Betsy Devos – on topic article

Richard Perez-Pena’s February 23, 2017, article for the New York Times entitled “Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter” exemplifies the strong reaction she evokes on both sides of the aisle. In fact, to recap Perez-Pena’s point regarding her Senate confirmation, the vote was so evenly divided that it took an historical tiebreaking vote by the vice president to determine the outcome. Secretary of Education DeVos has only just begun.

DeVos’ detractors portray her as one who lives in a vacuum. Her privileged background and private Christian education have only solidified her opponents’ view that she is ill-equipped to create policy that affects the future of public education. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, states that DeVos is “completely ideologically focused.”

Even her detractors, however, acknowledge DeVos’ political process. In fact, after a hard-won battle by the Great Lakes Education Project, which DeVos created, efforts by Detroit and state lawmakers to impose stricter standards on charter schools were thwarted. Weingarten warns of falling prey to Devos’ unassuming demeanor. She is cited in the article as stating that despite her personable manner, DeVos is a dangerous political player.

Perez-Pena notes that DeVos has a long history in Michigan’s Republican politics and has not been shy about using her wealth and resources to get what she wants. That can be a financial advantage if you’re a supporter, but also signifies economic disaster for her opponents.

That sentiment is echoed by former Michigan State Attorney General, Mike Cox, who is also a Republican. Perez-Pena quotes him as stating that, after working with her DeVos, found that “she instilled fear in a lot of people.” Cox further noted that DeVos is “very determined, steely, when she sets her mind on a goal.”

It is a matter of record that Detroit’s charter schools are under performing, and some say, drawing tax dollars away from the decaying public school system. It is a point that will need to be addressed by DeVos as she continues on her mission to reform education. Some of her comments during her confirmation hearing regarding her views on public education have only solidified her opponents’ perspective that DeVos is “hostile toward public education.”

Her supporters, however, insist that her agenda is clearly focused on making a positive impact on all students’ education. Greg McNeilly, a Republican who has first-hand experience in working with DeVos, insists that “she understood what too many Americans did not: that even public schools in the United States that are considered good do not perform as well as those in other developed countries, as measured by student test scores.”

McNeilly believes that DeVos “wants to have a conversation with the country about what we should expect from our schools, and about being agnostic about the form of schools.” She does seem to be attempting to build a bridge between herself and the leaders of the teachers’ unions.

DeVos called both Weingarten and Lily Esklesen Garcia, president of National Education Association. Garcia did not respond, but Weingarten and DeVos arranged a meeting. It could be a smart political move on both DeVos and Weingarten’s parts, or it could be a genuine attempt to improve current conditions. Maybe a little of both. Time will tell. Learn more: http://enablediversity.com/2017/08/11/dick-devos-reveals-the-staggering-amounts-of-money-he-donated-to-charity/

Ronald Fowlkes: The Man, The Father, The Hero

Ronald Fowlkes is one of St. Luis’s most influential people. He has helped train law enforcement officers that will protect the community for decades to come. Ronald is a wart veteran and understands the need to protect those that you love. He is dedicated manager, father and St. Luis hero. Ever since Ronnie graduated Marine Corps School of Infantry he has supported and protected his country.

 

In 1991, Ronald Fowlkes served in the first Gulf War and was meritoriously promoted twice for his gallantry in action. After the war, which took the lives of many men including some of Ronalds friends and comrades he joined the Joint Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Today, it is known as the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organizarion (JIDO) and is run by the US Department of Defense. Ronald was a key player in setting up and improving JIEDDO’s training methods and overall efficiency. JIEDDO is an organization that serves the United States military’s men on the ground. JIEDDO eliminates IED threats through surveillance, technology and training. The organization tries to eliminate the network that manufactures, finances and those who set up IED’s to take American lives.

 

Ronald’s 13 years of experience with the St. Luis Metropolitan and County Police departments has helped him gain the respect of the entire St. Luis community. He is a certified SWAT/URBAN tactics instructor who has been involved in thousands of high-risk entries and dangerous hostage situations. Ronald has taken his experience and skills into his newest endeavor at Eagle Industries Unlimited.

 

Ronald is now the Development Manager for Eagle Industries Unlimited’s law enforcement and commercial products division. This division is responsible for manufacturing high quality tactical and survival gear for the U.S. military, law enforcement, private individuals and private protection agencies. Eagle Industries has been improving its line of products for over 40 years and with Ronald at the helm its success is guaranteed. Eagle Industries Unlimited has grown exponentially with Ronald as manager. It is a subsidiary of Vista Outdoor Inc., which is currently comprised of over 30 well-regarded brands, thousands of products and operates and sells its products in 10 states and over a dozen countries. Brands that are under the Vista group include CamelBak, Bushnell and BELL.

 

Ronald Fowlkes is responsible for training over 150 employees on Eagle’s new products and accessories. With his many years of military and law enforcement experience and knowledge he has provided valuable insight into the development of new products and the improvement of existing ones. Every one of Eagle Industries products is under a lifetime warranty making them some of the most popular and functional products on the market. Ronald’s life is all about helping and protecting others while making sure he and his team do their best no matter what the circumstance. Ronald applies this philosophy even when he coaches his son’s hockey team.