The Echo

Opinion: Future of education lies with DeVos

America moves toward school choice

Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education is the best cabinet decision he has made thus far.

DeVos, most known for her adamant support of charter schools and the school choice initiative, was a frustrating choice for many Americans because of her lack of support for urban public schools. However because of the dire state of public schools in areas of high population density, there needs to be an alternative to these public schools and DeVos seems to be the only one willing to make a change.

According to CNN, graduation rates for public high schools in the 50 largest U.S. cities by population in 2014 were just shy of 50 percent. If only half of the students beginning in a high school graduate, there is a serious change that must be made.

Diverting public funding from public education to school choice vouchers for low income students is a way to allow students who desire a better education to escape the dropout traps that are inner city high schools. These public schools play a large part in the positive feedback loop of low socioeconomic standing that exists in America’s urban regions, and charter schools serve as an opportunity for low income students to get a better education and escape the cyclical poverty of their neighborhoods.The 21st century has shown us time and time again that public schools are not the answer to urban economic woes, and Betsy DeVos has presented us with a viable solution.

DeVos’s plan entails diverting funds from failing public schools into school choice vouchers that would allow lower income students attend private or charter schools with government aid. Her proposal would send an average of $12,000 per child to parents of low income students that could be spent to send their children to a school of their choice.

These voucher programs have already shown promising results in areas that they have been enacted. For instance, a New York City study that tracked voucher students from kindergarten to college enrollment found that an African-American student who was able to use a voucher to attend a private school was 24% more likely to enroll in college than an African-American student who didn’t win a voucher lottery. A Boston study yielded similar results.

Betsy DeVos is a great choice for the secretary of education because she is willing to reform the education system and invest more heavily in these voucher programs that have already shown significant results.

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Opinion: Future of education lies with DeVos