Betsy DeVos can be described as someone who does not understand the word, “no.” Undeniably determined to get her point across, she now finds herself in a powerful position as the Secretary of Education and she has made her point to have her opinions be heard. Growing up in Michigan, she attended private schools throughout her life thanks to her family’s vast wealth that continues to grow with her brother and husband both starting very wealthy businesses that continue to grow to this day. Her political experience was few, but that did not stop her reputation as someone who could get her point across when she needed too.
DeVos has been an advocate for the charter schools; schools that pull money from the public, but are operated by private companies. For decades in her home state’s most famous city of Detroit, she has been fighting to steer tax dollars away from the crumbling public system and towards charter schools. This was a controversial issue with her nomination by a president she had little influence with before being appointed Secretary of Education. DeVos has now been pushing for more and more money to be funneled towards charter schools and has openly stated that she would like the parents of the children to decide whether they want their students to attend public or chartered schooling. While her stance has been well known, she has garnered some enemies and opponents of her ideal system. Across the nation, there are professors at universities, politicians, and regular citizens that have voiced their opinions on the charter schooling that DeVos has been pushing for. Thomas Pedroni, a professor at Wayne State University, has stated that DeVos is responsible for the downfall of the Detroit education system. A system that has seen record lows for graduation rates and overall success from their students over the last few decades. DeVos has furthered back her opinion of charter schooling after visiting Washington D.C. schools. There she observed teachers that were acting in a more “receiving mode” than taking initiative. While DeVos is in favor of chartered schools, she is not in favor of more regulations on teachers; she feels they should be the ones initiating the educational process of the new generations of children.
Her start as the new Secretary of Education was a rocky one, as it took the Vice President’s tiebreaking vote to appoint her to the position. Friends and those close to DeVos say that the controversial vote and the fact that it took a tiebreaking vote irked the new secretary. But that is not something that her opponents should be proud of. Because the more controversy that stands in her path, the more determined Betsy DeVos is getting her opinions heard.
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