School choice has been a growing issue for the last several decades. Private schools been an option for wealthy families for generations. Historically, private schools were seen as a privilege for only the wealthy. And they seemed okay with that.
In recent years, the school choice movement has sought to open the doors to those private schools for students from all types of families. Charter schools sprang up across the nation. These schools highlighted specific areas of study, sought to serve a specific subgroup of students such as those with special needs and some simply sought to provide an alternative to the zoned public school.
Magnet schools then emerged within public schools as local school systems sought to keep high achieving students by tailoring specific programs within a school to a subgroup of students. From that trend, we came to see magnet programs for students who are classified as gifted as well as for students interested in art, science and technology.
With the passage of No Child Left Behind, school choice took on a different role. Students attending low-performing schools could now have the option of attending another high-achieving school. This movement, led by Republicans in Congress as well as President George W. Bush, sought to give students at low-performing, low-income schools the same opportunities that their higher-income counterparts were already enjoying.
That sounds like something right out of the liberal playbook, so you would think that the Democrats would be all over it. But they have fought the school choice movement at every step of the way.
Democrats have traditionally enjoyed large donations and positive campaign ads from teachers’ unions and other educational organizations. No doubt this is a significant contributor in their decision-making process. But when it comes to their own families, the story is shifted dramatically.
The Daily Caller reported on Sunday that “six of the 10 Senate Democrats on the committee that will consider confirming Betsy DeVos – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education – attended private or parochial schools, or have children and grandchildren attending.”
DeVos has long been a supporter of school choice and was “the architect of Detroit’s school charter system.” She also led the American Federation for Children, an organization which supports school choice for poor and underprivileged families.
It is unclear how these six Democrats will vote this week. The teachers’ unions are staunchly against school choice while these same Senators enjoy that privilege. It is hypocritical for Senate Democrats to blast DeVos for advocating school choice for underprivileged children while they send their own children to such schools and deny that choice to others.
Source: The Daily Caller