Betsy DeVos is known across the United States as the fighter for educational rights for decades before she assumed the office of Secretary of Education of the country, recently. Some people are less aware of her educational activism and express concerns about her vision of the American education. I can tell them that she is the most prominent activist and proponent of quality education for the last three decades. While I think of her contributions, Betsy is not just an activist, but she also devised many plans to improve the condition of the country’s education. She feels that every American child should get world-class education irrespective of their financial conditions, the region they belong, and access to resources.
I have noticed that she rolled out many education initiatives in the recent decades and some of them are School of Choice, Charter School System, Grading System for schools, and School Vouchers. I can confirm that these options are focusing on improving the quality of schools, both public and private, through structured programs and rigorous performance tracking system. While some of these options give greater autonomy to the schools, it also instills the responsibility of improving the education to the school management. It means that the schools who want to prevail have to work hard and there is a clear distinction between performers and non-performers. Also, the initiatives give better options for the parents to choose the right schools for the education of their children.
Another vital aspect that points out to her pro-poor policies is none other than her charity efforts to improve the lives. I was overwhelmed by the fact that she and her husband, Dick DeVos, contributed as many as $139 million to various nonprofit groups until today. A significant percentage of it was given to the uplift of the education sector. Interestingly, both of them set up a foundation called DeVos Family Foundation to efficiently manage the contributions. Forbes reported that they contributed at least $11.6 million in the year 2015. The DeVos family founded ArtPrize in Grand Rapids in 2009. It is an international performance competition held on a yearly basis to encourage talents around the world and nourish local culture.
Betsy was the Chairman of an investment advisory and management firm based in Michigan named The Windquest Group – a company founded by the DeVos family. She has over three decades of collaboration with Republican Party and was the chairman of the Michigan wing of the party four times. Betsy also collaborated with The Philanthropy Roundtable, American Enterprise Institute, American Federation for Children, Foundation for Excellence in Education, ArtPrize, and more and served on the boards. She completed her high school graduation from Christian High School Holland and secured her graduation from Calvin College, an arts college in Grand Rapids.
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