The DeVos Hearings: A Crib Sheet
Prepare to hear “school choice” a lot. Here’s what it actually means.
The Trump administration could bring to the fore some education terms that have been largely overlooked in recent years as it moves to dramatically change the way students learn in the United States. And officials and advocacy groups will throw around other words that are commonly heard but not always thoroughly understood. As Congress prepares to decide whether President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is fit for the job, it’s worth reviewing what some of the words and phrases that will be floating around in the coming days and months actually mean:
School choice: Trump and DeVos have repeatedly said they are fans of school choice. It’s a phrase that backers of charter schools (see that definition below) often use to avoid the more contentious “charter” wording. Broadly, proponents of school choice say they want students to be able to attend whatever school they and their families decide is best, whether it’s the traditional public school down the street or a charter across town. Sometimes, people also argue that school choice means parents should be able to use taxpayer dollars to send their kids to private schools, too.