President-elect Donald Trump has chosen prominent charter school advocate Betsy DeVos as his secretary of education, the AP reports. It's also been confirmed that Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will serve as US ambassador to the UN. Together, they are the first women selected for top-level administration posts in Trump's new administration. The DeVos choice faced criticism even before it was formally announced. Conservatives warned that DeVos, a longtime Republican donor, previously supported the Common Core education standards that Trump railed against during the campaign.
Trump called DeVos "a brilliant and passionate education advocate" in a statement. "Under her leadership we will reform the US education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families," the incoming president said. DeVos, from Michigan, is a longtime advocate for charter schools and school vouchers. "The status quo in education is not acceptable," she said in a statement. "Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential." The DeVos family has been active in Republican politics for decades, especially as donors to GOP candidates and the Republican Party.