Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Betsy DeVos’s Mission to Rescue Teachers Unions’ ‘Hostages’ - WSJ

The philanthropist and veteran school-reform advocate who served as education secretary under President Trump says the Covid pandemic was an inflection point. “During the last two years, the failings of the school system have been laid bare to families in a way like never before,” Betsy DeVos told me by phone on Monday. “I think it’s hastening the moment in time when we will be able to get significant policy change implemented to support families and kids rather than the system.”

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

Betsy DeVos would have been a controversial cabinet pick even if Donald Trump hadn’t been the one to tap her. She supports vouchers, education tax credits and home schooling. She funds grass-roots organizations that lobby for school reform. She and her husband, Dick, started a charter school in Michigan. Critics, led by the teachers unions, claimed she wasn’t qualified for the position, but their real issue was her belief that K-12 education places the interests of adults ahead of the interests of children—a dynamic she has spent more than three decades trying to change via school choice. “The school union bosses’ problem with me wasn’t that they thought I was unqualified,” she writes. “It was that they knew I was dangerous to their agenda.”

Democrats and teachers unions officially wed in 1979, when President Carter signed legislation to establish the Department of Education. Three years earlier Mr. Carter had cut a deal with the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, to create the new federal department in exchange for the union’s support in the election. The Democratic Party has been doing more or less what teachers unions demand ever since.


It was bad enough when it was just a corrupt political deal to support the old Democrat party. But now it's evolved into whatever nightmare you want to call it. Just ask some solid Democrat mom what she really thinks about what's happening to her daughter.

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