If you lived in Michigan or moved there at any point in the past thirty years, you’ve likely become familiar with the DeVos family. For decades, the DeVos family has worked to imprint themselves on pretty much every aspect of the state at large. Primarily focused in Grand Rapids, the DeVos family owns several massive buildings and they are one of the most renown supporters of the GOP in the entire state. All of their work over the years has finally paid off with Betsy DeVos being nominated and confirmed for the role of Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration. As a political outsider with zero federal experience, the nomination of Betsy DeVos may have made some lifelong politicians worry, but the outcome of the nomination cannot be ignored.
Born to a religious family and raised in a small community, Betsy DeVos would be quick to admit that her life’s priorities have been ironed out since she was a child. DeVos believes strongly in the power of faith, the importance of family, and the strategic element of a small government that doesn’t reach too far into the personal lives of the people of the United States of America. As a devout conservative and a respected GOP donor, the nomination by President Trump makes sense, but only superficially. It is only when you dig deeper into the life of Betsy DeVos that you see how she might become one of the truly hidden weapons of the Republican party for their goal of changing education for the better.
Betsy DeVos went to Calvin College in her youth and it was there that she first came face-to-face with the works of Milton Friedman. Friedman is one of the original voices for the school choice movement and his voice has only been amplified over the past thirty years as Betsy DeVos has acclimated to his message. Betsy DeVos believes strongly in the role of school choice and the concept that students and parents should be able to choose the education that their child receives, rather than having the government handpick it for them. While there are reasons to be skeptical of school choice as a program, Betsy DeVos and the rest of mainstream conservatives have latched onto the concept and have pushed it to the forefront of her work in Washington D.C.
While Betsy DeVos fits firmly in line with the vast majority of GOP policies, she is far from being just another nodding head in the room with President Trump. Betsy DeVos has risen to her stature through her sharp mind, her focus on issues, and her ability to bring topics into the mainstream without alienating or hurting either side of the political aisle. With this kind of craft, Betsy DeVos could be rendering lifelong change to our nation’s educational system.
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