Betsy Devos

Long-term education reformer Betsy Devos created a movement when she became the 11th US Education Secretary. Many people had followed her career, wanting to know how someone who wasn’t a teacher had succeeded in landing the highest office in education. However, Devos explains that she has always been close to education. After all, her mother was a public school teacher.


Devos has always worked on the side of education. Despite what her critics say, Devos has made a name for herself by always putting students first. She firmly believes in students having a choice where they go to school, and while many states have held back on implementing educational choice programs, Devos hopes to change their minds.


She recently did an interview with “60 Minutes” and Lesley Stahl about the type of American education reforms that are needed right now. While Stahl asked if her programs were effective, Betsy Devos replied that she felt there was success in certain states. It’s still too early to tell because she’s only been in office since 2017. With less than a year into her office, she has been able to make some changes.


in addition to issues with education reform and educational choice, she has also been placed as the leader for school safety reform. Early in 2018, there were a lot of questions about how to protect schools, particularly after the Parkland shooting. Many people were afraid of sending their students to school at this time. President Trump appointed the US Education Secretary to lead the product. There were multiple changes to policies in the summer of 2018 in preparation for the next school year.


However, Devos states that educational choice is still her focus. She wishes that every state could be more like some of her more successful programs. For example, she states that Florida now has the biggest educational choice program, including programs for magnet students, private school applications, charter schools, homeschooling and virtual schools.


While Devos has stated that there is a long road to go in the last two years of her term, she believes that she has helped the movement come a long way. She has helped other states as well, such as Louisiana. How is all of this possible? Devos states that it doesn’t rely on public funding. In fact, Betsy Devos relies on philanthropy. She includes Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton as well.


Together with the Devos Family Foundation, she has raised over $200 million for educational choice causes this year. She will continue to work the campaign trail and also fight for school safety in the next two years. She continues to go on interviews each month in the hopes to sway opinion on educational choice as an option for students in failing school zones.


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The Unique And Promising Views Of Rocketship Schools

The new branch of the Rocketship charter school will include a computer lab, gymnasium and nursing station. The two-story building will be on a hilltop in Anacostia and contain 54,000 square feet. Interviews are already being conducted for perspective teachers.

The first Rocketship elementary school was opened in 2007. The school gained recognition for their blended approach to learning and strong test scores. They use an approach combining computer and online instruction and traditional teaching. This relies on technology and keeps their costs down.

In 2013, the Public Charter School Board allowed Rocketship to open a maximum of eight schools inside of the District. The first school was located in Ward 8 across from a large complex for public housing. The opponents of the school are concerned it may bring too much competition to the traditional elementary schools in the area.

The Regional director for Rocketship is Jacque Patterson who believes since the school will operate along the lines of a neighborhood school there will not be a conflict. Although any child located in D.C. can apply, the school’s focus is on the children living in Ward 8. The Rocketship school will have 350 students ranging from kindergarten to the fourth grade in the 2016 and 2017 school year. A preschool will additionally be run by the Appletree Institute. Approximately forty percent of all current applications have come from the Woodland Terrace complex.

A specialized room is being built at the new school with computers and internet access for parents. When they attend school functions or pick up their children they will have the ability to submit applications for jobs. Most of the parents have never had the opportunity to have this active of a role in their children’s education. The schools staff are planning to visit the students families at home before the school year starts in order to develop a relationship with them.

One of the construction workers is from Texas and is planning for his son to attend Rocketship. He has already been through several interviews with the teachers and believes the school’s idea of getting to know the children and their families is excellent because it help the parents as well.