Betsy DeVos: A Determined and Resilient Champion of Educational Reform

Adversity is a fundamental and even essential part of the human experience. It’s the losses in life that prepare and teach people how to better tackle the challenges they encounter later on. Those stinging defeats will ultimately make the future triumphs as sweet as they can possibly be.



Though born into the wealthy Prince family and married to business tycoon Dick DeVos, Betsy DeVos has been no stranger to adversity herself. Such is what happens when one adopts a firm belief that reform is needed in the United States’ educational system even in the face of many opponents.



Still, DeVos has held firmly to her convictions throughout most of her time in the public spotlight and that is not expected to change anytime soon.


An Earlier Defeat Inspires Action

To further illustrate the resilience of Mrs. DeVos, it is worth going back to an earlier conversation she had with The Philosophy Roundtable.



During the interview, DeVos was asked about how she became involved in the movement calling for changes to the American educational system.



Back in the 1990s, DeVos served on two charitable organizations that shared the common goal of expanding educational choices presented to American families with the aid of tax credits and vouchers. DeVos and her husband got even more involved in the cause of furthering educational choice when they helped push through a charter school bill in the state of Michigan.



That triumph encouraged them to push even more for educational reform in the state. Years after that bill passed in the state, DeVos and her husband championed an amendment to the state’s constitution that would allow tax credit scholarships and vouchers.



However, the fate of the amendment would prove different from what happened to the charter school bill. The proposed amendment ultimately failed.



Instead of standing idly by, DeVos chose to take action in the wake of her defeat. She responded by forming a political action committee that was focused on pushing for educational reform in Michigan.



That committee, known as the Great Lakes Education Project, made a huge difference in the state.



Beyond that, they have also put their own money behind the cause of educational reform. According to this earlier article from MLive, Mr and Mrs. DeVos donated more than $3 million to educational causes in 2015 alone. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation also awarded $357,000 to groups that were pushing for educational reform that same year.


Remaining Resilient under a Brighter Spotlight

Since being appointed to the position of Education Secretary, many critics have openly questioned DeVos’ credentials and whether she is truly qualified to hold her current position in the Trump Administration.



DeVos has chosen to take those criticisms in stride however and she continues to work on ways to push education reform. Not long after she was confirmed as the Secretary of Education, DeVos called on the leaders of teachers’ unions, per this report from The New York Times.



Just like everyone else, DeVos has endured her share of rough patches in life. Still, she continues to press forward and she will not stop until she accomplishes her goal of changing the American educational system for the better.


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End Citizens United: Fighting Against Unfair Financing Practices In Elections

End Citizens United, or ECU, has earned a reputation as the political action committee that will not quit. Their formation was a swift response to a very controversial Supreme Court decision centered around Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission. When the Supreme Court issued their initial decision, founders of the ECU knew that they needed to do something in order to soften the ramifications of such a debilitating decision. See, what Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission did was open up the floodgates for corporations to contribute to political campaigns without any regulation on limits or disclosure. With this new type of big-money flooding into the political landscape, it creates an unfair advantage for one type of organization over another. Pres. and Executive Director Tiffany Muller felt like it was the duty of the ECU to help back candidates that refused to take this new type of corporate funding, which primarily seems to be those of the Democratic persuasion.

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“End Citizens United: Fighting Against “Anything Goes” Campaign Finance” is a general overview for anyone that is not familiar with the goals of the ECU. End Citizens United sees that there is a clear advantage to this type of funding because many of the wealthiest individuals in the United States will have control over the political process. There are vast corporate holdings will qualify for political funding, which gives the Republican Party a clear advantage. This can give a very lopsided view of the political process and make it almost impossible for those Democrats who survive off of traditional funding to get elected. This PAC fights to get different individuals elected. One of the most famous individuals that they have backed is Hillary Clinton. They were instrumental in securing the funding that helped elect both Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Maggie Hassan. Both women were in a situation where the ECU was a very welcome alternative to any type of corporate sponsorship if it had even been available to them.

The long-term goal of End Citizens United is to help appeal the decision made in the Citizens United court ruling. While they understand that such a ruling would require a vast amount of resources and support, they are throwing much of their weight behind getting better individuals elected and helping to negate some of the effects of the ruling. They continue to thrive and grow as they gain support throughout the nation for their cause.

