Dick Devos is a well-known business leader, CEO, and billionaire that has been making waves in education. Despite extreme criticism and unwavering skepticism, he has proven teachers unions and the state of Michigan that not only does he have the expertise to his business he also has the expertise to run a school. This is all part of an ongoing platform to encourage charter schools and school choice in his home state of Michigan as well as across the country.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy started in 2010 with just 80 children in a small warehouse outside of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. As a startup, the school did not have the same resources that established public schools had, get the school’s academic performance still managed to outclass the same public schools.
The success of the first crop of students, as well as the course offerings at the school, made it an instant hit. Just for years until later in 2014 they reached the student cap permissible by the charter of 500 students. Today this state-mandated charter has not yet been approved for expansion, and students are required to enter a waiting list to determine whether or not they will be accepted as students.
Critics say that the school has an unfair advantage. They accuse the school of receiving unfair amounts of donations from dick and his personal fortune, when in reality this is not the case. Aside from the initial four million dollar donation to bring the school on par with other public schools, the school operates almost entirely on public funds that any school would receive. This information can be confirmed by in-depth and transparent financial statements issued by the school every year.
In the interest of fairness, there cannot be a stacked ranking for students. Any student who meets the academic requirements to join the school has an equal chance of being accepted from the lottery. This can be brutal for high achieving students who suffered unfortunate luck in the lottery selection process.
It is issues like these that show just why more school choice and needs the voice and influence of entrepreneurs like Dick DeVos more than ever. He has made it clear that a businessman can run a school just as well as if not better than the government, all while being hindered only by government regulation rather than the laws of supply and demand.
Dick Devos has proven to be a success in business as well as education. It will be interesting to see where he takes the West Michigan Aviation Academy as well as how he can help bring this level of service to the country as a whole.
Visit http://dickdevos.com to learn more.