Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education. Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking 51-50 vote to confirm her place in President Trump’s cabinet. Ms. DeVos has been a leading advocate for charter schools in her home state of Michigan. This advocacy earned her the reputation of being relentless and driven. Betsy DeVos accepted the appointment with no experience in government or public education.
Growing up in Holland, Michigan, Betsy worked at her father’s company, attended private school, and attended Calvin College where she met her husband, Dick Devos. He also grew up attending private school. When the couple had children of their own they also attended private schools. Betsy DeVos has very little experience in public education. She has a reputation for pushing charter schools and trying to steer tax dollars away from public schools.
Detroit, Michigan has the largest amount of charter schools. These schools show low performance. Detroit’s public schools are also declining in quality. A bipartisan law maker group tried to create legislation that would close failing charter schools. Ms. DeVos formed the Great Lakes Education Project, fought against them, and won. She has said “the Detroit school system should simply be shut down”. This attitude and ideology toward public schools make it seems as if she does not want them to succeed.
Ms. DeVos’s colleague and fellow Michigan resident, feels she understands education concerns when many American citizens do not. She feels our public schools that are performing well are still not performing as well as those in other developed countries. He feels she wants to address the country and what we should expect from our schools and how schools should look.
Ms. DeVos comes from money. Her father made the family fortune by founding an auto part company. He built the company into a billion-dollar business. Betsy Devos married Dick DeVos. He also comes from a wealthy background. His father was the founder of Amway. She has used her resources to reward those who agree with her and punish those who do not. She and her husband have used their combined fortunes to donate to conservative religious and political causes.