Betsy Devos is Used to Being a Part of Education Reform

Betsy Devos has made headlines as the Secretary of Education under President Donald Trump, but some may not realize that her career in reform began over thirty years ago. At Calvin College, from which she graduated in 1979, she was involved with politics and became a student leader. After graduating, she was active in the Michigan Republican Party and rose to become one of the party’s leaders. She has also been a member of the Windiest Group, a privately held investment group, and Neurocore, which consists of brain performance centers that provide therapy for various disorders.


Before accepted her nomination as the Secretary of Education, she kept active in the education world as the chairperson of the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation, the American Federation for Children, and the Alliance for School Choice. She has also been a board member for many organizations, including Kids Hope USA, the Devos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education.


She and her organizations have taken a prominent role in the school choice debate. In her home state of Michigan, she and her husband have helped many school-age students and their families find the funds to attend non-public schools. At an institutional level, she was active in the push to pass a state charter-school bill and to pass a bill that allowed tax-credit scholarships and vouchers. The latter was unsuccessful.


At a national level, she has been instrumental in influencing the education system in several states. Florida now has a tax-credit scholarship program, and Louisiana and Indiana have also passed bills in support of school choice.


Betsy Devos believes that all of these efforts are only helping America’s students, since more of them are no longer trapped in public schools that, some may say, have failed their students. The nation is now seeing more charter and alternative schools popping up, both in urban and non-urban environments. These schools are able to deviate from state-mandated curriculum, focusing on what their students need most and being flexible if that need ever changes.


The Devos family, thanks in large part to Betsy’s efforts, has made an indelible impact on Grand Rapids and the education system in Michigan. As she takes care of her responsibilities in Washington, D.C., Devos is continuing her work with education reform, hoping to make lasting changes and to better prepare American students for the future.


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