Betsy DeVos and Challenges

For the past 30 years, Betsy DeVos has dedicated her life to education reform. As a young graduate from Calvin College, she worked on President Gerald R. Ford’s campaign. At the time, the first Secretary of Education was elected. Since that time, the policies and directives have changed for America’s education system, but DeVos has always seen a better way forward.


In her exit interview with and Richard Hess, DeVos talked about the issues she faced as an outsider. She credited her background in business as the reason why she was able to manage different policies, objectives, and initiatives with a slow bureaucracy. During the interview, she told Hess that this process was different to her, and therefore she had an advantage because she was able to pose questions and answers that were unexpected.


DeVos knows that not all of her policies have been praised, but she has advocated for educational choice because of its benefits for families and students. She has said that these policies put students first, and they are her main priority. She reiterated this point in her exit interview in January 2021, but she has stood up for student choice in the past, including her appearance on “60 Minutes” in 2018.


She has defended educational choice because it helps lower-income families send students to better schools, particularly when they reside in failing school zones. Many families are forced to send students to failing schools depending on where they lived. However, all states now have educational choice programs due to Betsy DeVos’ campaigns and work with state legislators.


DeVos believes that her policies may be taken away after she leaves office, but she has asked that the next U.S. Education Secretary consider keeping these policies in place because of how much these policies help students get a better education. DeVos has worked with multiple donors to raise millions of dollars to support education and scholarships that benefit lower-income families sending students to better schools.


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