When you are in the process of moving and you have children, one of the first things that you do is check the school district rankings in the area that you believe you will be living. Unfortunately, many different houses and neighborhoods will be ruled out based on these rankings. Parents don’t want their children going to schools that are performing below the national average or are failing. Now, what would you do if you were living in a district that was performing well for some time and then started to fail? You certainly wouldn’t want your children to continue to receive their education there, but you may also be hampered by your own financial situation or location. For many parents in the situation, their only alternative is to send their children to a private institution. They may be able to use a relative’s address to send their children to a better school district, but this creates additional hassles and also promotes fraud.
Betsy DeVos, acting Secretary of Education, understands the struggle all too well. She explains to her interviewer at PhilanthropyRoundtable.com that many parents are becoming trapped in districts that are underperforming. When teachers leave to pursue better options or administrators stop gaining traction these schools earn reputations that are less than ideal. This makes it almost impossible for them to attract new talent to help bolster their numbers. DeVos thinks that this is a perfect situation where school choice would become a viable option. Parents and their children should never feel backed into a corner when it comes to education. It can be unsettling for parents send their children to school and hope for the best.
DeVos tells PhilanthropyRoundtable in her interview that this is one of the biggest problems with the American education system. She believes that families should not become trapped simply because they are in a specific ZIP Code. There should be more options available and better teachers who can assist them. As magnet schools, private schools, and even online institutions continue to grow quality teachers are moving to these new mediums. The students should have the option of following some of the best talents to these new environments.
With the use of technology becoming commonplace, there is no reason that students should miss these opportunities. In the current system, students are required to surrender their devices or hide them, but they can be a major tool in the education process. The teachers in public school systems are working off an archaic manual to educate their students, but education systems that function off of school choice are integrating technology in meaningful ways. Students are finding more ways to connect to the information they are being provided and search for answers when they need them. We live in a world where the answers are at our fingertips and there are many methods for learning material, but public-school systems are not using that supreme advantage. This is one of the major gripes that Betsy DeVos has with the education system. Hopefully, with her election, there will be a new era of growth.
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