Betsy DeVos Tells Charter Schools Not to Become “The Man”

 By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Betsy DeVos) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Betsy DeVos) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andrew Pillow

It’s a well-known fact that Betsy DeVos is a fan of school choice and charter schools. However, DeVos took some time to lecture the charter school community the other day. The Secretary of Education warned the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools audience against becoming the very thing they hate.

DeVos told the crowd, "Charters' success should be celebrated, but it's equally important not to [quote] "become the man." I thought it was a tough but fair criticism when a friend recently wrote in an article that many who call themselves "reformers" have instead become just another breed of bureaucrats—a new education establishment.”

“The man” of course being the longstanding colloquialism for “big government”.

"We don't need 500-page charter school applications. That's not progress. That's fundamentally at odds with why parents demanded charters in the first place. Innovation, iteration and improvement must be a constant in our work." Said DeVos.

The anecdote has been perceived to be a thinly veiled rebuttal to DeVos’s critics within the charter school sector.

The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools is the nation's largest charter school organization. Their three day conference included advocates that support the Trump administration's plan for school choice, and those who do not. 

DeVos has fallen under criticism for supporting policies that critics say lead to less accountability. People also criticized DeVos for not addressing the Trump administration's budget request, which would cut around $9 billion in education funding. 

Read DeVos's full remarks from the speech here. (


Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.