Betsy Devos is the 11th US Secretary of Education. An education activist hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Devos began working in reform long before she went to Washington. While many have felt polarized on her policies, there is one thing to be said about Devos. She does not shy away from an interview and has continuously supported her position in spite of opposition.
In the 1980s, education reform was an all new topic. It was published in a report by the Reagan Administration. Devos was working in education reform at the time already. She was apart of the Michigan Republican Party, and she was married to Dick Devos. The pair were perfect for each other. They had similar views on education, and it became apparent that they could work together to support change.
In her most recent televised interview, Betsy Devos talked with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes.” It was an interview that showed who Devos really was, as she stated that students come first, and that’s why it was important that people took a second look at education choice as part of reform.
The road hasn’t been easy for Devos. She has been working in education reform for many years. It started while she was in Michigan with bills like the “Kids First!” Coalition. The bill was designed to help private and charter schools expand in the state, but it wasn’t approved.
To those that say public funding is the main resource for private school vouchers, Devos says that they simply don’t understand. In fact, philanthropy has been the main driver behind education reform lately. She has backers like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. However, it’s her own foundation that has done much of the work. The Devos Family Foundation has donated over $134 million to different charities, including those for education.
However, there are a lot of people who have supported educational choice before and still had to compete with other reforms, such as standardized testing and Common Core programs. While the Trump administration has said that Common Core is not supported. However, it’s really up to the states to change education policies. That has caused some issues at the state level for Devos who has had to fight for educational reform.
Devos has just two more years to work with states to get educational choice programs in place, but currently the most successful are in Florida and Louisiana.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.