For all her time in positions of authority, people have made the mistake of underestimating Betsy DeVos, secretary of education. A history in corporate America gave DeVos the necessary tools to come into government and start making an immediate difference. That difference, however, is sometimes overlooked because of her calm demeanor in times of hardship.
The reason DeVos was an easy choice for President Trump is because of her decades-long effort to funnel resources into charter schools. These private schools have a poor reputation because of their tendency to pull resources away from the public education system. DeVos was also an advocate for the idea that school selection should be a free-market affair, which gives parents the ability to send their children to schools that fit their desired criteria. Until recent years, government watchdogs and other officials have dismissed promotion for charter schools and ignored their advocates. This was the tenacity that put DeVos on the political radar.
With a reputation for standing up for what she believes in, Betsy DeVos takes an interesting role in President Trump’s cabinet. The public opinion is that President Trump selects representatives who can be strong-armed into alignment with his ideals. As has been proven time and again, this is not the case with DeVos; she has already shown a capacity for disagreement with the president. Take, for example, the rescinded bill for transgender school bathroom usage in 2017. She disagreed with the President’s decision to cancel the legislation, but she held her ground, remained civil and put herself in position to win the next point of contention.
Perhaps the area of DeVos’ life where she compromises least is her proven interest in philanthropy. Along with her husband Dick, DeVos is responsible for a lifetime of over $150 million in charitable contributions. Her funding of charter schools has garnered a great amount of disdain from democratic representatives, but both sides of the aisle have come to understand the importance of DeVos’ giving. Until recently, the great deal of money donated by the DeVoses had not been disclosed. Thus, DeVos handles her giving with the same quiet confidence that she handles her business.
Though many have pegged Betsy DeVos as another cabinet member pliable by the will of the president, her tenacity should by this point speak for itself. As has always been the case, sheer determination figures to continue driving DeVos forward through her battles both in and out of Washington.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.