On Feb. 23, 1954, The Ford Foundation made it their duty to spend a $25,000,000 grant on its subsidiary, Fund for the Advancement of Education.
At that time, this was the foundation’s largest sum of money in history and would be used for eight to 12 years to “to continue its programs with schools, colleges, and universities,” according to a report by The Crimson and Henry Ford, II, chairman of the foundation in 1954.
The Ford Foundation is still in business and working towards creating social change, according to their website, but the Fund for Advancement of Education was discontinued nearly 20 years after its grant was given, according to the Catalog of Rockefeller Archive Center.
Over 60 years later, the United States is still struggling with the advancement of education.
On Feb 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos was appointed the Secretary of Education after a historic vote from Vice President, Mike Pence.
DeVos has spent her first couple of weeks visiting public schools, receiving much backlash and criticism.
DeVos is the first Secretary of Education in the Department of Education who has not been involved in public schools as a parent, student or educator.
The department has been around for 35 years and this is the first time this has happened.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in fall 2016, an estimated 50.4 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools, in comparison to an estimated 5.2 million students to attend private elementary and secondary schools.
In one of her more recent schools visits, DeVos criticized the teaching at a public school in Washington D.C., claiming that the teachers were in “receive mode” and that they did not have the hunger to teach students.
According to Townhall.com, a “leading source for conservative news and political commentary and analysis”, DeVos said “ I visited a school [Jefferson Middle School] on Friday and met with some wonderful, genuine, sincere teachers who pour their heart and soul into their classrooms and their students and our conversation was not long enough to draw out of them what is limiting them from being even more success from what they are currently. But I can tell the attitude is more of a ‘receive mode.’ They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child. You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”
The U.S. is continuing to have issues in education and funding for such even over 50 years later.