Betsy DeVos is currently one of the most divisive politicians in all of Washington D.C., and that is saying something! Betsy DeVos came from Holland, MI in order to work as the Secretary of Education under President Trump. As one of the most high-profile members of President Trump’s cabinet, Betsy DeVos knew that she would be judged harshly for the work that she was going to be tackling. DeVos came into Washington D.C. with relatively small amounts of political experience on her resume. DeVos was most well-known for her work as a school choice advocate and a supporter of the Michigan Republican Party. Despite her lack of experience and the divisiveness that this caused, Betsy DeVos has been no-nonsense since taking her position in the Department of Education.
As the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is being charged with reforming a public school system that is routinely underfunded and failing. DeVos points to the current global rankings in national education statistics, where the United States ranks toward the middle of the pack. DeVos knows that the education system isn’t functioning how it should. Moreover, Betsy DeVos believes that the current school system is actively punishing parents and children alike. For Betsy DeVos, all of these problems can be addressed in a simple way: by turning toward educational choice.
Betsy DeVos originally fell in love with educational choice while she was studying at Calvin College in Michigan. DeVos would read the works of Milton Friedman and she would go on to adapt his concepts once she graduated. For over thirty years, DeVos has been working hard to push school choice into the public mainstream. Once considered a fringe concept, DeVos has dragged the idea right into the center of the national conversation on education reform. The question remains, however, whether DeVos will be successful in getting the conversation to actually trigger action.
In Washington D.C., Betsy DeVos will be tasked with proving herself to nearly everyone that she comes across. DeVos has already been challenged by the swamp in Washington D.C., but that hasn’t slowed her down. In fact, DeVos has harnessed what made her popular in Michigan in order to fight off attacks while in Washington D.C. DeVos has always been well-spoken and whip-smart, but now she has authority behind her work. DeVos has publicly stood up to people like President Trump. She has also held firm in meetings with some of the most high-profile union leaders in the entire educational system. Despite her divisiveness, DeVos is making it clear that she is here to work and that she is here to stay. The biggest question remains, will Betsy DeVos be able to turn this momentum into legislative change in the coming years?
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