The issue of education reform has continued to attract the attention of many stakeholders, including education theorists, parents, policymakers, and government leaders or agencies. Within the past two decades, new concepts have emerged that appear to support the establishment of more parochial or private learning institutions of choice. This essay gives a detailed analysis of the ongoing fight to defend public education.
Betsy DeVos’ Views
Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, has been championing a new educational model that supports parochial and charter schools to provide personalized and the most appropriate instructions to learners depending on their expectations. According to her, the existing educational system remains the leading cause of increased cases of societal violence (qtd. in “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Remarks to Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit, 2018”). She believes that a uniform model is inappropriate for all American students. This means that the authority or decision-making procedures should rest in the hands of local communities and religious groups. She argues that such a new strategy will expand parents’ freedom when choosing the most appropriate education for their children (qtd. in “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Remarks to Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit, 2018”). She, therefore, pursues a new system whereby learners’ lives and expectations could guide the nature of all educational institutions.
Defense for Public Education
The proposals presented to reform the American education system are founded on the weaknesses that different stakeholders have observed within the past five decades. However, the introduction of schools of choice for different students and parochial institutions is an idea that has become contentious. Diane Ravitch is one of those stakeholders whose responses and answers to DeVos are worth analyzing. Firstly, she acknowledges that the current system of education has specific challenges or weaknesses that make it incapable of meeting the demands of some of the beneficiaries (Paul, p. 1). However, the idea to introduce parochial institutions would be inappropriate and incapable of delivering meaningful achievements in this sector.
The consideration of a better curriculum that engages learners deeply and improves the outlined competencies in different subjects appears more plausible. The government should not allow such a process to becomeresponsibilitybly of districts or communities. Instead, a standardized model based on evidence-based ideas or convictions will improve the sector and ensure that more individuals develop desirable intellectual practices or competencies (Paul, p. 1). The country needs to have streamlined processes for teaching the arts, mathematics, sciences, and history. The attributes of modern curricula or scholarship will guide such an educational system or model.
The American Association Federation of Teachers has gone furthpresentesents its deliberations and opinions in response to DeVos’ views. The members have encouraged her to focus on her roles as the secretary and focus on the relevance of public schools and their abilities to meet the expectations of educators, parents, and students. Stakeholders need to collaborate and introduce superior policies that have the potential to improve the nature of public education, promote early childhood learning abilities, and improve the effectiveness of higher institutions (“AFT Resolution: Defeating the DeVos Agenda”). Lawmakers should also be ready to reject DeVos’ views since they have the potential to damage what Americans have established for many years.
Ravitch’s thoughts appear to indicate that those who are fighting for a new model are only focusing on the idea of privatization. This strategy will maximize the levels of competition, punishments, and threats, thereby affecting the integrity of the available quality of education. The current gaps and differences in test scores need to become a new reason to implement additional measures to support underprivileged communities and neighborhoods (Paul, p. 2). When the government addresses the problem of poverty, chances are high that more children will record positive health outcomes. The outstanding message is that all those involved should identify the challenges individuals go through without pumping billions of dollars to promote testing or school choices.
The idea of privatization sounds wrong since it may create a new scenario whereby more schools start to follow a capitalistic model. The owners of such institutions will fail to focus on the unique personal needs of learners and disorient the quality of the entire sector. Consequently, public schools will become irrelevant while at the same time failing to meet the demands of more students. The best initiative is for stakeholders and the government to monitor the current predicaments affecting the effectiveness of public schools and solve them using evidence-based measures (“Diane Ravitch Lecture”). These professionals will go further to oppose threatening concepts and ideas that have the potential to destroy the sector and undermine the experiences and goals of the greatest number of learners.
The above discussion has identified DeVos as a leader whose focus on parochial schools is ineffective and incapable of empowering more students to achieve their educational goals. Ravitch manages to present evidence-based ideas in defense of public education since it presents sustainable answers to the problems and expectations of many students. The government and all other key stakeholders will need to present superior solutions to the current gaps and improve the integrity and effectiveness of public schools in the United States.
- “AFT Resolution: Defeating the Devos Agenda.” AFT, 2018. Web.
- “Diane Ravitch Lecture.” 2020. Lecture.
- “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Remarks to Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit, July 25, 2018”.2020. Lecture.
- Paul, Annie M. “Diane Ravitch Declares the Education Reform Movement Dead.” The New York Times, 2020, pp. 1-2.