February 6, 2017

DeVos Critic Misses Target, Hits Elizabeth Warren Instead

The critics of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos are getting desperate. They know their fight to stop her nomination, on behalf of Teachers’ Unions, is about to fail and so in their desperation they are hurling awful accusations at DeVos. One of the most prominent examples can be seen in a CNN Op-Ed by Felicia Wong of the Roosevelt Institute. Wong makes the absolutely insane case that a vote for DeVos is a “vote for resegregation.”

The basis for Wong’s preposterous hot take is that DeVos has been a longtime supporter of school vouchers:

“Nor does public funding for private schools, which DeVos advocates, seem to achieve much good for students of color. Voucher and other public funding programs are marketed as appealing because tax dollars ‘follow the child.’ But research over the past fifteen years shows that private schools are even more racially segregated than public schools.”

Yet in doing so, Wong commits an own goal. By slandering Betsy DeVos on vouchers, Wong unwittingly slurs liberal hero Elizabeth Warren at the same time. This should be troubling for Wong because she is a campaign donor of Warren’s, and Warren herself has extensive ties to the Roosevelt Institute.

The fact that Wong’s case against DeVos rests on her support for school vouchers means that those same charges should apply to Warren. After all, in Warren’ 2003 book The Two-Income Trap, the future Massachusetts Senator lays out her own plan for the use of school vouchers. In fact, Warren’s school voucher plan is almost identical as DeVos’ plan, with both including a “follow the child” system:

“Warren goes on to lay out a plan for a system of fully-paid vouchers to support attendance at any public schools in the region. ‘Tax dollars would follow the children,’ she writes, adding that students who need extra resources, such as those requiring special education services, would get larger vouchers. ‘Every child would have a valuable ticket to be used in any school in the area,’ she writes.”

Consequently, this raises an important question for Felicia Wong. Does she also believe that Warren is in favor of resegregating schools? Because if the answer is no, then Wong has absolutely no credibility to talk about this nomination.