Don’t Underestimate Betsy DeVos

Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a complex woman. At least it would seem that way. Those who are familiar with the Michigan native tend to have strong, strikingly different opinions of her. Regardless of where they stand, however, most will agree that this woman is tenacious. They say she’s a fighter. Her actions seem to prove it. Read on to learn more about Betsy DeVos, her background and the ways in which she is perceived in various circles.


The Background of Betsy DeVos


DeVos was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. Her father, Edgar Prince, was a wealthy businessman and major support of conservative Christian causes. In addition, her brother then went on to found Blackwater, the controversial private securities firm. She then went on to marry Dick DeVos, whose father founded the well-known Amway company. She comes from a wealthy background and has never had personal experience with public education. This is a point of contention for many of her opponents.


Two Strikingly Different Views


When it comes to public opinion, it would seem that folks either love her or hate her. Long-time associates will talk about her fierce generosity and ability to get things done. DeVos believes in the right of the free market to allow parents to choose whether their children should attend public school or opt into a private charter school. It is her contention that charter schools offer an alternative to a failing public education system. Because of the tenacity of Betsy DeVos, Detroit, in her home state, is currently the geographic area with the largest concentration of charter schools. Opponents will tell you that she is out of touch and is determined to destroy public education, the foundation available to most children in America.


What Most Can Agree On


Whether they’re for or against Betsy DeVos, most will agree that she’s a fighter who doesn’t back down easily and goes after what she wants. Even Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, will tell you DeVos is determined. Weingarten, who is typically seen on the side of more liberal issues and is a strong proponent of public education, has said of DeVos in regard to a bill aiming to close failing charter schools, “She fought with everything she had to stop that from going into law, because she didn’t want the public schools to succeed. She’s completely ideologically focused.”


It’s quite apparent that Betsy DeVos is a no-holds-barred type. Some may have initially seen her as someone who would passively go along with her boss, Donald Trump. But most who have experience in dealing with this fierce woman would likely be quick to correct that impression.


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