Oxon Hill, MD - After surviving her hostile confirmation hearings, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received a very warm reception when she took the stage at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
"I'm sure you heard all the wonderful things the media has called me," DeVos joked when she took the podium, before priding herself on being the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
The country's education system is in dire straits, DeVos explained, because the Obama administration spent $7 billion on school improvement programs that had no real impact on students' lives. She sat down for a conversation with CNN's Kayleigh McEnany to talk more about how she plans to put educational power back in the hands of parents and states.
"It's our job to protect students and to preserve personal freedoms," DeVos said, while ensuring that the role of the federal government will have "as light a touch as possible."
"This is not an indictment on teachers," she continued, pledging that she will make sure that teachers who achieve success in their classrooms will be duly rewarded.
The education secretary proved she has students' interests in mind because she's reached out to teachers unions despite some groups refusing to work with her. For instance, DeVos called American Federation of Teachers President President Randi Weingarten for what she said was a "great conversation" and the two agreed to tour schools together.
Using the president's favorite slogan, DeVos said she looks forward to working with Trump to "make education great again."