Who is Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Nominee to Lead Department of Education?

Education, Recent News — By on December 1, 2016 at 4:25 AM

There has been a lot of misinformation on Betsy DeVos, philanthropist and staunch supporter of educational opportunities for all children.  Here is a quote from Wikipedia on her principles:

“She and her husband worked for the successful passage of Michigan’s first charter-school bill in 1993…”

Those who want their children to get into an Alaska charter school and are on wait lists should be thrilled.  She has also supported school vouchers and tax credit scholarship programs, all focused on what is best for the kids.

In her efforts to provide transparency to parents on the quality of education their children are receiving, she strongly endorsed Maine’s grading of its schools (Wikipedia):

“DeVos and Joel Klein said in a May 2013 op-ed that residents of Maine “are now given information on school performance using easy-to-understand report cards with the same A, B, C, D and F designations used in student grades.” This system, they argued, “truly motivates parents and the community to get involved by simply taking information that education officials have had for years and presenting it in a way that is more easily understood.”

Here is a recent post on Q&A from her webpage, http://betsydevos.com/qa/:

Q+A

Q: What are 5 things we might not know about you?

  • I’m a grandmother! My husband (Dick) and I have four children and five grandchildren.
  • I was born and raised in Michigan. Born in Holland, MI, I’ve been a lifelong resident of Michigan.
  • I’m an advocate for children. I’ve been involved with education issues for 28 years. I’ve been on the front lines fighting to make education better for all children.
  • I’m an activist. I’m a total outsider to elective office and government, but I’m no stranger to the political process. A citizen volunteer, I have served in local, state, and national offices.
  • I’m an entrepreneur. I have started new and innovative companies that help make our community better.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about Common Core. Can you provide some straight talk on this topic?

Certainly. I am not a supporter—period.

I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense. 

Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position. Sometimes it’s not just students who need to do their homework.

However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle.

Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.


Q: What are your thoughts about specific education policies?

I am very excited to get to work and to talk about my thoughts and ideas on making American education great again. The status quo is not acceptable. I am committed to transforming our education system into the best in the world. However, out of respect for the United States Senate, it is most appropriate for me to defer expounding on specifics until they begin their confirmation process.  


Finally, the NEA teachers union has given Betsy DeVos an “F” grade and that is good enough for us.

 

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