Who is Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education?

Who is the woman President Donald Trump named in February as his U.S. Secretary of Education?

Betsy DeVos comes from the Michigan family that started Amway, the national multi-level marketing company. The DeVos family are very rich (read billionaire) philanthropists who have given to everything from revitalizing downtown Grand Rapids to helping schools, and have contributed heavily to conservative politicians, including some who voted to approve her. She has helped direct money toward those politicians with a special interest in or who favor charter schools and school vouchers, where public money is used to send students to private schools.

DeVos has campaigned personally and with her money to promote charter schools and vouchers. Trump has no personal record on education, but in comments during the election and after, he spoke about trying new things in education and promoting options such as charters schools.

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DeVos was a controversial selection. She has no experience in public schools, did not send her children to public schools, and no experience in running a government department. The U.S. Department of Education has 4,400-employees and a $68 billion budget.

The Education Writers Association pulled together two reporters who have met and reported on DeVos and her work.

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They spoke about DeVos and her experience in education in an interview that you can listen to here.

DeVos was narrowly approved as the new secretary Tuesday, after Democrats staged concerted opposition and pulled two Republican votes to their side. Vice President Mike Pence had to vote to break the tie vote, the first time in history that a vice president had to do so on a president’s cabinet nominee.

Only days after her swearing in, Devos was blocked from entering a Washington DC public school by protesters.

In May, students at an historically black college booed her at their graduation, and many of them also turned their backs to her commencement speech.

Devos also rolled back President Obama's directives to colleges and universities on sexual assault on college campuses.