Once again, we see the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, visiting an all-girls charter school in Washington. She did this in conjunction with Melania Trump and Queen Rania from Jordan. Afterwards, DeVos made a statement to show her support for school choice. She said Excel Academy gives us a prime example of charter schools meeting the educational needs of the student body, parents and the community at large. It shows us the transformation that takes place when parents feel empowered with the educational setting to fit the individual needs of the child.
DeVos later flew to Florida for two days where she worked with the Miami schools. The schools here run a little different in their educational offerings. Some of the schools they looked at included a traditional public elementary school, a private Christian school, two institutions of higher education and a charter school. Pitbull, the famous rapper, had actually started the charter school in his hometown of Miami, and some have criticized him for this because of his misogynistic and profanity-based lyrics. That’s why it seemed somewhat unusual when the United States secretary of education appeared with Pitbull. However, it does show DeVos’s commitment to improving the options for schools across the nation, which has become her main priority throughout her time in office.
This marks the third time in history that DeVos has visited the schools of Florida. She has frequently said the schools of Florida reflect the national model when it comes to school choice. DeVos continues on as an ally to Jeb Bush, the previous governor of Florida. Jeb Bush also supports the national education reform with charter schools and increasing the programs that have made use out of public money. In addition, DeVos has a deep family tie to the state of Florida. Dick DeVos, her husband and the co-founder of Amway, owns a home in Florida while other members of the DeVos family also own a home here.
In fact, at one point, the DeVos’s were so well known and affluent that they own the Orlando Magic basketball team. Why does Betsy DeVos seem to support charter schools so much? Part of the reason probably stems from the fact that DeVos went to a charter school herself, and she loved how it offered students an abundance of choices. With a traditional public school, you can be locked into doing things a certain way, and as a result, many of the talented students fall through the cracks.
For a long time, the DeVos’s have donated millions of dollars to the education sector, and they have become well-known philanthropists in their home state of Michigan. As a politician, Betsy DeVos earned a frightening and ruthless reputation for playing hardball. Many Michigan politicians who found themselves pitted against her were soon voted out of office. The DeVos’s have also been forthright in their donations to Christian organizations. In fact, around 10 percent of the total donations were given to the church. Many of the supporters of charter schools have said that these schools help families from low-income areas to get a better education at the private schools, but others have criticized them for having no accountability to the government. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/policy-involvement/