Photo by Keith A. Almli (CC BY-SA 3.0)

DEVOS KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION

Detroit Free Press: DeVos “Has No Relevant Credentials Or Experience.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of controversial cabinet nominations already. But none seems more inappropriate, or more contrary to reason, than his choice of DeVos to lead the Department of Education.  DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader. She’s not an expert in pedagogy or curriculum or school governance. In fact, she has no relevant credentials or experience for a job setting standards and guiding dollars for the nation’s public schools.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Is A “Dearth Of Evidence Supporting” DeVos’ “Ideological Convictions.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.  For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Are “Deep Questions About Betsy Devos' Substantive Understanding Of Education Policy.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “Beyond the conflicts, there are also deep questions about Betsy DeVos' substantive understanding of education policy.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]
 

DEVOS IS AN IDEOLOGICAL ZEALOT THAT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT RESULTS

Detroit Free Press: DeVos Has “Zealously Championed Free-Market Education Reform” “With Little Regard For The Outcome.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and "choice" means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.  And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to the cause of school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Is A “Dearth Of Evidence Supporting” DeVos’ “Ideological Convictions.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.  For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

DeVos Pursued School Choice Campaigns For Explicitly Religious Purposes.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “Ms. DeVos is a chip off the old block. At a 2001 gathering of conservative Christian philanthropists, she singled out education reform as a way to ‘advance God’s kingdom.’ In an interview, she and her husband, Richard DeVos Jr., said that school choice would lead to ‘greater kingdom gain.’”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

New York Times: DeVos’ Charter School Model In Michigan Led To Poor Performance.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The DeVoses, the most prominent name in state Republican politics, have been the biggest financial and political backers of the effort.  But if Michigan is a center of school choice, it is also among the worst places to argue that choice has made schools better. As the state embraced and then expanded charters over the past two decades, its rank has fallen on national reading and math tests. Most charter schools perform below the state average.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]


DEVOS WILL PUT PROFITS OVER OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

New York Times: DeVos Has Been The Biggest Backer Of For-Profit Charters In Michigan.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Michigan is one of the nation’s biggest school choice laboratories, especially with charter schools. The Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids school districts have among the nation’s 10 largest shares of students in charters, and the state sends $1 billion in education funding to charters annually. Of those schools, 80 percent are run by for-profit organizations, a far higher share than anywhere else in the nation.  The DeVoses, the most prominent name in state Republican politics, have been the biggest financial and political backers of the effort.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]

Washington Post: DeVos Is An Advocate Of For-Profit, Online K-12.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One big supporter of virtual education is Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as his nominee for education secretary.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]


DEVOS IS OPPOSED TO OVERSIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

DeVos Spent Nearly $1.5 Million In An Attempt To Eliminate All Oversight On Michigan Charter Schools.  In November 2016 The Atlantic wrote, “DeVos’s family poured $1.45 million into an effort to prevent Michigan from adding oversight for charter schools. That effort ultimately failed. DeVos and her husband have been supporters of charter schools for decades and longtime opponents of regulation. And according to Chalkbeat, around 80 percent of the state’s charter schools are run by private companies. The lack of oversight has prompted concern from the Obama administration that some bad charters were being allowed to operate without improving or being forced to close.”  [The Atlantic, 11/23/16]

Even Charter Advocates Say DeVos’ Michigan Charter Law Caused Failing Schools To Spread.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The Michigan law pushed by Ms. DeVos to establish charter schools 20 years ago allows an unusually large number of organizations to start such schools, yet established little mechanism for oversight. Even Republican supporters of charter schools say the law has allowed failing charter schools to expand or replicate.  Last spring, the DeVos-backed group was the chief force behind the defeat of legislation that would have established standards for identifying and closing failing schools, both charter and public, in Detroit, where a flood of charter schools in the past decade has created what even charter school supporters call chaos.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]


DEVOS HAS NO INTEREST IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Detroit Free Press: DeVos Has “No Track Record” Of Advocating For Or Interest In Public Schools.  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “And more important, the U.S. Secretary of Education must understand the value of both high-performing charters and traditional public schools.  She has no track record of working along those lines, and no experience that suggests she’s even interested in it.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

New York Times: “It Is Hard To Find Anyone More Passionate About The Idea Of Steering Public Dollars Away From Traditional Public Schools Than Betsy Devos.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]

New York Times: Even Charter School Advocates Worry That DeVos Will Starve Public Schools.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Even some groups that share her support for charter schools worried that picking someone so closely identified as a champion of vouchers signaled that the Trump administration would try to starve public schools.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]
 

DEVOS HAS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITH HER JOB AS EDUCATION SECRETARY

The Detroit Free Press Questioned If DeVos Would Divest From Her Anti-Public School PAC If She Served As Education Secretary.  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “Even if Betsy DeVos ceased her substantial contributions to pro-school choice lawmakers, or to GLEP’s PAC, what credibility would she have in a policy job that requires her to be an advocate for all schools? Would her family divest from the PAC if she were Secretary of Education? Rein in campaign spending? And even if it did, how could she credibly distance herself from her history as a lobbyist?”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

DeVos Was Heavily Invested In A Student Lender With Business Dependant On Dept. Of Ed Policies.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Ms. DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos are investors in RPM Ventures, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based venture-capital firm that was one of SoFi’s earliest backers, according to the firms’ websites. Founded in 2011, SoFi is worth about $4 billion and in the midst of raising a new round of money.  Much of SoFi’s business stems from refinancing student loans; the Department of Education is by far the country’s biggest student lender, with $1.3 trillion in outstanding loans.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/05/16]

DeVos Held A Major Investment In A For-Profit K-12 Company.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One big supporter of virtual education is Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as his nominee for education secretary. Her husband, Dick DeVos, listed on a financial disclosure form in 2006 that he and his wife owned K12 stock. The nonprofit organization she runs, the American Federation for Children, lists K12 on its website among organizations that support school choice.”  And, “Virginia-based K12 Inc. is the largest operator of for-profit charter schools in the country and is a national leader in running online full-time public schools in numerous states.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]
 

DEVOS IS WEALTHY AND OUT OF TOUCH

DeVos Was Born In To Money And Her Family Has Always Used It To Further Extreme Ideologies.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “Betsy DeVos stands at the intersection of two family fortunes that helped to build the Christian right. In 1983, her father, Edgar Prince, who made his money in the auto parts business, contributed to the creation of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as extremist because of its anti-L.G.B.T. language.  Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos Sr., the co-founder of Amway, a company built on ‘multilevel marketing’ or what critics call pyramid selling, has been funding groups and causes on the economic and religious right since the 1970s.”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

DeVos Used Family Money For Conservative Christian Foundations.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “And so the family tradition continues, funding the religious right through a network of family foundations — among others, the couple’s own, as well as the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, on whose board Ms. DeVos has served along with her brother, Erik Prince, founder of the military contractor Blackwater. According to Conservative Transparency, a liberal watchdog that tracks donor funding through tax filings, these organizations have funded conservative groups including: the Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal juggernaut of the religious right; the Colorado-based Christian ministry Focus on the Family; and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

New York Times: DeVos Is “A Daughter Of Privilege” And Also Married In To Money.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “A daughter of privilege, she also married into it; her husband, Dick, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Michigan a decade ago, is heir to the Amway fortune.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]