Betsy Devos: the new US Education Secretray

Betsy DeVos was Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Education. Prior to that announcement, Mrs. DeVos was probably best known in her native state of Michigan where she was a tireless advocate for educational inclusion. The Nomination to the secretary of Education post caused immediate controversy particularly among advocates of public education that also disfavored public funds for charter schools.


Betsy DeVos earned a reputation in Michigan through years of philanthropy and advocacy for educational choice. Her advocacy is sincere and heartfelt; it derives from her personal growth and the influence of the Dutch community in Western Michigan. Betsy DeVos attended private schools and went to college at Calvin College. The Calvinist Dutch Community deeply influenced her education and social development in Holland Michigan. It is a tradition that places equal dignity upon public, private, and faith-based education. The theory has sometimes been called educational pluralism. It is opposite to the total reliance on any one system, even the public education system.


Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos were each an heir to a vast personal fortune. They have collaborated on many social and political activities in Western Michigan, the entire state, and across the US. They worked together to form a Charter school in Western Michigan in which students can get an education from elementary through high school, and they can learn to fly aircraft.


As Secretary, Mrs. DeVos has revealed her traditional style of management. She fights intensely for her point of view and her beliefs in education. When the group sometimes votes against her preferred solution, the Secretary accepts the consensus and stands up to support the group decision. Mrs. DeVos does not, however, abandon her views. Betsy DeVos has a well-earned reputation as a determined fighter.


– Reaching Out for progress

As Secretary, Mrs. DeVos has reached out to many sources of educational support. She visited a charter school in Miami sponsored by the Rapper Pitbull. She was not deterred by a level of criticism of the rap artists that his lyrics were offensive to women. Instead, Mrs. DeVos celebrated the achievement of charter education in Pitbull’s hometown of Miami, and in schools he sponsored elsewhere in Florida.


– A Fighter for Children and Families

Educational professionals do not persuade Mrs. De Vos more than the families that the systems must serve. She believes that the best form of education is that chosen by the student and his or her family. Betsy DeVos may have a quiet and calm exterior, but she is a fighter; She is a determined advocate of educational choice.


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