The philanthropist and veteran school-reform advocate who served as education secretary under President Trump says the Covid pandemic was an inflection point. “During the last two years, the failings of the school system have been laid bare to families in a way like never before,” Betsy DeVos told me by phone on Monday. “I think it’s hastening the moment in time when we will be able to get significant policy change implemented to support families and kids rather than the system.”
That “system” is the subject of Mrs. DeVos’s new book, “Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child.” The title is taken from Horace Mann, the 19th-century politician and educator who is widely credited with founding the public-school apparatus. “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education,” Mann once wrote, “are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.” In a book that is part memoir and part school-reform manifesto, Mrs. DeVos makes a compelling case for freeing the hostages.