President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos stumbled during her Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday. At times, DeVos seemed ill-prepared for the hostile questions she was asked by Democrats and gave some cringeworthy answers.
DeVos is a strong proponent of school choice and alternatives to traditional public schools such as charter schools and vouchers. Because of her support for alternatives to the government school monopoly, teachers’ unions have made defeating her nomination their top priority.
Like good little lapdogs, the Senate Democrats took the opportunity to please their teachers’ union masters. Failed socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders continued to push his free college gimmick. DeVos reminded Sanders that nothing in life is free.
Sanders also took the time to attack DeVos for the crime of being wealthy:
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy questioned DeVos about guns and schools. When DeVos answered that she believed states should set their own policies, she cited an earlier story by Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi about how schools had to protect themselves from grizzly bears. “I will refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he is talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine there is probably a gun in a school to protect from potential grizzlies,” she said. This gave liberals a chance to demonstrate how superior they are to those conservative bumpkins in the heartland.
Democrats were more interested in virtue signaling to the unions than acting in the interests of children.
But just as Uber and Lyft have brought disruption to the traditional methods of transportation, educational entrepreneurs are doing the same to K-12 education. Charter schools, which are publicly funded schools run by outside organizations and companies, are challenging traditional public schools. School voucher programs and education tax credits continue to grow, as do homeschooling and virtual schools. The best way to facilitate this transformation is to keep education decisions as local as possible.
Betsy DeVos understands what is going on and she recognizes that these innovations will improve American education by introducing much-needed accountability. If schools don’t perform parents can simply enroll their children in other schools. I hate to disappoint NBC News, but defunding poorly performing public schools is a good thing.
Democrats on the other hand are standing up for the adults involved in the education system, the bureaucrats and teachers’ unions. They’re fighting for lobbyists who want the federal government to set a one-size-fits-all education policy for the entire country. They’re backing those who don’t even want to acknowledge that we have problems with education let alone do anything about it.