opinion | Betsy DeVos’ mission to rescue teachers’ unions’ ‘hostages’

Philanthropist and veteran school-improvement advocate, who served as Secretary of Education under President Trump, says the COVID pandemic was an inflection point. “During the past two years, the failures of the school system have been exposed to families in a way that has never been done before,” Betsy DeVos told me over the phone on Monday. “I think it is too early in the time that we will be able to implement significant policy changes to support families and children rather than the system itself.”

That “system” is the subject of Mrs. DeVos’ new book, “Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child.” The title is derived from Horace Mann, a 19th-century politician and educator widely credited with founding the public-school system. “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education,” Mann once wrote, “are entitled to see all parents as hostages to our cause.” In a book that’s part memoir and part school-reform manifesto, Mrs. DeVos makes a compelling case for freeing the hostages.