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Free Minds & Free Markets

Why the Left Hates Betsy DeVos

The secretary of education is fighting government bureaucracy.

People hate Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

When she spoke at the Kennedy School of Government, students held up signs calling her a "white supremacist."

When she tried to visit a school, activists physically blocked her way.

The haters claim DeVos knows little about education, only got her job because she gave money to Republican politicians, and hates free public education.

Of course, education isn't really "free."

Taxpayers spend $634 billion a year on it. It's laughable that activists claim conservatives "cut" education spending. Funds per student tripled over the past several decades, while test scores stayed flat.

Some of that failure is because of what DeVos really opposes: government's education bureaucracy.

The department she inherited is a good example of that. K-12 schools are controlled and funded locally, but taxpayers are forced to ship education money to Washington, D.C., where bureaucrats there grab some, and then ship the rest back—with strings attached.

President Reagan tried to get rid of the Department of Education. He failed. Since then, it's only grown. It now spends $193.1 billion a year.

DeVos proposed a mere $9 billion in cuts.

But nothing goes away in Washington, no matter how wasteful. The Republican Congress ignored her proposed cuts and increased her budget by $2 billion.

DeVos, like some other agency heads appointed by President Trump, resists expanding the federal bureaucracy.

People hate her for that, too.

When activists blocked her school visit, she told me for my latest online video, "We drove away, and (the security guard) said, 'Ma'am, I don't think we should go back' and I said...'they are not going to win. I am determined to meet those kids and those teachers.'"

She did.

The protesters seemed less interested in her views on education than on the fact that she's rich.

One yelled: "Keep giving money to senators."

DeVos is rich. Her father built a company that became worth more than a billion dollars. Then she married into the Amway marketing fortune.

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  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Another chastisement and villification of success by the left wing establishment.

    I like Betsy DeVos.

  • BigT||

    I preferred Veronica to Betty.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When she tried to visit a school, activists physically blocked her way.

    You know who else made a stand in the schoolhouse door?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Spartacus?

  • Jerryskids||

    The shop class on woodworking project day?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Crusty?

  • BigT||

    Mr. Rogers?

  • lap83||

    Schoolhouse Rocky?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Van Halen?

  • DivideByZero||

  • Zebra Jr.||

    Come on Stossel she brought her position. She wasn't chosen because she's the best qualified or the smartest. She was chosen by bribing a politician. And that's a hell of a strike against you. These peoole like Trump are attracted to your ideas for one reason and it's to turn public achools into right wing madrasas. You should be more careful about who you align with it.

  • BigT||

    Yes, massah. We-uns are right happy here in da plantation school. No rich lady's money gonna make us leave here for some privy school! You go tellin em massah!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Hey, I'm originally from Michigan, and Betsey is famous, (Or notorious, if you're a government schooling activist.) activist in the area of charter schools.

    She got her position because she's got a long record of activism and advocacy in the area of education.

  • DivideByZero||

    The Delta house has a long tradition of existence to its members, and to the community at large.

  • Shirley Knott||

    "She bought her position" — implying that there are those in positions of political power who didn't.
    A position so laughably absurd as to collapse under its own obvious contradictions.
    Further, note that NOBODY in a position of political power is 'qualified' — slavery is always wrong.
    There are no 'qualifications' that can overcome this problem.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "She bought her position" — implying that there are those in positions of political power who didn't.

    Of course. Until that EVUL DRUMPF no president ever gave cushy, high level cabinet appointments to their cronies or donors. Not ever. B.D. (Before Drumpf) all government bureaucrats and appointees were chosen based solely on merit and were pure, selfless public servants. /sarc

  • Longtobefree||

    I'm sorry, your links to the named reliable sources did not appear in the post. Would you please put them up again?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    turn public achools into right wing madrasas

    *headdesk*

  • Cynical Asshole||

    she brought her position... public achools

    Maybe if you'd gone to private schools you'd be able to type better.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    These peoole like Trump are attracted to your ideas for one reason and it's to turn public achools into right wing madrasas.

    As opposed to the left-wing indoctrination centers they currently operate as?

  • Sevo||

    "These peoole like Trump are attracted to your ideas for one reason and it's to turn public achools into right wing madrasas. You should be more careful about who you align with it."

    Zebra's kinda new.
    Is this sarc or run-of-the-mill lefty stupidity?

  • Incredulous||

    Is this sarcasm or just immense stupidity?

    What would she have to gain by "buying" the position anyway - hatred and slander from union terrorists and other left wing scumbags? And even if she had stupidly done so, who the fuck cares if her ideas have merit? Are you arguing that choice is somehow bad, that bureacratic waste is good, that poor students should be forced to go to shitty schools? WTF?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    They hate her because a Republican president, particularly Trump, appointed her. If Trump appointed any darling of the left, even, say, Bernie, or Krugman or Noam Chomsky, they would hate them too. They routinely turn on their own.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    They routinely turn on their own.

