Betsy DeVos was controversially selected as the nation’s secretary of education under the Trump administration. Since her nomination and transition into this leadership, the media and critics have raised speculation about her abilities, and her character.
DeVos is from Grand Rapids, MI a predominately Dutch and religious city in West Michigan. She and her husband, billionaire Dick DeVos attended Calvin College, and so did their four children. A large source of discomfort from the public is DeVos’ stance on LGBQ and transgender students. Recently, President Trump rescinded a law that allowed transgender students to choose which bathroom they identified with; rumors have also ran that DeVos has given money to conversion therapy. DeVos has publicly remained corgial and kind to all people, albeit sometimes leaning toward ignorant. While DeVos has been consistently polite toward the public, sources tell that she is an aggressive politician. Her most sought after change being choice schools. Over the last 30 years, DeVos has campaigned for public taxes to fund charter schools and school vouchers. While Charter school are publicly funded, they are operated by private groups. In addition, DeVos has called for school vouchers and public funding to be given toward private schools. Opponents fear this will compromise the already scarce resources public schools have.
DeVos’s money and vigor in her advocacy have created her to be the strongest proponent yet for this cause. Her power has seized her other entities from legally opposing her work. In Detroit, she established the Great Lakes Education Project to run against a bill which would have closed failing charter schools and opened new ones. She won.
Her passion for this cause, while potentially harmful for the good of all students, raises the question that maybe the public should address the failing education system we currently have. It’s clear DeVos wants all students to have better access to quality education; the Unites States falls far behind other countries in respect education.
Despite her goals, which are honorable, DeVos does not have the best track record in displaying her compassion and fortitude with the public. In one infamous quote, she suggested school should have access to guns in order to protect them from bear attacks.
Her media shortcomings and lack of experience in the education sector leave other professionals to wonder if the should, and can, be taken seriously.
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