Education professionals believe Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is mulling resignation. They point at her failure to win over Republicans to her education proposals, her deep unpopularity with the public, an evaporation of morale at her department and her complete ineffectiveness at affecting education policy.
And after nine months in office, it has become apparent to the education secretary that she has limited power to transform the nation’s schools. When it comes to the most contentious debates surrounding America’s K-12 system—vouchers, standards, incentives, tests—DeVos had more tangible influence as a private citizen in Michigan than she does now in Washington.
Education experts believe that she is mulling her resignation. They are already planning for the post-DeVos environment.
“She can talk about bureaucracy and how constraining it is for her, but a Republican-controlled Congress rejected her budget proposals. She can’t fill her senior staff slots. Morale is terrible at the department,” says Thomas Toch of FutureEd — an education think tank affiliated with Georgetown University’s McCord School of Public Policy. “And I’ll tell you, in Washington education circles, the conversation is already about the post-DeVos landscape, because the assumption is she won’t stay long. And for my money, I don’t think it would be a bad thing if she left. I think she’s been probably one of the most ineffective people to ever hold the job.”
Some Trivia: Jeb Bush recommended DeVos to the Trump administration.
DeVos insists, she had never thought about the job—that is, until a text message arrived from her old friend Jeb Bush. It was Bush who, in the days after Trump’s stunning victory, asked DeVos whether she had considered serving as education secretary—and who then contacted Vice President-Elect Mike Pence to recommend her for the job. “He was really the only person I knew in the transition.