    Of course. Cults always turn on apostates.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Taxpayers spend $634 billion a year on it. It's laughable that activists claim conservatives "cut" education spending. Funds per student tripled over the past several decades, while test scores stayed flat."

    Of course we aren't supposed to measure things that way.

    We are only supposed to pay attention to anecdotes about teachers having to work extra jobs to make do and/or having to use their own money to buy school supplies. This of course, is definitive proof that not nearly enough of the taxpayers money is being shipped off to the federal/state/local government schools bureaucratic monopolies.

  • BigT||

    Hey, it says right there in the Constitution that the Dept of Ederkashun must have its budget raised EVERY year.

    Oh, wait...

  • Longtobefree||

    I am sure it has nothing to do with individual choice versus government dictate; it is just that Trump appointed a woman, and they cannot resolve the 'every woman is right and a better choice' with 'Trump did it'.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics, told CNN, "DeVos's primary expertise seems to be in being a rich person."

    Office of Government Ethics, eh?

    I didn't know there was such a thing - but I'm not surprised.

  • Shirley Knott||

    One wonders what Mr. Shaub's "primary expertise" is. It can't be ethics, or logic, which leaves only 'being a committed slaver.'
    There really aren't enough wood chippers.

  • Rich||

    Shaub earned a B.A. degree in history from James Madison University, then earned his J.D. degree from American University Washington College of Law. He spent from 1997 to 2004 as an attorney in federal agencies

    Apparently his expertise is what he calls the erosion of democratic norms that the country has witnessed under the administration of President Donald Trump.

  • lap83||

    ....Then he took a sip of Grey Goose and yelled at his maid for polishing the marble floors incorrectly

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Then he took a sip of Grey Goose

    A slaver, and has shitty taste in vodka. Christ, what an asshole.

  • lap83||

    I'm glad someone picked up on that. I worked at a Country Club during college and that's what the douch-ier members would drink

  • Microaggressor||

    When she spoke at the Kennedy School of Government, students held up signs calling her a "white supremacist."

    Protip: they didn't come to that conclusion on their own. They were told to believe it. Why do you think they can't come up with a substantial criticism. Privatization would herald an end to the Teacher's Union racket. But they can't just openly admit that. But they do have an easy tool they can use. Anyone who opposes the "anti-racist" ideology (i.e. socialism) is racist by their definition. Real world outcomes are not considered, only perceived motives. These schools don't seem too interested in teaching critical thinking.

  • Juice||

    She benefited from the free market.

    Let's not kid ourselves here.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Christianofascists and commies hate each other... this is news? Pagan and lay socialists have always been on the outs with christian national socialists. Look up any riot in Germany between about 1927 and 1933 and there is the exact same phenomenon: all the collectives in the lower half of the Nolan chart hate and kill each other at every opportunity. Libertarians with an ounce of savvy should learn to recognize and appreciate evolution in action.

  • Eidde||

    Wait, who are the Christianofascists in this article?

    "christian national socialists"

    Hitler *said* he supported Christianity. He also said that the Sudetenland was his final territorial demand in Europe.

  • CDRSchafer||

    The left hates anyone who runs or serves under a Republican administration. The goal is to threaten, sue, assault and destroy anyone who is not a Democrat and the media assists them.

  • John B. Egan||

    More Stossel BS... The 'left' hates DeVos because (1) She had to bribe the GOP with $200 million in donations to buy her position.. (2) Her test run in Michigan's school system was a failure and widlely remarked upon, and (3) She intends to bleed our public school system to fund Christian charter schools in a nation where church and state are supposed to be separate. Why does Stossel keep pumping his anti-lefty nonsense? Can't he find real issues to write about? Really?

  • Sevo||

    More Egan bullshit. You lost, loser. Grow up

  • CE||

    Except none of them would care about her buying the position if she agree with them, and they can't really start comparing policy outcomes to win. So it's really item 3 they hate her for, pushing superior charter schools that could expose public schools as inferior.

  • Toast88||

    The Dept of Ed does so little and has such zero effect on curriculum, that I doubt her detractors could even tell you why they hate her.

  • Longtobefree||

    Wrong. The can tell you exactly why they hate her. She opposes the objectives of the liberal cabal taking over the education system to brainwash all students into mindless little robots that willingly serve the state.
    She has made it on her own. The statists cannot allow that to happen.

  • WillPaine||

    If this counry's education system is on such a route to failure, why are we the most highly educated, have the best computer minds (most of them teenagers), and we are already the greatest country in the world; in history. The people who blocked her from entering a school were third graders who knew her, I believe. This article defends the undefendable; nice try

  • Mark22||

    If this counry's education system is on such a route to failure, why are we the most highly educated,

    "We" aren't. Nor do "we" want to be.

    have the best computer minds (most of them teenagerslegal, skilled immigrants),

    FTFY

    and we are already the greatest country in the world; in history

    Because the US used to attract lots of smart people by being a low tax, low regulation, high opportunity meritocracy. America's private research universities. The fact that Europe has been going back and forth between various forms of progressivism, socialism, fascism, and totalitarianism.

