide children with a Bible-based education but also make it possible for parents, vocational schools and teachers from all religions and walks of life provide children and teens with a personalized learning environment that can help them learn the skills needed to get a good job and ultimately succeed in the career of their choice.
~ Christian Patriot Daily