Dick Devos – article recap

There is no questioning the fact Dick and Betsy DeVos generate an ample amount of curiosity as well as attention for their sizeable contributions to different groups that work in politics. Dick DeVos is the husband of the new Secretary of Education appointed by Donald Trump: Betsy DeVos. In the DeVos family, the husband, Dick, is also none other than Richard DeVos’ son, founder of the private sales company Amway and Dick DeVos also has the 88th most substantial American fortune according to Forbes, with 5.4 billion dollars.


Dick DeVos founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This school is a charter school. In 2010, Betsy DeVos worked together with Dick DeVos, and they also created the American Federation for Children, which she ran until 2016 and through which she promoted charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded private schools. Asked by a Democratic senator during the confirmation hearing, the soon-to-be Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos refused to make a clear commitment not to cut the public education budget or to privatize public schools.


Senators listened to Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. The new Secretary of Education did not give much detail on her roadmap, but it is clear that she has gained much experience from working with Dick DeVos to found the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The reason why Dick and Betsy DeVos support the founding of charter schools is that they want to give parents a choice in education. Remember, Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education, has the responsibility to try to determine how to improve America’s educational system.


Dick DeVos is actually at the present moment the chief executive officer of his very own company, The Windquest Group. The Windquest Group is a business based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Windquest firm controls many other companies, such as an organization called Boxed Water is Better, the Coppercraft Distillery, along with the Stow Company. An aircraft pilot as well as a self-described aircraft nerd, Dick DeVos did not possess much expertise working with commercial airlines at the time he was requested to put in place a plan to take control and deliver Southwest flights to the Grand Rapids’ airport.


The Grand Rapids’ airport has a problem in that the flights that are departing from this airport are a great deal more expensive than the flights that depart from neighboring airports. Therefore, anyone who wants to fly out of the Grand Rapids’ airport has to pay a premium to be able to board their plane from Grand Rapids rather than another airport nearby. Dick DeVos has also worked to raise funding for many different civic constructions that were built in the downtown Grand Rapids area.


When it came time to raise this funding, Dick DeVos managed to obtain upwards of 130 million dollars for these buildings. Therefore, Dick DeVos has the experience needed to be able to work together with others to acquire funding for projects built in the Grand Rapids area.


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Betsy DeVos: A Ringer in Education

The New York Times has posted a recent article entitled, “Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter” on nytimes.com detailing the complicated role that the new Secretary of Education fills within the Trump administration. While many believe her to be complacent and passive, the author warns that looking at her career up until this point will paint a very different picture. She may seem to be a small member of the cabinet, but DeVos is a political force to be reckoned with.


DeVos has been an outspoken advocate for change in the field of education for much of her career. Her role as a Republican National Councilwoman gave her the platform that she needed to discuss this pressing issue. She has been part of various boards that advocate for increased funding of charter schools such as the Alliance for School Choice, The Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the Acton Institute. In fact, in response to her efforts, her home state of Michigan has a higher concentration of charter schools than that many other states.


The reason DeVos is such an advocate for charter schools is that she believes that the public-school system lacks the skills necessary to provide a quality education. As with anything else, the field of education can be viewed in business terms. The public-school system has a monopoly on public funds and they do not feel a need to change their practices. DeVos explains that teachers are not showing the leadership skills necessary to train students to move into the next phases of their lives. Students require teachers that take a more active, hands-on approach to their learning. By filtering money into charter schools, public schools would feel a challenge to do better for their students. Her plan sounds very comprehensive, but some of her detractors point out that it could only widen the disparity of educational resources between the upper and lower class as well as starve the public-school system. DeVos believes something needs to be done to overhaul the systems themselves and this drastic measure could be the answer.


Even though DeVos may seem to be standing on the sidelines of national politics, she has taken an active role in the future planning of America’s educational system. Her opinions come from a deep-seated need to fix a system that she believes is broken. Throughout her career, anyone that has been paying attention to her efforts can see the work of a woman that is completely committed to the future of education.


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