Donald Trump has selected Betsy DeVos as his Education Secretary. From the NY Times:

A major Republican fund-raiser from Michigan, Ms. DeVos, 58, is a passionate believer in school choice, a subject that she and Mr. Trump discussed last week when she met him at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. She is a member by marriage of the DeVos family, the founders of Amway and one of the largest contributors to the Michigan Republican Party.

DeVos posted reaction to the announcement on her Twitter account:

One of the immediate controversies that broke out is over the nominee’s support for Common Core standards. CNN reports that DeVos was on the board of a group led by Jeb Bush which supported Common Core:

DeVos chairs the American Federation for Children, a group that promotes charter school education, and also served on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — one of Trump’s GOP primary opponents — which promoted both school choice and the Common Core education standards.

Trump vowed during his campaign to eliminate the Common Core education standards, and his pick of DeVos may scare conservative opponents of the standards who hope Trump will make good on his campaign promise in office.

However, within the past hour DeVos clarified that she is not a supporter of Common Core (though she admits organizations she was part of did support it):

The link leads to a longer statement which reads:

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about Common Core. Can you provide some straight talk on this topic?

Certainly. I am not a supporter—period.

I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense. 

Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position. Sometimes it’s not just students who need to do their homework.

However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle.

Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.

Some personal information is also posted at the link DeVos provided:

  • I’m a grandmother! My husband (Dick) and I have four children and five grandchildren.
  • I was born and raised in Michigan. Born in Holland, MI, I’ve been a lifelong resident of Michigan.
  • I’m an advocate for children. I’ve been involved with education issues for 28 years. I’ve been on the front lines fighting to make education better for all children.
  • I’m an activist. I’m a total outsider to elective office and government, but I’m no stranger to the political process. A citizen volunteer, I have served in local, state, and national offices.
  • I’m an entrepreneur. I have started new and innovative companies that help make our community better.

Here’s Karl Rove praising the selection of DeVos on Fox News and praising Trump for his picks so far. “This is really showing a focus on excellence, diversity, competence—and he’s got to be congratulated on it. He’s off to a good start,” Rove says.

Update (AP): I … don’t quite understand why a surgeon with no experience in housing has been tapped to lead Housing and Urban Development, especially after his own spokesman all but said he’s unqualified to serve in the cabinet. But to the victors go the spoils. And Carson has been a loyal Trump ally.