How do you think of Betsy DeVos? The answer to that question is likely to hinge on how long you have been following her life and career. Long-time observers of her work know that is a multi-faceted individual who has a lot of things to like about her as well as some that may make you pause. Those who have viewed her only in her recent appointment as the Secretary of Education probably have a very political view of her.
Betsy DeVos was President Trump’s pick to be Secretary of Education due in large part for her lifelong commitment to the advocacy of charter schools and do to the fact that she is a wealthy and connected individual. She and her husband gained their personal fortune from Amway (American Way) in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, and they have contributed a lot to that community ever since.
A lot of people who are only just now getting to know DeVos may not have realized that she had this bit of history to her. It is true though that she has a lot going for her in terms of how she has worked to make the world a better place. At the same time, not everyone agrees with her politics at all.
DeVos preachers to the choir for those who believe that charter schools are the best thing for this country. However, she rubs certain people the wrong way when she allows certain Trump Administration policies to go through the department largely unchallenged. Those who disagree with DeVos often point to this as enough of a reason to be mistrusting of her in general.
One of the moments in Betsy’s life that did not get a lot of media coverage was the fact that she met with LGBTQ groups prior to announcing a change in policy from the Department. The President wanted to resend Obama-era guidelines that encouraged public schools to allow students to use the bathroom of their choosing. Betsy DeVos was personally in disagreement with this proposal, but she did not feel that she could do much to stand in the way of it. Thus, she allowed the new rules to go into place. However, she at least warned these groups that this was about to happen, and some say that they are incredibly grateful that she did that. She did not have to, but she wanted to make it plainly clear that she was in disagreement.
There are a lot of ways to view the actions of any given individual. Before any of us steps up and makes too bold of claims against any person we should seriously consider the complexities of that individual in general and then form an opinion.
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