New education, new education standards

New education, new education standards

Governor responds to student questions during press conference

by Emma Lockhart

Caption Surrounded by journalists, Governor Rick Snyder answers questions pertaining to Michigan’s education standards, and his recent endorsement of Betsy Devos.

The day after after his State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder came to view the robotics program as part of his initiative to better Michigan schools’ STEM programs. This visit is all part of Snyder’s movement toward better education and funding for Michigan students.

One subject brought to his attention was the lack of women in engineering. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce according to the National Girls Collaborative Project, a group dedicated to teaching girls science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Consequently, under one third of women hold jobs in STEM careers compared to their male counterparts.

“Well, we’ve never had enough women in the field, period, even before the decline,” Snyder said. “So, to put it in context, we need to increase that, and the best way are programs like Square One and First. Actually, what we’ve found is it gets a lot more women involved early on from elementary school on up. And, if you get an opportunity to get great exposure and do great teamwork, as you just saw in that room there, there’s some really bright young women that are looking to create careers in STEM because of the exposure they’ve had.”

Snyder has voiced in on the national level and endorsed Betsy Devos as the new national Secretary of Education.

Devos is a past Michigan Republican Party Chair, a philanthropist and now the nominated Secretary of Education in the United States.

Devos is for charter schools, and according to American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, $1 billion in taxes go toward charter schools, and 80 percent go for profit. Also, charter schools aren’t being held accountable for their profits.

Students who have lower parental income may not be able to afford these charter schools.

“Well, my view is I want to hold schools all, whether they’re charter or private, to the same standard,” Snyder said. “They should be, because the goal is a great education. Not picking one over the other, and so the way I’ve viewed it as is let’s have a higher bar for all schools. Let’s keep improving and then getting better and better and hold them all to a high standard. That’s what we are trying to do here in Michigan.”

Betsy Devos believes in charter school education, which have dropped standardized testing scores below the state average in Michigan back when she was part of spreading the charter schools. The underlying threat is that money could be taken away from public schools.

When asked if she would defund private schools, she answered vaguely.

“I’m hopeful that we can work together to find common ground,” Secretary of Education nominee Devos said, “…and ways that we can solve those issues and empower parents to make choices on behalf of their children that are right for them.”

Sources:

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, National Girls Collaborative Project, Rick Snyder

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