Thursday, November 24, 2016

Betsy Devos is a great choice for Ed. Secretary, Praise from Heritage Foundation. Senate Ed. chair Sen. Lamar Alexander, others.

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos
I am very pleased with President-elect Trump's choice of Betsy Devos for Education Secretary. It looks like Trump's promise to advance school choice may be one promise he is prepared to keep. I would prefer the Department of Education be abolished and the roll of the federal government in education be reduced and any federal roll be handled by a sub cabinet division within a reconstituted Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  If that is not going to happen, then it appears Trump made a wise choice in picking Devos.

I was not familiar with Devos prior to her selection but since the announcement I have read a lot about her and am very impressed with what I have learned. She is a Michigan billionaire and a conservative activist and philanthropist who has influenced education policy in several states. She is chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, a group that advocates the use of school vouchers and other school choice options.  In Michigan she was an influential champion for education reform and school choice. The Teachers unions despised her which is an indication she must be doing something right. She was an early supporter of common core but has since changed her mind when she saw it becoming a tool for federal government control.

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint released the following statement about the nomination:
 Betsy DeVos has been a staunch supporter of more education choices for students and parents, and the school choice movement will have a champion in the Education Department.

The next Secretary should re-evaluate existing federal education programs, work to downsize the agency, promote where appropriate efforts for more choice, and give states more flexibility with existing federal funds to better serve students.
Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee said of the nominations:
Betsy DeVos is an excellent choice. The Senate’s education committee will move swiftly in January to consider her nomination.
Betsy has worked for years to improve educational opportunities for all children. As secretary, she will be able to implement the new law fixing No Child Left Behind just as Congress wrote it, reversing the trend to a national school board and restoring to states, governors, school boards, teachers, and parents greater responsibility for improving education in their local communities.
I also look forward to working with her on the upcoming re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, giving us an opportunity to clear out the jungle of red tape that makes it more difficult for students to obtain financial aid and for administrators to manage America’s 6,000 colleges and universities.
Jacqueline Cooper, president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), said of the nomination: 
Betsy is a very gifted and well-respected education leader with a proven track record of advancing excellence and equity for students. She has been a strong champion for parental choice, ensuring that all children, regardless of race or economic status, have access to excellent schools. We have no doubt she will make a great education secretary.

BAEO congratulates Betsy on her nomination.
Watching the transition team come together and watching Trump moderate some of his positions,  I am more and more encouraged and hopeful that Trump will be a good president.  As one who was a critic of Trump, I am now hopeful. This nomination was particularly encouraging.

For the Wikipedia bio on Betsy DeVos follow this link. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gives away vast amounts of money to good causes. For a list of causes they support follow this link.  Here are links to various news sources and what they  had to say about the appointment: Fox, NPRWashington Post.

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