The Philanthropy Roundtable non-profit group managed to interview Mrs. Betsy DeVos. She is a well known educational reformer who is now the Secretary of Education in the federal government. Below are some highlights of the questions and answers that were published in the Philanthropy magazine 2013 issue made by The Philanthropy Roundtable organization.
The non-profit group asked Elizabeth DeVos back in 2013 what she sees as increasing educational reform opportunities that are up and coming besides the school choice movement. Betsy Elizabeth DeVos responded by saying that her main goal is offering school choice to parents. One of the ways she is achieving that is by eliminating the notion that a child is bound to attend a certain school or building based solely on their place of residence. The idea that a child’s school of attendance should not only be based on their zip code has become a rallying cry of DeVos and school choice advocates around the country. Betsy and others argue that other factors such as how well a school fits a child’s needs and the quality of the school should also play a role in determining which school the child attends.
This idea has a lot of ground in it when you ponder it. Our current public school system assigns schools based only on their geographic location without consideration to school fit and quality. Parents who may be able to afford private schools can get around this issue, but this leaves parents without such a luxury at a severe disadvantage when it comes to sending their kids to the school that best fits their needs. This is one of the key factors why DeVos took up the educational reform mantle and continues to fight for it. She says she realizes that other parents are just not as fortunate to have the ability to send their kids to the best school for them.
DeVos says that technology can be a great equalizer when it comes to educational quality. Technology helped revolutionize and improve business and communication. She believes that it can also improve education and support the educational reform movement. Elizabeth DeVos did add that major legislative changes would have to occur before the technology can really impact public school education in a more prominent role.
Philanthropy Roundtable followed up on its original question and Betsy DeVos’ reply with the following question. She was asked if she thus viewed digital and hybrid learning as supporting the educational-choice movement that she spearheads in her home state as well as nationally. Betsy DeVos says that she truly believes that we now only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scope and influence of digital learning in public education. She believes it will grow and make education more accessible and better than ever.
DeVos is optimistic about digital learning because she sees her own grandchildren easily navigate new technologies such as Ipads. She says that technology can now make learning more fun and interactive which will appeal to kids. This is in stark contrast to her own school days which she recalls as being incredibly boring. The technology now can make learning more interesting which should make kids more engaged in learning. That can only mean good things in her view.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.