November 23, 2016


Trump Taps DeVos to Lead Education Department (Bill McMorris, November 23, 2016, Free Beacon)

DeVos is the chairman of the American Federation for Children, the nation's largest school choice advocacy group. The federation has worked at the state and local level to advance the expansion of charter schools and other education reforms. She and her husband, entrepreneur Dick DeVos, created the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter high school in Grand Rapids, in 2011.

Nearly 40 percent of the academy's student body is economically disadvantaged and more than one in three students are minorities. It has reached parity with other district schools and was one of just 93 Michigan schools to earn a Silver Medal from the US News & World Report's high school rankings. US News & World Report ranked the school among the top 70 schools in the state, which had about 900 public and charter schools in the 2015-2016 school year, and named it one of the 1,800 best schools in the country.

DeVos' selection to lead the Department of Education won plaudits from Michigan public policy experts. Ben DeGrow, director of education policy at the free market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, praised DeVos' record of school reform.

"Betsy DeVos has been a long-time champion of parental choice and educational opportunity, both here in Michigan and around the nation," DeGrow told the Washington Free Beacon. "It will be exciting to see how her appointment gives her a bigger platform to further advance this important cause."

Michigan mega-donor: Trump doesn't represent GOP (JASON RUSSELL, 3/7/16, Washington Examiner)

On Feb. 25, the family picked its horse in the 2016 GOP primary: Marco Rubio. Betsy DeVos spoke with the Washington Examiner about why Michigan is unique, how Rubio can beat Donald Trump and why education should be a bigger factor in the campaign.

"I think Rubio's campaign has continued to be competitive across the board in every state in which the primaries or caucuses have been held," Betsy DeVos said. (AP Photo)
Washington Examiner: You and your husband recently announced that you'll be supporting Marco Rubio in the Republican primary. Why did you wait so long to decide on a candidate, and why did you choose to back Rubio?

DeVos: We as a family decided to, as many did, see how things unfolded nationally. There were a number of candidates that we felt would be very capable, that we could easily embrace and support. As the field has continued to narrow, after Gov. [Jeb] Bush exited the race, we felt it appropriate and an important time to lend our voice, whatever impact that might have, particularly with Michigan's primary coming up. That was our impetus to embrace and publicly support Sen. Rubio. [...]

Examiner: Trump has now earned more than a quarter of the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination. How concerned are you Trump will be the Republican Party's nominee?

DeVos: I don't think Donald Trump represents the Republican Party. I continue to be very optimistic that as we get further along into the process, the more voters know about him, and the more informed they are, the more they're going to continue to break away. That's even held true in the primaries held to date. I think he has underperformed compared to public polls just days before the Super Tuesday contests. I think more and more people are going to realize that they really don't trust him. The more they learn about his record, they're going to break away and go to an alternate. I continue to think that Rubio is a very strong and viable candidate that will represent our party and the future for our country very, very well.

Posted by at November 23, 2016 2:00 PM