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End Citizens United Poll Shows Tightening Of Senate Race In Texas

Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running against the incumbent Senator Republican Ted Cruz in Texas. He is polling as a generic Democrat against Cruz mainly because most voters don’t really know a lot about him or his political positions. This could make him a threat to Cruz in what is generally a pretty red state that reflexively votes for whoever has an R next to their name.

This poll was paid for by End Citizens United, a Washington D.C. based political action committee that first became active during the 2016 presidential election. The focus of this organization is on campaign finance reform and they only endorse political candidates who make a pledge to make reforms in the law that will result in big money being removed from the system.

The results of the End Citizens United poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, showed that Beto O’Rourke trailed Ted Cruz by just eight points. Similar results have shown up in other surveys. 61% of Texan voters didn’t have an opinion on O’Rourke while when it came to Cruz 49% were unfavorable of him and 38% were favorable.


Beto O’Rourke is rejecting money from political action committees funded and by special interest groups. He only accepts money from individuals, especially grassroots people who don’t give a lot individually but collectively can support a campaign. He says that he will only work for the people, not corporations or special interests. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, has taken $1.3 million from corporate-backed political action committees and other special interests. He also recently voted to give them enormous tax breaks.

It is likely that Ted Cruz will win but Democrats have been on a roll flipping political seats blue ever since the presidential election. There have been plenty of Republicans expected to win that have been crushed when the votes come in. So, Ted Cruz really shouldn’t be too comfortable dismissing the End Citizens United poll as an outlier.

End Citizens United was formed to nullify the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that resulted in unaccountable money pouring into the political system. They ruled that corporations, like people, had first amendment rights which meant they could give however much they wanted to politicians. This also applied to very wealthy people who had at least some limits on what they could donate to any particular political campaign.

With the removal of these limits by the Supreme Court, the political system has been highjacked more than ever by wealthy people who put in place politicians who solely serve their interests. End Citizens United seeks to return power to the people by limiting this unlimited buying off of politicians so that they will at least listen to regular people once again.

Visit for more details about this organization.

Betsy DeVos Continues To Fight Despite Criticism

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is settling in to her job in Washington. While it hasn’t been a cakewalk, she’s learning the ropes. It is undoubtedly a trial by fire. She’s taken a lot shots and criticism with dignity. But the people who know her best, knows she’s tough, a fighter and will persevere.


DeVos is the daughter of wealthy industrialist Edgar Prince. She was born and raised in Holland, Michigan to a family of devoutly religious family that attended the Christian Reformed Church. She also attended Calvin College, a Grand Rapids Christian school. Not long after, she married Dick DeVos, son of Amway founder Richard DeVos.


The couple, who has four grown children, recently arrived back in town for a private celebration of her recent confirmation as Secretary of Education.


Over the years, she and her husband’s foundation has contributed millions to a number of worthy causes and conservative initiatives. They have given a great deal of money to charter schools and voucher programs.


DeVos’s stance on education has much to do with her upbringing. Not just the connection she has with her hometown, but the ties to her ancestral homeland in the Netherlands.


In the Netherlands in the late 19th century, education was roundly debated by progressives who sought secular public schooling and felt that religious schools didn’t deserve the same financial standing. This was the earliest example of school choice.


The philosophy of religious-based schools is a widely-accepted concept adopted by Abraham Kupyer, a theologian who influenced Calvin College.


While this idea seems to be accepted by the Trump Administration, there are still a number of critics pushing back on the issue. While DeVos sees it as an issue of fairness — equal financial treatment for both public schools and private Christian-based schools. But critics see it as a violation of the separation of church and state laws.


DeVos, notably, is against regulation. This has contributed to the deterioration of public schools, according to her critics. Her hard stance against regulation has also put her at odds with other school choice proponents, who agree with school but also believe certain regulations should be in place.


Wayne State University Professor Thomas Pedroni is highly critical of DeVos, stating that her policies have definitely harmed public education. He went on to say that although DeVos is one of the most divisive members of school choice movement, he hopes she will refocus her energy towards the needs of public schools. Learn more: