When Betsy DeVos accepted the nomination to be Secretary of Education, a chorus of opposition rose up to complain. Mrs. DeVos was a tenacious fighter for Charter schools and pluralism. She was a leading advocate for school choice that many people considered to be the opposite of public education. The opposition centered on Mrs. DeVos lack of connection to public education. They perceived that charter and school voucher alternative as a force that diminished public education. Mrs. DeVos disagreed.
– Strong Efforts not Strong Words
Mrs. DeVos has a reputation earned in the battles she fought and won in Michigan and across the US. She believes in Charter Schools, school choice, and educational pluralism. Secretary DeVos is not confrontational and does not use loud displays to get her point across to others. She is always polite, and she is always determined.
As a philanthropist and advocate, Mrs. DeVos places importance on the role of the family in a child’s education and that the family’s right to choose is an important consideration. In the debate that led to her confirmation, Mrs. De Vos made a firm stand. Her position was clear; the role of education in American society is undeniably vital, but there is no single source- no magical one-size fits all. Education is necessary; it is vital to the national economic and social well-being. Citizens cannot carry out the duties of citizenship without knowledge and understanding. Education is not confined to public schools, and it is not limited to schools at all. Life experience can be the best teacher that includes family, church, and other places that we learn.
– True to Her Roots
Mrs. DeVos grew up in Western Michigan in the Holland Michigan community. The area has a rich tradition that immigrated from Europe of Dutch Reformed Church and Calvinism. Mrs. De Vos had a private education that included matriculation through Calvin College. The Calvinist theory of educational pluralism influenced her religious and formal educational training. Pluralism recognizes the value of many forms of education including faith-based institutions.
– Diversity in Education
Mrs. DeVos made an appearance in Florida with the Rapper Pitbull. The occasion included recognition of one of the Charter schools that the music artist founded and sponsors. Charter education does provide a proven method for improving educational choices in a given community. For some parents, it represents an affordable option to a poorly performing public school system. The goal is to provide the best educational opportunity for our children. We have a long period to debate the pros and cons, but a child only passes through the system once.
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