Betsy DeVos, the education secretary under President Trump, met with representatives selected by LGBT employees at the Education Department to explain some changes. The Trump administration rescinded older federal policies that allowed transgender students to use school bathrooms based on their gender identities. An unnamed aide assured employees that DeVos resisted the move.
She then joined the other members of the administration when announcing the new policy on the next Thursday. According to her later statement, the federal guidelines were another example of executive overreach committed by the Obama Administration. In spite of the fact that these contradicting statements seem to insinuate that DeVos is willing to play both sides of the aisle, experts warn that she’s a relentless political fighter who will stop at nothing to achieve positive change with anything she works in.
A Tendency to Underestimate Her
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, explained that there’s tendency to underestimate DeVos because of her rather meek personality. She’s well-known for having worked with Pitbull and other celebrities on charity projects while at the same time managing the school system in the Detroit area. These sorts of interests would make her seem something like a PTA superstar more than a political fighter.
Weingarten feels that this kind of thinking is exactly why so many people underestimate her ability to get things done. Since she’s not a typical politician, it’s difficult for some people to imagine her mixing it up with typical politicians. Nevertheless, she’s been more than capable of doing just that.
Opposition from Washington Emboldens DeVos
Those who underestimate her are often surprised by the way that Betsy DeVos is capable of mixing it up with the Washington elites. Greg McNeilly is a Republican political functionary who worked with DeVos in Michigan. He says that she understands that even schools that perform well in the United States don’t measure up to national standards. McNeilly has said on more than one occasion that she’s not afraid to challenge anyone in Washington who would disagree with that assessment.
When DeVos feels the pressure from her opposition, she actually ramps up her political game that much more strongly. She’s long pushed for charter and magnet schools in Michigan after pointing out the failure of public schools in the state. DeVos is now ready to challenge the public sector education industry on a national stage, and political elites need to watch out. She might just run them over.
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