Betsy DeVos: Most unpopular person in Trump’s cabinet

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos submitted her resignation yesterday in response to Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol.


In a scathing letter to President Trump, DeVos said the attack on the Capitol was unconscionable and blamed Trump’s “rhetoric” for “the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the US Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business.”

“Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us,” she added. “I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate. They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday.”

“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” she wrote, adding that her resignation would be effective on Friday.

Of note, President Donald Trump’s administration will end in a mere 11 days from Friday.

DeVos, who has long been disparaged by teachers’ unions, received a blunt farewell from the American Federation of Teachers upon submitting her notice.

“Good riddance,” the union said in a statement.

A billionaire philanthropist who seemingly focused more on reversing Obama-era education policies than generating new, realistically-attainable goals and ideas, was unpopular from the start. Hence, it took Vice President Mike Pence’s contentious tiebreaking vote in a Republican-controlled Senate for her to pass the confirmation process to become Education Secretary in 2017.

Throughout her near 4-year term as the education czar, DeVos was arguably the most unpopular person in Trump’s cabinet and, perhaps, the entire U.S. Government.

Betsy DeVos has worked to subvert public education. She has promoted the privatization of public schools through vouchers, called for deep cuts to federal funding, rolled back protections for vulnerable children, and shilled for the for-profit college industry that has defrauded countless students.

Scroll down through this reverse timeline to see what Betsy DeVos has done as education secretary. Each moment shows how she’s been a disastrous choice, just as public school supporters knew she would be.

Pennsylvania State Education Association

In an October 2017 HuffPost/YouGov internet poll, 35 percent rated DeVos as “strongly unfavorable.” Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who posted a 30 percent rating in the same category, was the second most unfavorable Trump Cabinet member.

 Secretary of Defense James Mattis, at just 11 percent, was the least “strongly unfavorable.”

Also, a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted from late April to early May 2018 showed DeVos with a 31 percent “very unfavorable” rating which was, again, the highest among the 15 Cabinet members.  

“Most of her action, and most of the action of her department, has been in trying to reduce the effect of the Department of Education,” said Max Eden, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. But, he noted, “The legacy of an administration that’s largely devoted to undoing a legacy can be undone very quickly itself.”

Per the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, DeVos, prior to becoming Education Secretary..

” Had never attended public school nor had she sent any of her children to public school.

She had never been a teacher and had no experience leading a classroom or school. Furthermore, DeVos has spent her career plundering public schools and steering taxpayer dollars toward voucher systems and for-profit charter schools.

While she has served on foundation boards, she previously had no government experience and had never managed an organization nearly as large as the U.S. Department of Education, which employs thousands of people.”

Center for American Progress

To some, including Christian conservatives, DeVos was a godsend who once proclaimed, “I fight against anyone who would have government be the parent to everyone.” DeVos used her bully pulpit to champion religious education, push for school choice and help private schools in financial turmoil.

More on Betsy DeVos can be found on NPR’s How Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Will Be Remembered?