Besty DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and conservative activist, has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be his education secretary.
Despite her lack of professional experience in schools, DeVos has already impacted the state of education in many areas of our country. She has been a lifelong advocate for “school choice”, and has spent millions of dollars to expand voucher programs to help families pay for private and religious schools for their children.
“I am honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” DeVos tweeted. “Together, we can work to make transformational change to ensure every student has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”
As far as our credentialed math tutors can tell, DeVos’ ardent support for school choice has led an impactful movement that supports vouchers and charter schools. Indeed, only thirty years ago there were no state voucher programs. Today, approximately 400,000 children across 29 states attend private schools with the assistance of taxpayer money.
While DeVos’ views on school choice are obvious, many education leaders are unsure what strategies and priorities she will enforce in leading her new department, as well as possible changes to any existing policies. For example, she wrote that after initially believing in the Common Core academic standards, she eventually became disenfranchised with them, stating “I am not a supporter—period.”
Common Core State Standards are a set of academic standards in mathematics and English/Language Arts that outline what a student should understand by the end of each grade. Upon the development of the initiative under the Obama administration, each individual state was able to choose whether or not to participate. Those that did must adhere to enforcing the standards, but retain control over exactly how they are implemented to ensure students are college and career ready.
Many Republicans hope that DeVos will adhere to President-elect Trump’s campaign promises to limit the Education Department’s role in public schools and continue to leave even more decisions to states and local districts. President-elect Trump has also proposed devoting $20 billion in federal spending and $110 billion in donations from states toward a program that aims to expand vouchers and charter schools so low-income children across the country have the opportunity to attend their school of choice.
However, our private math tutors were surprised to hear that studies on voucher programs show varied results. Some research has found that reading and math test scores drop after students transfer to private schools, but other studies state that those same students are more likely to attend and complete college.
Many advocates for public schools fear that reallocating major funds from public to private schools may negatively affect public education while providing taxpayer support to schools that don’t have the same obligation to serve all students, especially those with disabilities. On the other hand, many others say families should retain the right to determine where their children attend school.
Our private tutoring service in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Chino Hills employs credentialed teachers that are dedicated to helping your student achieve academic success. Whether your child is struggling with a specific concept or just needs extra support with homework, we are always available to help.