Betsy Devos – on topic article

Some of the citizens of Grand Rapids, MI are having some trouble reconciling the controversial Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos with the one they used to know.


While DeVos is seen as pragmatic, generous and affable, even by those who disagree with her right-wing political leanings, the one working for the Trump Administration comes off as aloof, unprepared and wholly unqualified for the position.


These types of descriptions are not what people who know her would generally say about her, except, they are.


DeVos was born in Holland, MI in 1958 to Edgar and Elsa Prince. Her father, a billionaire industrialist who promoted conservative values and issues in his part of the state. In her Dutch community along the Michigan shore, DeVos was raised in the Christian Reform Church. After college, she wed Dick DeVos, son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos.


They both have worked over the years to transform the state to line up with their conservative ideals. The mega-wealthy couple’s delve into charter schools is well known. She has worked tirelessly to transform most schools and steer them towards her agenda. Regardless of what is said about her, no one can deny she’s a fighter with a great deal of political clout.


No one is really surprised about her convictions regarding education. Her strict Calvin College upbringing and ties to the Netherlands pretty much sums it up. Back in the 1800s, religious and liberal education factions warred for years regarding how Dutch religious schools should be funded.


Many people say DeVos’s stance is dancing on a very fine line that separates church and state. Even American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten believes that DeVos is going out of her way to destroy pubic education.


But one of the biggest knocks against DeVos that they do practice in the Netherlands is school monitoring. DeVos has yet to sign on with monitoring charter schools. Right now, the schools she helped open in Michigan have test scores well behind the many in other states.


Gary Nayerdart, former charter school advocacy group director in Michigan says that people should neither pre-judge or criticize DeVos because of the condition of Michigan’s charter schools. He attributes the decline to state dysfunction and other issues beyond DeVos’s control.


Regardless, supporters and foes alike call for school monitoring. Wayne State University instructor Thomas Pedroni says DeVos has promoted many policies that have left schools in a lurch.


But aside from that, her first months in office as Education Secretary have been shaky to say the least. From a painful confirmation hearing where she answered the question about the necessity of guns in schools with being for protection against grizzly bears. And the cringe-worthy moment about HBCU’s being the original pioneers of school choice.


While many people still cheer for DeVos to do well, other simply chalk it up to the hiring of a good person who does a bad job.


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Betsy DeVos Visits Florida Charter Schools With The Rapper Pitbull

Betsy DeVos recently joined up with Queen Rania of Jordan and Melania Trump to pay a visit to Excel Academy in Washington, which is a charter school for girls. During her visit, she commented on the great job that the school is doing to live up to the standards of the kids and the parents who sent them to the school. She also visited a spread of private schools in Florida including a charter school that was founded by the rapper, Pitbull. She made an appearance with Pitbull during her visit and talked more about the benefits of private schools.


Betsy DeVos has visited schools in Florida quite a few times as the Secretary of Education, and she has publicly stated that the schools in Florida are a model for the rest of the United States. She has plenty of reason to care so much about the “Sunshine State,” because her husband owns a home there and her father-in-law purchased the state’s NBA basketball team. She also paid a visit to CARE Elementary School, which is a beneficiary of the state’s Tax Credit Scholarship program, which is a law that gives people and companies who donate money to private schools tax incentives. DeVos also showed up to a couple other universities and colleges in Florida as well as public schools in the area.


Betsy DeVos was well aware of the fact that Pitbull had already been a part of the opening of numerous charter schools in Miami, and his school along with many charter schools in Florida, as a whole, are receiving large amounts of funding from the state capital. In the past, representatives of the state of Florida have pushed to relax charter school rules, and some of these representatives have also been a part of the schools by being invested in them on a personal level. Pitbull, who founded Doral College, helped to open its doors in 2013, and many people weren’t exactly happy about him being the head of the school due to his history of drug and alcohol abuse and profanity-laden lyrics. Some people aren’t exactly sure how Pitbull is having a positive effect on the different charter schools he is a part of other than showing up here and there to visit them. Some see it as beneficial, and others can’t help but see it as a marketing gig.


Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education for the United States, and she has always been a strong supporter of private schools and charter schools as well as the rights of a parent to choose where their children get an education. One of her favorite causes that she supports has to do with allowing vouchers paid for by the public that cover the costs of charter schools. These would help low-income families and other families who don’t have a choice as to where their children are going to school by providing them with the extra help they need to put their kids in the schools of their choosing.


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