Betsy DeVos and Educational Reform

Betsy DeVos has been in the public eye for decades, and with her appointment as Secretary of Education for the Trump Administration, she continues to draw attention. Prior to her arrival on the national stage, Betsy DeVos was a very public figure in Michigan, where she grew up. Daughter of the wealthy and influential Prince family, she was educated at Calvin College and became involved with numerous conservative campaigns, political action committees and party organizations. She married the even wealthier Dick DeVos, son of the founder of Amway, and together they have made even bigger names for themselves in the political arena.


Though this may be the very public face of Betsy DeVos, close to her heart are her charitable organizations where she pushes for reforms through nonprofits. She is chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a member of multiple national and local boards such as the DeVos Institute for Arts Management, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Kids Hope USA. She is a leader in the educational-choice movement, which endorses the public funding of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious private institutions.


In an interview with Philanthropy magazine, Ms. DeVos discussed her work in education reform further. Her passionate interest in education reform did not start suddenly. Rather, it grew out of visits to the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids, which was serving many low-income families. She was struck by the parents of children who did not have much choice when it came to schools, and who wanted to make sure that their children were receiving the best education in the safest place possible. They started supporting families at the school for whom tuition was a significant financial burden, and the movement to grew from there.


During the 1990s, Ms. DeVos served on the boards of several charities that worked to expand educational choice with the use of vouchers and tax credits. At the time, this was considered a radical movement, but both Dick and Betsy DeVos became politically involved and passed Michigan’s first charter school bill in 1993. As chair of the Michigan Republican Party, she pushed for a constitutional amendment for educational reform in Michigan to help expand charter schools throughout the state. The success of this movement spurred her supporters to try and push it nationwide.


Many people remain critical of her educational reform model, arguing that finite public tax dollars flowing too heavily toward charter schools and vouchers will stave public education centers. DeVos feels strongly that many of the nation’s public schools are downright failing, and that freedom of choice is the only option for reform.


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Dr. David Samadi Hosts SamadiTV

The Iranian born Dr. David Samadi is an acclaimed prostate cancer doctor with a specialty in robotic-assisted surgeries. Born to a businessman father and homemaker mother, Dr. David Samadi was forced to leave Iran in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution. At 15-years-old he left the country with his 12-year-old brother. Unfortunately, they had to leave their younger sister and parents behind in Iran while they continued their education in Belgium and London. The pair decided to obtain their high school education in the United States and moved to Roslyn New York. Dr. David Samadi was the president of his class and on the honor roll during his high school years.

After graduating high school, Samadi continued his education at Stony Brook University on scholarship. After earning his bachelors in biochemistry, he attended the Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. David Samadi earned his medical degree in 1994 and from 1990 to 1994 volunteered in the Stony Brook Hospital Emergency Room. Additional training in proctology and urology was completed in 1996 and 2000 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical School. His first position after his education was completed was as the Director of Laparoscopic Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian from 2002 to 2007.

Mount Sinai Medical Center was the next hospital Dr. David Samadi served at, he was the Chief of Robotic Surgery. In 2011, he became the Vice Chair of Urology as well before leaving in June of 2013 for Lenox Hill Hospital. Upon leaving Mount Sinai, he took his medical staff with him.

Dr. David Samadi has been with Lenox Hill since 2013 as the Chairman of Urology and the Chief of Robotic Surgery. His favorite technique is the da Vinci method for prostate surgery. He has modified this system using his SMART technique, the Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Treatment. Dr. David Samadi has performed over 7,000 surgeries with a 90% rate of being cancer-free after the procedure. This statistic is almost unheard of in modern medicine and is one of the best in the world.

Dr. David Samadi is also a celebrity in his own way and appears on Fox News’ Sunday House Call every Sunday as a medical expert on the Medical A-Team. He gives his expertise on a variety of medical-related topics including his specialty, prostate cancer. These videos and others can be seen on SamadiTV. SamadiTV is a collection of videos and posts filled with advice and information about prostate cancer, its risks, and its treatments.