How to Lie About Betsy DeVos

IMAGE: C-SPAN via YouTube

( It would be easy to say that the lies about Betsy DeVos were ineffective since she was confirmed, but the confirmation vote was too close for comfort. The lies had enough heft to cause two Republican defections, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-NEA) and Susan Collins (R-NEA).

Typical of the lies spread about DeVos is Allie Gross’s “Out of Options” article at Vice News.

First, as all good left-wing screeds do, it pulls the reader in with an emotional story about a person who has supposedly been harmed by a conservative policy — in this case, the expansion of charter schools in Detroit. The public school closest to where parent Aliya Moore lived, Oakman Elementary, closed in 2013:

[Ms. Moore] knew Detroit’s schools weren’t great — the district had one of the lowest graduation rates in the country — but sending her girls to one of the city’s dozens of charter schools or heading out to the suburbs, as some parents did, had never crossed her mind. She didn’t have a car or a job. And she didn’t have the money to hop around Metro Detroit searching for a kindergarten for Tyliya. She needed a good, dependable school in her neighborhood. Oakman had felt like a second home, and now this man in a suit was standing in front of her saying she’d have to find a new one.


Once the reader is invested in Ms. Moore’s difficulties, he is less likely to cast a skeptical eye toward the evidence Gross presents that the “gutting of Detroit’s public schools is the result of an experiment started 23 years ago, when education reformers including Betsy DeVos, now Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, got Michigan to bet big on charters and school choice.”

But one should be skeptical. Gross’s main evidence is that the budget deficit for Detroit’s public schools grew as more students were “siphoned off” into charter schools….

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