Betsy Devos – on topic article
Betsy Devos’s role as a reformer in Donald Trump’s Department of Education is one that she’s well prepared for. Even though most who have known her would have never predicted that she’d end up in politics, a recent interview suggests that she’s well-prepared for the challenge she’s undertaking. Devos’s trek into politics has surprised some people who know her best. She’s long been known as the generous and benevolent benefactor of various causes. Always a positive person, she’s lived a life that’s left her well above the fray that typically accompanies Washington politics. With this in mind, some have been surprised to see her get her hands dirty in this kind of fight. To Devos, though, it’s not about the dirty play of Washington politics. It’s about making big changes using her experience and insight.
The passion for education started early for Devos. Growing up in a wealthy, conservative family in Michigan, she experienced first hand how some schools are better than others. Her family wanted her to attend a religious school, keeping with the local tradition. It was in her early schools that she learned the skills necessary to make it in the business world. Her family benefited, it seems, from being able to choose where she went to school. They had advantages, though, and Devos understood this well. What she realized during this process was that children coming from families without wealth weren’t as lucky as her. Those parents had to settle for whatever the state of Michigan had to offer.
This is why her haunt into politics makes sense for some. As she prepared to send her own children to school, she came to learn how the system sometimes creates problems for parents who just want the best for their kids. Her charity work allowed her to improve education to a point, as she and her husband have been able to pour tens of millions into various charities over the years, but this wasn’t enough. She also wanted the ability to make widespread, sweeping change.
While the Department of Education has many possible places for reform, Devos the Reformer sees school choice as her primary battlefield. She cites studies from around the country that show what positive results can follow when kids are actually allowed the ability to go to better schools. Parents are happier, kids perform better and communities flourish. Devos saw the struggles on the faces of parents who were frustrated with their options many decades ago. As the Secretary of Education, she’s made it her personal mission to work on behalf of those parents.
Diving into politics does not come naturally for Devos. While she wants change, her life has been spent using money to create it. She’s been a positive person, smiling her way through community activism rather than having to deal with the sometimes underhanded politics of power. Still, it’s a role she relishes as she attempts to clean up a system that she believes has been broken for many years on end. Learn more: https://www.nccivitas.org/civitas-review/devos-hits-home-run-harvard/