While much of the world is glued to the Twitter page of President Donald J. Trump, Betsy DeVos is quietly getting to work at her new post as Secretary of Education. Donald Trump has done many things at a large and loud level, almost always keeping the attention on him, while his political appointments have been free to simply get to work. Among Donald Trump’s major nominations, Betsy DeVos is likely the least recognized by broader American audiences. Despite being a relative newcomer to the world of Washington D.C., Betsy DeVos actually has a track record of political grinding that stands up to the rest of her peers.
Betsy DeVos was born in a small community in Holland, Michigan. Here, DeVos was raised to love and admire her lineage, her faith, and her community. After attending Calvin College, where she would meet her now-husband Dick DeVos, Betsy would begin to morph into the political gamechanger that she has now become. DeVos saw potential in charter schools and the right of school-choice and soon she had her career cultivated around the concept.
DeVos operated as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and it was here that she began to garner the acclaim that would get her a ticket to Washington. DeVos is easy to miss in a crowded room, which is to say that she is largely unassuming until you stoke a conversation about her convictions. Randi Weingarten, a President of the American Federation of Teachers, says of DeVos, “There is a real tendency to underestimate her.” This is the kind of reaction that DeVos may not appreciate, but she fully uses it to her advantage.
President Trump has presided over a presidential campaign that promised to put outsiders into Washington D.C. in order to make some real changes at the highest levels of government. With Betsy DeVos taking on the mantle of Secretary of Education, these changes are going to come quick and they are going to come emphatically. Ms. DeVos has spent the better part of the past twenty years vigorously fighting to make school-choice a real option for people everywhere. In the wake of her efforts, people are finally starting to get to know what charter schools are and why they could be a fit for their community.
It’s going to take some time before Betsy DeVos is regarded by her peers as a true heavyweight. However, Betsy DeVos is making that change come quicker than anyone could have imagined.
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