Throughout her life, Elisabeth “Betsy” Prince DeVos’ has been involved in a wide variety of positions in both philanthropy and politics. Betsy first discovered politics while attending a Christian liberal arts school in Grand Rapids, Michigan named Calvin College. Among the positions she has held was Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Since then, she has been described as polite, genteel, well-manner, and a team player, which leads many to underestimate her. She is, when necessary, a relentless fighter, always ready to help friends and instill fear in enemies.
Her husband Dick was the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor of Michigan. The two of them are famous as a power couple, solving complex problems using creativity and innovation. Betsy’s most recent position, before becoming Secretary of Education, was acting as chairman of the Windquest Group, a private investment group funding innovative companies.
Through it all, Betsy and her husband Dick have been passionate advocates of charter schools and educational vouchers. The DeVos Family Foundation, founded in 1989, donates millions of dollars to innovative organizations with conservative Christian values, including religious and educational groups, NGOs and institutes of higher education.
Among them are:
The University of Maryland College Park Foundation in support of the College Park Campus of the University of Maryland.
Loudspeaker Media and The Partnership for Educational Justice, both run by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown.
The Potter’s House, a Christian school in Grand Rapids.
The School of Missionary Aviation Technology (SMAT), preparing future pilots in mission aviation.”
A chain of New York City charter schools, founded by educational reformer Eva Moskowitz, called Success Academy Charter Schools.
GREAAT Schools, a non-profit charter school management company.
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit youth group promoting conservative views on college campuses.
For years, Betsy has been a leader in educational reform. Thanks to the concerted efforts of Dick and Betsy DeVos, Detroit has one of the nation’s highest concentrations of charter schools, forcing low-performing public schools to improve or be shut down.
Upon being sworn in as US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos proclaimed her commitment to work with anyone seeking to make the world a better place.
One of the first things she did as Secretary of Education was to arrange for herself and the leader of one of the major teachers’ unions, Ms. Weingarten, to visit schools together.
Secretary DeVos maintains that she is an advocate of school choice and school vouchers because “…traditional public schools are not succeeding… in many cases, they are failing.”
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