Betsy DeVos: A Polite Professional, but a Strong Political Fighter

Betsy DeVos had a meeting with a delegate for transgender and gay employees at the Education Department to warn them of President Trump’s decision to revoke public bathroom access in public schools for transgender students. Ms. DeVos was in objection of President Trump’s decision, but she maintained a polite mannerism during the official announcement.


Although Ms. DeVos was in opposition of President Trump’s decision, her argument was lost due to her opponent. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in favor of Trump’s decision, and Mr. Sessions has decades of experience in Washington politics, as he was a former senator. In addition, Mr. Sessions is also known to have ties to those close to President Trump.


Ms. DeVos has faced criticism because she doesn’t have experience in a government position in Washington, and she supports the decrease in federal funding provided to public schools. Ms. DeVos is attempting to better the American education system by using vouchers to allow underprivileged children the chance to attend charter or religious schools. Although some feel that Ms. DeVos’ idea will undermine the public school system, her supporters advocate that it will cause a competition that will result in the public schools making the improvements necessary to improve education in the United States.


Ms. DeVos has already made great strides. One of her first acts in office was to contact two major teachers unions. Randi Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teaches and stated “There is a tendency to underestimate her, she comes across as personable, plain-spoken, but she is dangerous.” Although the president of the National Education Association, Ms. Eskelsen Garcia, declined to meet with Ms. DeVos, Ms. Weingarten and Ms. DeVos have planned to visit local schools together in the near future.


Greg McNeilly explained that Ms. DeVos understands that many schools in the United States do not perform as well as schools in other developed countries. According to McNielly, “I think she wants to have a conversation with the country about what should we expect from our schools, and about being agnostic about the form of schools.” Although her new role is off to a rough start, she is expected to produce results because she is a fierce political fighter.


Ms. DeVos was born in Holland, Michigan, in 1958. She was raised in Holland and attended the Christian Reform Church. Her alma matter is Calvin College, which is a Christian school, near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ms. DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, and the couple have four children together. The couple is avid supporters of numerous political, conservative, and religious groups. Ms. DeVos is on the board for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and she was chair for the Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute. The DeVos’ numerous contributions to the community have resulted in several facilities being named after the family that include the DeVos Children’s Hospital, the DeVos Center for Arts and Worship, and DeVos Communication Center located at Calvin College.


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