U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is, by all accounts, a determined woman. She does not air any disagreements that she has with her boss, President Trump, in public. When he rescinded the policy that allowed transgender students to use the restroom that matched the gender that they identified with, DeVos was against it, but the public never knew it. DeVos is always a lady, and she never publicly criticized President Trump’s decision.
DeVos was never a teacher and her children attended private schools, therefore, according to her critics, she wasn’t familiar with the public school system. DeVos is a quick study; she knows something about public schools from talking to lower income parents who could not afford to send their kids to a private school. DeVos was one of the strongest advocates for charter schools and she has been involved with advocating for education policies for almost 30 years. Her supporters say that charter schools give parents choices, forcing public schools to do better or risk losing students. She has spoken with parents of children who attend Grand Rapid’s Potter’s House Christian School, who sacrifice to have their child in a safe environment, where they can learn. She at her husband would spend their time there, realizing that they had the resources to send their children to the best schools, but many parents do not. DeVos and her husband, Dick, provide the school with significant funding through their family foundation.
People in western Michigan know DeVos as a kind, compassionate woman, while people who do not know her call her insulated. Friends point out that she and her husband don’t just give Potter’s House Christian School their time in volunteer hours. DeVos isn’t insulated; she’s helped parents find stable housing, mentored kids and talked to them about going to college. It is the practical help offered by someone who isn’t insulated from life’s problems.
Many people do not know that DeVos spent 15 years serving as a mentor for at-risk students in Grand Rapids. She worked with students, their parents and teachers, which made her realize that where a student lives determines the quality of his or her education. DeVos knew this wasn’t fair, which is why she promoted school choice policies. According to DeVos, these choices could, include home schooling, vouchers, digital learning and charter schools. Husband Dick DeVos established a free charter high school with an aviation focus in Grand Rapids.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.