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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING – “An Excellent Choice” (Vol. IX)

The outpouring of support for Betsy DeVos has reached a fever pitch as education advocates and leaders determined to see parents & kids put first have enthusiastically rallied to back her confirmation:

(Editorial) The Washington Examiner: “Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s excellent choice for secretary of education…”

  • “After meeting with DeVos on Tuesday, Alexander said she would make an ‘excellent’ secretary of education, adding that he is ‘fully confident that she will be swiftly confirmed by the full Senate.’”

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey: “In a letter to some constituents in December, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., called Ms. DeVos a ‘great pick’ for the position of education secretary.”

  • “Many cities and states around the country have already implemented successful school choice programs resulting in increased test scores, graduation rates, and a brighter future for children…This reform is a positive game-changer for our country by harnessing badly needed competition to lift education standards for all children — especially those from lower-income families who often otherwise must attend sub-par schools.” 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: “DeVos has a big heart and she believes strongly that parental control of education through school choice is integral to improving the performance of our K-12 system…she shares her support for school choice with several fair-minded and prominent Democrats, including Barack Obama’s two education secretaries, John King and Arne Duncan.”

  • “DeVos cares deeply about the well-being of children, especially low-income children who are often trapped in dangerous and woefully underperforming schools. She is also a leader in the movement to recruit mentors to help place at-risk children on the right path to successful lives and she has personally mentored children.”
  • “DeVos will be a forceful advocate for local and parental control of education. She believes in giving parents a far larger voice in how and where their children are educated, and freeing up the hands of governors and local leaders to innovate with bold education reforms to hold our schools accountable for better results for those families.” 

Florida Governor Rick Scott: “Ms. DeVos has dedicated her life, personally and professionally to improving education in the United States of America…she has spent years serving on national boards dedicated to enhancing students’ education experience which will help her lead the Department of Education.”  

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush: “The choice of Betsy DeVos to spearhead education reform is inspired. Betsy will fight hard to remove the biggest barriers to improving student achievement in America and give millions of young people the opportunity to rise.”

  • “Betsy will cut federal red tape and be a passionate advocate for state and local control of schools. More importantly, she will empower parents with greater choices and a stronger voice over their children’s education.”
  • “I believe Betsy Devos, working closely with America’s governors, can help usher in game-changing education reforms at the state and local level. There is no more committed advocate for school choice and the interests of parents and students.”

Former Speaker Of The House John Boehner: “Betsy DeVos understands the need for constant innovation in our education system. She knows that in order to ensure the next generation of Americans can compete and lead the world, we have to have an education system in which doors are open to continual improvement.”

  • “Betsy also understands how to bring people together. She has a long track record of working with education reformers of all political stripes to advance policies that put the interests of parents and students first.” 
  • “With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, our country is going to gain that type of leadership. I know she’ll serve as Education Secretary in the same manner in which she’s done everything since I’ve known her: with honor, grace, courage and compassion for those most in need of a hand up.”

Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: “I assume Senator Alexander’s right when he says she will be confirmed and she deserves to be. She’s a very good person. An enormous heart for children. She’s been active a long time on behalf of children, there was never anything in it for her. So I think that she will now be first confirmed, and then I hope successful secretary. You know at a time when we’re all concerned about the divisiveness in the country, there are some issues in education where people have and could again come together, and I think she’s the kind of person who will strive to make that happen.”

Former Congressman David McIntosh, President of Club For Growth: “The Senate can take a crucial step toward standing with parents by confirming the nomination of Betsy DeVos, a vocal advocate for school choice.”

Letter Signed by 150 State-Level Leaders: “(W)e must have a Secretary of Education committed to the needs of all of our nation’s children…Betsy DeVos has made it her life’s mission to find, support and push for education solutions in her home state of Michigan and across the country. She is an advocate and ally for all children, and we write to you today to express our support for her nomination to this important position as her confirmation hearing approaches.”

