Betsy DeVos was confirmed in 2017 as the new Secretary of Education for the United States of America. Despite her lack of name-brand awareness and some momentary struggles during her Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos was confirmed and has taken up her post as the leading voice at the Department of Education. Betsy DeVos is one of the most prominent and important members of the Trump Administration’s Cabinet and she is going to be tasked with bringing conservative reform to the field of education, something that will be notoriously difficult in the current political climate. With all of the divisiveness pervading America’s politics, will Betsy DeVos be successful? If you look her track record, you might be inclined to believe it.
If you take nothing else away from our discussion, take this: Betsy DeVos is a true reformer and she believes in her work with every fiber of her being. Betsy DeVos was born into a family that believed in the power of engineered change, no matter the industry. Her brother would become a self-made millionaire thanks to his work as an overseas security contractor and her father would become wealthy off of his own work in the auto industry. Betsy DeVos could have taken it easy and relaxed in her wealth but that is not the way of a reformer.
Instead of relaxing with her wealth and good fortune, Betsy DeVos committed herself to social change from a young age. After attending Calvin College, where she received the first hooks that would pull her toward education reformation, Betsy DeVos became active in the political scene. In the intervening years since her graduation, DeVos has chaired six different committees for the Michigan Republican Party while also leading a variety of political campaigns, including one for her husband, Dick DeVos. Despite lacking federal experience, Betsy DeVos showed a sharp mind for the world of politics and it quickly put her on the radar of President-Elect Donald Trump. It surprised some when he ended up officially nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education but after further reflection, the nomination makes complete sense.
As the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos will be rallying around the ideas made prevalent by Milton Friedman back in the ’50s and ’60s. Specifically, Betsy DeVos will be championing the concept of school choice which has become iconic among the conservative education movement. School choice insists that parents be able to pick and choose the way that their children are educated without the penalty of losing out on tax dollars that have been given to public schools. With school choice in place, federal tax dollars will be pushed toward charter schools, private schools, and even Christian schools so that parents can afford to pick their education for their children.
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