Head of DeVos-backed school choice group resigns

Gary Naeyaert
An undated courtesy photo of Gary Naeyaert.


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The head of a school of choice lobbying group founded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has resigned after making a remark about domestic violence during a Senate committee hearing.

Gary Naeyaert was the executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project.

During a Senate Education Committee hearing last week, Naeyaert made the comments about Michigan School Reform Officer Natasha Baker.

“I wanted to shake her, like I like to shake my wife, when every option in front of you is not possible. They’re all equally unattractive to you. Like when I ask (my wife) where to go to dinner (and) she says anywhere. And I say Steak and Shake. And she says, ‘Well, not Steak and Shake,” Naeyaert testified.

Sunday, he publicly apologized in a Facebook post for using what he called a “poorly-worded ad-lib and bad analogy” of options for fixing failing schools.

The Great Lakes Education Project released the following statement:

“Effective today, Gary Naeyaert has resigned his position as Executive Director. GLEP appreciates his nearly four years of leadership and passionate advocacy for school choice, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”