DeVos is chairman of The Windquest Group, a Michigan-based investment management company. She is married to billionaire Richard DeVos Jr., the son of Richard DeVos, who co-founded the home care products company Amway.
President-elect Donald Trump selected Betsy DeVos to be his secretary of education, putting a well-known Michigan philanthropist and school-choice advocate in charge of the agency tasked with promoting student achievement. Ms. DeVos, 58 years old, a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, would be the second woman named to join the Trump administration. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was announced earlier on Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s choice to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “Together, we can work to make transformational change to ensure every student has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential,” Ms. DeVos wrote Wednesday on Twitter, adding that the “status quo” in education is “not acceptable.”
Politico By CAITLIN EMMA and MICHAEL STRATFORD 11/23/16 12:48 PM EST
Alexandria, Va. (November 23, 2016) – Education is a civil right and is necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people. It is our legal and moral responsibility to provide a high-quality and equitable education to all students regardless of their circumstances, background, means, or place of birth. The investment we make in our public schools determines the future of our children and our nation. While there are a number of important issues, we can’t let education fall off the public policy radar and risk shortchanging our nation’s 50 million public schoolchildren. Education is the foundation of our society as our public schools provide the educated, innovative, and prepared workforce of tomorrow. Education is a key part of the solution to every challenge facing the country and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the more than 90,000 school board members are ready to work with Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education to ensure every child has an opportunity to realize their potential. NSBA looks forward to working with Ms. DeVos and the staff at the Education Department to get the ESSA regulatory effort back on the right track.
As of Thanksgiving 2016, nobody can forecast what the Trump administration will do—or even try to do—in K–12 education. Practically all he proposed during the campaign was a whopping new federal program to promote school choice. There was also loose talk about “cutting” the Department of Education and about the Common Core State Standards being “a total disaster.” It’s also no secret that, as governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was strongly pro-school choice and allergic to the Common Core (though the Hoosier State wound up with a close facsimile).
There’s not much more to go on today, save to note that able individuals such as Gerard Robinson and Bill Evers are working on the “transition team” for the Education Department and speculation is rife—and absurdly variegated—as to who may get tapped for the Secretary’s post there. To my knowledge, the three possibles interviewed by Trump so far are highly accomplished, take-no-prisoners women, namely Michelle Rhee, Betsy DeVos and Eva Moskowitz, though the first is no Republican and the third (also no Republican) has taken herself out of the running. So let’s focus instead on some unsolicited advice to the President-elect as to what his administration’s policy priorities in this domain should (and shouldn’t) be.