  • “Her support for an all-of-the-above approach to K-12 education – from charter schools, to public, private and online education – defines the school choice movement that has helped countless children across many of our states…”
  • “By advancing these innovative solutions from the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos will put children first and empower not only states to lead the way in making critical education decisions, but also empower parents to choose what type of education is best for their children.”

Kevin Chavous, Former D.C. City Councilor: “Ms. DeVos is a successful and passionate education reformer…Ms. DeVos and her husband have donated millions of dollars to improve education outcomes in America out of a genuine desire to create better opportunities for children.” 

  • “The only people who should have ‘big worries about Betsy DeVos’ are the teachers unions and adults in the education establishment who have created a system where less than 40 percent of high school graduates are college or career ready. Ms. DeVos has proved that she has the nerve to stand up to them on behalf of America’s schoolchildren.”
  • “She is big on innovation and creativity technology. I think you’re going to, once she gets confirmed, hear a lot from her in terms of making sure we use technology to facilitate learning opportunities for those that are less fortunate.” (CBSN)

Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week: “Because as parents and state lawmakers understand, school choice simply means empowering parents to choose from a variety of educational options for their children, including traditional public schools, public magnet schools, online academies, private schools and homeschooling.”

  • “School choice is nothing short of inspirational.”
  • “Well this is a person, Betsy DeVos, who has worked for more than 25 years to improve education. Just because someone doesn’t necessarily work inside a system, but instead works on the outside, works full-time, to try to improve education for children by putting kids first, giving parents more choices for their children’s education doesn’t mean they are unqualified in any way, shape, or form.” (CNN)

Zeus Rodriguez, Founder of Hispanics For School Choice: “As chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), Mrs. DeVos financially assisted numerous local organizations such as Hispanics for School Choice in Wisconsin.”

  • “Should Betsy DeVos be confirmed as Secretary of Education, she will earn the trust of Latino families by making sure parents are in control of their children’s future instead of Washington bureaucrats.”

Stephen Waguespack, President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry: “”She has championed providing a world-class education to every child, no matter their ZIP code or socioeconomic status… She has consistently supported all education options — high quality traditional public schools, private schools, charter schools, virtual learning and homeschooling.”

Rick Hess, American Enterprise Institute: “I’ll be clear. I think DeVos is a solid pick. I think she’s smart, thoughtful, and committed to doing what she thinks best (full disclosure: DeVos sits on the board of the American Enterprise Institute, where I’m director of education policy. So take my view for what you will).

  • “I like that DeVos hasn’t spent her life in education bureaucracies, is an outspoken champion of all kinds of educational choice, strikes those who’ve driven Obama-era school reform as an ‘outsider,’ and is a small government conservative.”

Jeanne Allen, CEO of Center For Education Reform: “For Betsy DeVos, for President-elect Trump, for those of us working and toiling in this issue for 30 years this is about parents the opportunity to help their kids create the best pathway forward.”

  • “Well, day one, when she gets through that hearing today, that opportunity includes trying to put the President’s vision of giving every child in America who doesn’t have access to great education, that access, not by creating more federal programs, but by devolving the power to the states and local authorities where it belongs.” 

Joe Cunningham, RedState: “What DeVos lacks in public education experience she more than makes up for in the work she’s done in promoting various reform policies. She isn’t of the system that wants to maintain the status quo. Rather, she is a reformer at heart, and wants to affect some serious change.”

  • “What DeVos fights for, others from both parties have been fighting for for years. She is just the most capable person to get it done.”
  • “Education reform is the biggest domestic issue we need to be focused on going forward, and Betsy DeVos is the right person to get that ball rolling.”

Alexis Wittman (LTE): “Ms. DeVos embraces just the sort of reform this nation of low-performing students hungers for — real choice, real freedom for parents, real innovation and competition, and, yes, ultimately a significantly smaller footprint for a federal department with overreaching mandates and budgets.”

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