    US public schools and Democratic politics? A good reason to leave the US.

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|5.9.18 @ 7:10PM|#
    "If this counry's education system is on such a route to failure, why are we the most highly educated, have the best computer minds (most of them teenagers),"
    So we have unsupported claims and a non-sequitur. Obviously Will didn't benefit from this 'system'.

    "The people who blocked her from entering a school were third graders who knew her, I believe."
    Yes, we can tell 3rd-graders are capable of poking a key-board; you just proved it. Other than that, not so much. You, too.

    "This article defends the undefendable; nice try"
    Uh, your idiocy is undefendable. Fuck off.

  • CE||

    Most of the great computer minds are self taught. I took a CS class in college and everyone knew the material already.

  • Curly4||

    The problem with government program is it only gets larger and larger even if it is failing. If they are going to have a federal department of education all it should do is set the standard that should be met by every school in the US. Set the standard but not they way to meet that standard. Each school could teach their students as long as the students met the standard for that grade. That is the same problem with state testing program. It takes so much time that the teachers only has to teach to the test and that does not tell what the students know.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Get an education. Start with standard English.

  • leninsmummy||

    "Funds per student tripled over the past several decades, while test scores stayed flat." I don't understand this sentence.. is there a 150 percent right on test scores now? Wouldn't a better measure be number of teachers, or class size, or administration size? test scores could be straight As and they'd still be 'flat'.

  • L.G. Balzac||

    A tripling would be a 200% increase not 150%, if that was your point.
    What you don't "understand" is English.
    You are closer to truth in your next statement, "Wouldn't a better measure be number of teachers, or class size, or administration size?" IF the objective was to measure result rather than return on investment.

  • CE||

    Pro tip: average test scores weren't 100% before funding was tripled.

  • Sevo||

    "test scores could be straight As and they'd still be 'flat'."

    Nice try.
    They're not.

  • Sepschooler||

    "She's right. A Stanford study found that kids at Detroit charter schools get months of additional learning every year compared to their public school peers. Choice did help."
    By "months of additional learning", do you mean months more time in school? Learning and time in school are not the same thing. What metric is used to determine whether more time in school equates to better life outcomes, such as long term employment, stable family relationships, and not participating in crime?
    If we measure success by time spent in school, rather than by markers of actual human well being and happiness, into future generations as well, the bureaucracy will win, at the expense of the citizens.

  • CE||

    Yeah, more time in school sounds like a mark against charter schools, not for them.

  • Jonny Scrum-half||

    Test scores have not remained flat if you disaggregate for the changing demographics in the schools. In fact, scores have substantially increased for Blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians, but because the overall population includes more Blacks and Hispanics (who have lower scores than whites or Asians), the overall scores haven't changed much.

  • L.G. Balzac||

    I don't believe in "racism" (a term without much value. How many races are there? One? One billion? Mixed race? WTF is that?) BUT IF I DID, I'd view your statement as a good example of it. It is also contradictory.

  • Jonny Scrum-half||

    How is my comment contradictory?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    She's a half-educated, backward, superstitious, science-disdaining, unqualified, inarticulate wingnut and silver-spooner.

    Goobers love her. Those who prefer reason, science, modernity, tolerance, progress, and education recognize that she is a stammering, stale-thinking, and deplorable human stain.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • CE||

    Yet they still like Pelosi.

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    You know, for someone that pretends their smart because they are on the left-side of the political isle, you could have just pointed out actual flaws in Betsy DeVos' record and used actual proof to back that up instead of just using a bunch of half-assed ad hominems like a braindead retard.

  • Joe Emenaker||

    "Funds per student tripled over the past several decades, while test scores stayed flat." - Unless you can put "in real dollars" in there, then you're talking about *nominal* dollars, and just about *everything* has tripled in price in nominal dollars in the last several decades.

    "...but charter students do demonstrably better than the students in traditional public schools." - Wait... so the kids of the rich people who can pay for private schools (and in-home tutors and study-aid apps for their iPads) do better than the kids of parents who *can't*? Didn't see that coming. Look: until you feed the *same* socio-economic cross-section of students into public and charter schools (which are also being given the *same* amount of money per student), performance comparisons are meaningless.

    "teachers who aren't good and really shouldn't be in the classroom probably wouldn't be... (N)obody would choose their classroom! People are not stupid. They know where their kid is going to do best." - No, they don't. Look, the free market is *great* for product categories where the consumer can *quickly* determine how good the product is (hammers, laptops, beer), but it's lousy when there's a large latency between the purchase of the product and finding out if it's worth a damn (education, insurance,...). So, no, Betsy, they *don't* really know where their kid is going to do best.

  • Joe Emenaker||

    Oh, I forgot to add: "This country is on a trajectory to failure"... umm... you just said at the top of the article that test scores have remained flat over the past several decades.

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