the Future of Education Reform

My role as Betsy DeVos’s deputy secretary of policy usually consisted of the transformation of her reform ideas into concrete legislative plans, budgets, and grant contests. It was a rewarding and enjoyable job, despite the constant turmoil created by the president who is a bit of a shrew. There was some discomfort due to the traditional unions that represent teachers in collective bargaining and elections along with the unions’ Democratic partners in Congress. It was all a element that comes with the work.



I’d known and loved Betsy DeVos for a couple of decades prior to our time at D.C., so none of her opinions were a surprise or disappointment to me. This is a risky decision to make, considering the ways that both sides of the aisle have misrepresented her views and opinions, but it’s an important aspect given the fact that she I was able to surprise and be disappointed by. Although I’ve developed a thorough understanding of the various schools reform factions over the past 25 year, I was awed by the ferocity of the reformers who were against Betsy DeVos.

While secretary DeVos exposed tensions, conflicts and differences within the community of education reform. Somehow, this was a good thing however, our public conflicts gave an advantage for those who defend the status quo, and hindered those working to reform make policies that were changed. When compared to the worries regarding the status quo, these policy differences ought to be a distant memory.

To be explicit, I am not advocating a change in the orthodoxy. In light of the variety of thoughts on difficult issues like federally mandated tests or the public charter school system, an orthodoxy isn’t useful or even feasible. The purpose of this article isn’t to resolve disputes or to defend all aspects of DeVos’s track record. I do hope that a better understanding of the differences within the reform camp will allow us with the tools to avoid being a victim of division and defeat. It will improve the odds of improvement in the educational system.