Betsy Devos: US Education Secretary

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a long history of reforming the education system in her home state of Michigan. In fact, she is considered a pioneer of sorts.


She, along with her husband, Dick DeVos, have used their enormous wealth to put the educational system on a level playing field. She is a huge supporter of educational choice. While her detractors have tried fought tooth and nail to bring her efforts to a halt, she continues to fight.


DeVos has been heavily into politics for over 30 years. She has headed a number of conservative committees, and even served as Republican Party Chairwoman for 10 years.


A great deal of reform has happened through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Charitable Foundation. She also heads a number of organizations including the DeVos Institute for Arts, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and American Federation for Children, to name a few.


DeVos says she’s never been more optimistic about education in her life. Although she ran into some roadblocks in Michigan, she has helped over 250,000 students gain entrance in charter schools in 17 states.


DeVos says she first became interested in the charter school program after visiting the Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids. The private school serves low-income children. DeVos says she was so impressed with the school that she continued to visit. After short time, she and her husband began to support the school financially.


DeVos says she was shocked at the proposition of being nominated for Secretary of Education. She also knew that she was in for the fight of her life.


The individuals who know her best, know she’s quite formidable. While she may come off as plain-spoken and polite, she’s a fighter. In 1990, her husband ran against incumbent Governor Jennifer Granholm. Many describe DeVos as Granholm’s worst nightmare.


But now that DeVos is settling in to her new job, she feels a sense of accomplishment. In spite of what her critics say, she has no intention of turning her back on public schools. DeVos says that has never been her position. Her goal is to only make sure children of all socioeconomic backgrounds get a good education.


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