Betsy DeVos: the new US Education Secretary

Most people don’t realize this but Betsy DeVos has worked within education reform her whole life. While many have said that she is inexperienced for the position, she’s actually overqualified in some ways because of her experience in business as well. DeVos started out in Calvin College and eventually joined Gerald R. Ford’s campaign. She also supported educational choice in the 1990s and through the early 2000s, bringing more focus upon it in her home state of Michigan.


Recently, DeVos did an interview with “60 Minutes,” in which she talked to Lesley Stahl about what she wants school to be like for students in America. She doesn’t believe that students should be stuck attending failing schools simply because of where they live. She also knows that a curriculum at one school isn’t going to be the same at another, and sometimes kids need that additional push to be motivated enough for school.


There are a number of educational choice programs that are currently at work in several states. However, DeVos says that Florida is the best because of the amount of programs. These would include magnet programs, private schools, charter schools, virtual programs, and homeschool teaching. In addition, the state has its own tuition-based scholarship program. DeVos says that those who criticize don’t really understand the issues at stake.


For one, educational choice helps parents. It also doesn’t come from public funding as suggested. Philanthropy has been the biggest supporter of the movement, and there are a ton of donors who believe in DeVos’ campaign. This would include Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton.


In addition to working with philanthropy, she has been working with all kinds of groups in her home state still. She is the co-founder of a pilot academy at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, and she also helps out at the Windquest Group with her husband Dick DeVos.


As far as school safety, DeVos is taking a no-nonsense approach to new policies. Many students throughout the country went through a major policy update in 2018 to cover more drills and ensure that more safety measures were put into place to detect guns on campus.


Follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.