When John Stossel interviewed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, he told the country Betsy is a fighter by nature. Stossel said he saw the determination in Betsy’s eyes when she talked about her charter school dream. Betsy wants to replace the public school system with what she calls a modern approach to education. Her critics call her charter school initiative a joke.
But DeVos doesn’t listen to her critics. The only people she listens too are husband Dick DeVos, and President Trump. Trump gave Betsy a chance to turn the public school system into a for-profit system that rewards investors at the expense of the students because she and husband Dick gave the Trump campaign millions of dollars.
In order to understand Betsy’s goals, it’s important to understand who Betsy really is under all her wealth. Betsy is a hardnose Calvinist who believes religion and profit will turn America’s education system around. Her determination to make Michigan’s charter schools the model for a countrywide for-profit school system and her willingness to donate a lot of money to Trump’s 2016 campaign were the catalysts that made Trump nominate Betsy.
Betsy was never a teacher or a school administrator. In fact, Betsy had no real education credentials or management training. All she had was a lot of money and the will to fight the system. Congress didn’t want to approve her nomination, but Mike Pence cast the deciding vote for Betsy in 2017.
Even though Trump fired most of the original cabinet members, Betsy is still part of his administration. Mr. Trump is not too concerned about the education issues facing the nation. He lets Betsy do her charter school thing. But charter schools around the country face a number of issues. Many of them are on the chopping block. Nevada’s first charter school closed this spring. And Ohio’s largest charter school closed in 2018. New Jersey charter schools are a real estate investor’s dream. Real estate investors buy school buildings using federal funds, and they rent the buildings to charter schools and make huge profits.
The Democrats say Betsy overlooks charter school issues. Her critics say she continues to promote her education agenda even though the public school system is in big trouble due to lack of funding, teacher dissatisfaction, and her unwillingness to listen to school administrators, teachers, or students.
But just like Stossel said, Betsy likes to fight for what she wants. Even though she doesn’t perform well in front of the cameras, and she seems unaware of the real education issues, she stands tall in the face of controversy.
Betsy and Dick DeVos march to their own beat. They support the Republican cause, but they support their initiatives above all else. Betsy and Dick can do whatever they want thanks to a constant stream of revenue from their investments, Dick’s Amway inheritance as well as Betsy’s family money.
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