A Look At Betsy DeVos’ Background And Philanthropic Work

A Highlight From Betsy DeVos’ Interview With Philanthropy Roundtable Back In 2013

Betsy DeVos was asked about her thoughts on the progress being made in the school choice movement in the United States so far as her first question during her Philanthropy Roundtable interview. Mrs. DeVos said that school choice continues to expand across the nation with more and more students being enrolled at private and charter schools through voucher programs. The perception of school choice, vouchers, and education savings accounts is also changing in a significant way. Once viewed as radical it is now considered acceptable and even the norm now she says. Mrs. DeVos has also said that polling show that the vast majority of Latinos overwhelmingly support school reform and choice for their kids.

Betsy DeVos’ Background, Business Career, Activism And Appointment As Secretary Of Education

Mrs. DeVos currently serves as the Secretary of Education. She was appointed as the 11th United States Secretary of Education by President Donald Trump. Betsy DeVos was officially confirmed by the United States Senate in February of 2017 and has been serving as education secretary ever since. As Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos leads the United States Department of Education.Betsy DeVos’ background includes being raised in a family where her mother was a public school teacher. She is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan which is a private Christian university. Before Betsy DeVos(@betsy devos) Twitter nomination and appointment as Secretary of Education, she was a chairwoman of the WindQuest Group, which is a privately owned investment management company. Mrs. DeVos has also held a number of positions in the boards of nonprofit groups, and cultural institutions such as Kids Hope USA, the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

Betsy DeVos’ experience with education policy spans a period of three decades during was she championed the issue of school choice and vouchers for poor families and children. Mrs. DeVos has also personally worked with at risk and poor children as an after school mentor in Grand Rapids, Michigan public schools for over 15 years. Before becoming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos helped 25 states and the District of Columbia come up with school choice and educational improvement for needy students as an activist.As Secretary of Education and the leader of the United States Department of Education, Betsy DeVos has a mission of improving education for all students. Her goals include giving parents greater access to school choice and bringing education control to the states and local authorities instead of Washington D.C. She also has a mission to improve higher education and ensure that college degrees lead to employment and fulfilling jobs for graduates.

New York Charter School Success Academy Turns Former Prison Quarters into Learning Academy

Earlier this week, New York-based Success Academy announced their plans to build their 2nd charter high school site in the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse in Melrose.
The new site, to be named the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, becomes the second secondary school site to be offered by the state’s public charter school program.
A spokesperson for the Success Academy stated that the additional high school is necessary because the network’s [only] other high school is located in mid-town Manhattan.
The Academy has received recent recognition for their academic achievements of high English and math proficiency rates, approaching 100 percent. This is contrasted with the adjacent traditional public schools that score in the low-mid teens on the same tests. The charter school attributes their success to an authoritative approach consisting of consistent rule-enforcement and discipline and hard work that often includes long days and challenging curriculum.
When compared to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in Southern California, the Success Academy’s exceptional performance really stands out. The LAUSD’s Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools cost taxpayers $578 million, has an aquatic center and an auditorium that has been compared to exclusive night clubs in the area. Yet, the school maintains a ranking placing it in the bottom 30 percentile of comparable school sites.
Another similar situation exists with the LAUSD’s Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, with a $377 million price tag, dance and theater studios and the school site even has underground parking. Disappointingly though, the school’s math proficiency rate is a meager 17 percent.
Earlier this year the Success Academy received the Broad Prize for Charter Schools Award. Presented by the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, the award recognized the Academy’s transformation of the landscape of New York’s public education and in the process altered the formerly negative perceptions about the prospects available to the state’s disadvantaged students.
About Success Academy
Founded by former councilwoman, Eva Moskowitz, the charter program began with a single school site in Harlem in 2006. Today  the Success Academy operates 41 separate school sites statewide.
The Academy’s leadership received recognition from President-elect Donald Trump, who considered the program’s founder for appointment to his cabinet as Secretary of State.