When Betsy DeVos sat down for her Senate confirmation hearing, she probably only knew a little bit of what to expect. After all, DeVos comes to the United States government after spending her career as a private citizen. This was her first chance to serve the country at one of the highest levels that her field could attain: the Department of Education. This obviously sounds overwhelming and new for someone so green in politics, but for President Donald Trump — this was all by design. President Trump wanted to bring in outsiders, newcomers, and thinkers with a different way of looking at things into his administration. Betsy DeVos checked all of those boxes and her passionate career fighting for education reform only solidified the deal. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/education/
Betsy DeVos won’t raise the decibel level on the national level, at least not yet. She comes to Washington D.C. bereft of any scandal or any political history at all. Her husband, Dick DeVos, had made a run for Michigan’s governor but he fell short. Still, DeVos wasn’t coming from rags to riches. Betsy DeVos was born into a family dynasty and her husband Dick DeVos, was much the same, coming from the family behind Amway. Still, Betsy didn’t let her good fortune make her lazy and she instead immediately got into the educational system in order to pursue her dreams and hone her focus.
Born in Holland, MI, DeVos would go on to attend Calvin College where she would cement her reformer status. At school, Betsy would meet not just her future husband but also the works of Milton Friedman who wrote extensively on the role of government and education. Friedman’s works are considered cornerstones for conservatism but it was until Betsy DeVos championed them that they became commonly accepted. DeVos has spent the past thirty years exploring Friedman’s works and, in particular, the core of what would become school choice.
As the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos will have more power than ever in her pursuit of educational reform. DeVos has believed in school choice so completely over the past decades that her name has become synonymous with the concept. In Michigan, Betsy DeVos helped to start up a school choice movement that would help to solidify the backbone of the craze sweeping the nation. Now, nearly a quarter of a million students are enrolled in school choice programs across 17 different states — with the majority of those programs being located in Michigan.
As the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos had to learn quickly that she wasn’t just in another common playground, she was in Washington D.C. In D.C., at the highest rungs of the government’s ladder, people would be more than willing to bully and push back on the newcomer. Thankfully, DeVos wasted no time in showing her tenacity and showing her teeth. Betsy DeVos organized a sitdown with prominent leaders at the two major teacher’s unions in the United States, just so that she could show herself and start the process of crafting her legacy.