Betsy DeVos And Education Innovation: What Does The Secretary Plan For Higher Education, Education Technology?

People are on the lookout for the education innovations Betsy DeVos will introduce since becoming the head of the Department of Education. She and President Donald Trump have expressed school choice and voucher programs as the priorities but how will this help the children prepare for higher education?

The biggest problem the Education Department needs to hurdle is narrow down the disparity faced by low-income families versus upper and middle-income families when it comes to opportunities for higher education. For children to be more competent, they need to be immersed in academic programs that hone their science and math skills to prepare them for college.

These programs, however, are lacking or insufficient in many public schools, hence the inequality. More often than not, it's expensive private schools which have the most updated facilities or education technology. This is partly why DeVos and Trump are promoting school choice.

There is a bright spot, though, since education technology and EdTech companies or nonprofits are willing to fund some programs in public schools. DeVos is apparently open to EdTech, according to Tech Crunch. This means that if she wanted to, she can tap these resources for public schools.

Only, her expressed willingness for education technology in public schools has yet to reflect a concrete action. Will she push education technology innovation as much as she is pushing for school choice?

When DeVos' confirmation was announced, EdTech companies in D.C. braced themselves, per Street Wise. Unsure of the secretary's plans, education technology specialists working with public schools don't know if expansion or dissolution of the school programs they support would be in the cards.

Some are instead seeing prospects of working with charter or private schools - DeVos' priority - thus potentially leaving public schools in the lurch. "When you make everything competitive or make everything for-profit, naturally, companies are segmenting their markets, and they're only catering to the best market for them," edtech company head Jacob Schaufeld said.

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