I was pleased to see the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the U.S. Secretary of Education had finally been ratified by Congress as I feel she has proven herself a dedicated part of the education system in her home state of Michigan and across America. For both Secretary DeVos and her husband Dick the need to enact change across the U.S. education system has been a string one that has remained a constant driving force in their lives; for myself I can recall Dick DeVos standing for election and winning a spot on the Michigan State Board of Education, a feat that amazed me as the busy business lives both he and Betsy DeVos lead should make such public service a difficult thing to undertake.
The DeVos family became involved with education as far back as the 1980s when Betsy’s own children were attending school and made the heir to the Prince Industries fortune aware of the difficulties facing children from different backgrounds; I have read on many occasions that Betsy DeVos was left shocked by her visit to the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan and sees this as the moment she began to get involved in education reform. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the education reform movement was something I myself was not aware of and those who followed the cause were often seen as radicals looking to make sweeping changes to the public school system. I have to admire Betsy DeVos for becoming involved in education reform at a time when it was not part of the mainstream and placed her own reputation on the line in a bid to aid the children of the U.S. in achieving the best possible education open to them.
One aspect of the work of Betsy DeVos in her days as an education reformer that has impressed me has been the dedication she has shown to various different approaches to education reform, including her belief in bringing many different options to the table for families to get a high quality education for all. In my opinion, the decision of Betsy DeVos to back a number of different options for parents, such as the use of school choice, school voucher, and charter schools programs have all made it easier for families to move beyond their zip code to achieve much in the public school system. Like myself, Secretary Betsy DeVos is a strong supporter of charter schools and even established the West Michigan Aviation Academy that provides an education based around the aviation industry for students who are already showing an interest in a career in the aviation industry in the future. Check this article from New York Post