WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is trying to mend fences with educators, parents and activists across the country following a bruising confirmation battle.
Addressing Education Department staff members on Wednesday, DeVos vowed to work with everyone, including her opponents, in ensuring the best education for American children.
"Let us set aside any preconceived notions and let's recognize that while we may have disagreements, we can and must come together, find common ground, and put the needs of students first. And when we do disagree, let's set an example by being sincere and honest, passionate and civil while never losing sight of our shared mission," said DeVos.
DeVos is a wealthy Republican donor and school choice champion. She won confirmation in the Senate on Tuesday by the slimmest possible margin. Vice President Mike Pence had to cast a historic tie-breaking vote after two Republican senators opposed her, concerned she would not support public schools.
Meanwhile, parents, teachers and others across the country are looking for clues as to whether DeVos will fulfill their hopes or reinforce their fears.