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The Top 10 Betsy DeVos Quotes That Explain Her Goals as Secretary of Education


On January 11, the Senate’s education committee will hold a hearing to assess the abilities of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. During the hearing, DeVos will be pressed to answer a range of questions that will reveal how the education advocate views current education issues. For now, here are 10 quotes from the Michigan-based school reformer that reveal how she views education in the U.S.

1. On Public Education in the U.S.:

"...because of the public's awareness that traditional public schools are not succeeding. In fact, let’s be clear, in many cases, they are failing. That's helped people become more open to what were once considered really radical reforms—reforms like vouchers, tax credits, and education savings accounts-" to the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2013

2. On How She Became Involved with School Choice:

"I got involved by starting a foundation that gave scholarships to low-income families so that parents could decide where their kids would go to school. We realized very quickly that, while it was wonderful to help some families through the scholarship fund, it was never going to fundamentally address the real problem. Most parents were not going to get the scholarship they wanted, and that meant most kids would not have the opportunities they deserved-" to the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2013

3. On How Political Partisanship Threatens Education:

"Republicans don’t want to pay teachers enough. Democrats don’t want to reform tenure laws. It’s another partisan stand-off-" at SXSXedu in 2015

4. On Industry in Education:

"We must open up the education industry—and let’s not kid ourselves that it is an industry—we must open it up to entrepreneurs and innovators-" at SXSXedu in 2105

5. On her previous experience:

"Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that's not my position...along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle-" on her website

7. On Her Support of Charter Schools:

"Charter schools are another choice—a very valid choice. As we work to help provide parents with more educational choices, it is always with the assumption that charter schools are part of the equation-" to the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2013

8. On Her Expectations from the Public:

"All I ask for is an open mind and the opportunity to share my heart...I’ve been involved in education issues for 28 years, as an activist, a citizen-volunteer and an advocate for children," at a rally in Michigan in 2016

9. On Her Support of Local Control of Education:

"It won’t be a giant bureaucracy or a federal department. Nope. The answer isn't bigger government. The answer is local control-" at a rally in Michigan in 2016

10. On How She Will Reveal More Specifics During the Confirmation Process:

"...out of respect for the United States Senate, it is most appropriate for me to defer expounding on specifics until they begin their confirmation process-" on her website

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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