Betsy DeVos, was confirmed as the Education Secretary on Tuesday, February 7th, and her first assignment was to improve poor relations with opponents following a historic confirmation battle. She has been criticized by many, including parents who are unsure if she will support their hopes or create more problems.
Addressing several hundred Education Department staff members, DeVos, a school choice champion and wealthy Republican donor, ensured that she will work with anyone and everyone to make sure the nation’s schools have the best education.
DeVos’ confirmation was secured only by a slim margin. After two Republican senators opposed her, Vice President Mike Pence had to cast a historic tie-breaking vote. The opposing Republicans were concerned that she would not support traditional public schools.
However, DeVos may not have as much power as some people are lead to believe. Martin West, associate professor of education at Harvard University, said, “Her supporters and her critics during the nomination debate seem to have an exaggerated sense of the ability of the secretary of education to affect change unilaterally without the support of Congress.”