Betsy Devos – on topic article

Newly appointed Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos has proven she is a fighter. Over the last year in her post, the press hasn’t exactly been kind. She has had some missteps and said a few things she surely would like to take back. However, those who know her best say she shouldn’t be underestimated. While some may believe that she is merely just a “yes” woman in the Trump Administration, she knows how to speak up about things she has issues with.


DeVos, the former conservative Michigan Republican Chairwoman, has worked hard to make education choices in her state more plentiful. She is driven, focused and will not stop until she gets her way. While getting her way didn’t always happen, you can rest assured, she put up a fight.


DeVos comes from enormous wealth. Her father, billionaire businessman Edgar Prince, was a well-known conservative philanthropist and businessman. Liker her father, she has used that wealth to gain political muscle and steer conservative legislation in her favor. For instance, even though her bid to get tax payers to foot the bill for school choice voucher fell flat. She was able to convince legislatures in surrounding states to take on the initiatives. So with her help, 15 states now have some form of school choice.


Not the obvious pick for Sec. of Education, DeVos arrived in Washington with very little experience. The biggest complaint — neither she nor her children had the opportunity to use federal financial aid, for obvious reasons. How can she understand what average, everyday Americans go through if she hasn’t had the same experience?


Despite the knocks, most people believe she will learn the ropes. One of her biggest educational foes, National Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, says people do underestimate her.


According to critics in her state, DeVos spent a lot of time attempting to steer tax dollars away from public schools and give it to charter schools. Weingarten says it was a direct attack to undermine public education. Also, over 80 percent of the state’s charter schools are for profit and very little oversight is provided. And while the state’s charter schools have their own issues, the public schools are at the worst they have been in years.


The fact that the press has not portrayed her in a very good light has irked her to no end. Like during her confirmation hearing when she was asked about weapons in school and answered that the guns were “for bears.”


Regardless, DeVos is determined to succeed. She has reached out to Weingarten and National Education Association President Lilia Eskelen. She plans on visiting schools with both officials in the near future.


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