Trump’s nominee for education secretary met with cheers and jeers

The U.S. Department of Education would take a sharp turn under the leadership of the billionaire voucher advocate nominated today by President-elect Donald Trump.

Betsy DeVos of Michigan has devoted her energy and her vast fortune — her husband’s family founded Amway — to promoting school choice and helping families find ways out of traditional public schools.

DeVos, 58, leads the American Federation for Children, which describes its mission as “promoting school choice, with a specific focus on advocating for school vouchers, scholarship tax credit programs and Education Savings Accounts. … We believe public education must be defined as providing families with the public funding they need to choose the education they determine is best for their children.”

Her nomination triggered a mixed response, cheers from school choice proponents and jeers from education groups. “Betsy DeVos is an outstanding pick for Secretary of Education. She has a long and distinguished history championing the right of all parents to choose schools that best ensure their children’s success,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a longtime school choice advocate.

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García said, “She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education. By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.”

To read more, go the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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