National School Choice Week

Watch Elizabeth Warren Lie About Her Son's Private School Education

Political hypocrisy on school choice needs to be exposed, says Reason Foundation's Corey DeAngelis.


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Should politicians be held accountable for being hypocrites about education policy?

At least one leading Democratic presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, wants to make it harder for parents to exercise school choice even though she sent one of her children to elite private schools.

When Warren delivered a speech at a campaign event in Atlanta last November, charter school supporters showed up to make their voices heard. Warren is an outspoken critic of charters, which are publicly funded schools that operate with more freedom (and less taxpayer money per pupil) than traditional K-12 institutions. The Massachusetts senator's education platform calls for ending federal funding of charters, increasing regulations for them, and making it more difficult to open new ones.

Sarah Carpenter, a grandmother and school choice activist who had traveled six hours from Memphis to attend the event, later confronted Warren backstage in a filmed exchange that went viral:

Carpenter: "I read that your children went to private schools."

Warren: "No, my children went to public schools."

The clip went viral because Warren wasn't telling the truth. Corey DeAngelis, the director of school choice at Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this website), had discovered through online sleuthing that Warren's son Alex, now 43, had attended Kirby Hall, an elite private school in Austin, Texas. It subsequently came out that Alex had also attended the Haverford School, a tony all-boys academy outside Philadelphia.

Yet Warren's educational platform would make it more difficult for low- and middle-income families to follow suit using charters, taxpayer-funded voucher programs, tuition tax credits, and a wide range of other options. On the campaign trail, though, she presents herself as a champion of public schools and counsels parents not to leave failing institutions. She addressed a gathering of members of the nation's largest teachers union, declaring:

If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school…Go help get more resources for [your public school]. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done. You don't like the building? You think it's old and decaying? Then get out there and push to get a new one. 

In an interview with Reason's Nick Gillespie, DeAngelis discusses school choice hypocrisy on the part of Warren, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Obama Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and others. Many critics of charters and vouchers oppose the use of tax dollars at private or religious educational institutions, he notes, but have no issue when public funds are used in the same way via Pell grants, veterans benefits, or in plans for universal preschool. "Why is it any different between pre-K and college?" asks DeAngelis. "It seems pretty inconsistent to me."

Reason is celebrating National School Choice Week. This story is part of a series that will be published over the course of the week highlighting different K-12 education options available to children and families.

Edited by John Osterhoudt

Music: Sadstorm by MADGOHAPPY

Photos: RCF/MEGA/Newscom; Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Fritz Nordengren/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Andre Jenny Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom; ARCHIE CARPENTER/UPI/Newscom; ARCHIE CARPENTER/UPI/Newscom; Allison Dinner/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Fritz Nordengren/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Ethan Hyman/TNS/Newscom; ALEXIS C. GLENN/UPI/Newscom

NEXT: Whatever Happened to the Classroom of the Future?

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  1. One of my libertopia’s provisions is that you vote for contracts, not politicians, with the idea that voters can sue for contract violations. This includes not just the contract language itself, but all campaign pronouncements, promises, speeches, etc, from the day you file candidacy papers.

    Of course politicians would get around that by promising only platitudes and having “unaffiliated” flunkies make all pronouncements. But they’d slip up like this and get sued, with the punishment being loss of candidacy.

    1. Except this wasn’t a slip up, its a carefully calculated technical non-lie. Very on-brand for a politician

      Carpenter: “I read that your children went to private schools.”
      Incorrect. Only one child of Warren’s went to private school, so not “children”

      Warren: “No, my children went to public schools.”
      Correct. All of her children attended public school at some point in time.

      1. If you look her up on sites like politifact, almost everything she says is a “half truth”

        The ones about being Native American, sending her “children” to public schools, and getting fired for being pregnant, are just outright lies. Case in point: “You said a woman couldn’t be President” And then she truly projects when she accuses him of calling her a liar.

        Then there’s the dissembling: “We’ve done the math and it’s good”

        1. The best lies contain a grain of truth.

      2. I am quite happy with that being her defense. What I want is to hold politicians responsible for their campaign speeches, promises, literature, etc. If she has to resort to that kind of quibbling, on the record, that is fine by me.

    2. My libertopia: Hold an election and arrest anyone who shows up to run.

      1. Best to nuke the election site from orbit just to be safe.

  2. Look, Warren would be better than Drumpf or any Republican when it comes to the fundamental, non-negotiable principle of Koch / Reason libertarianism — open borders. Attacking her for mishearing a question is counterproductive. And, honestly, maybe a little sexist.


    1. OBL; get a new schtick, this one is dead.

      1. I will never stop promoting unlimited, unrestricted immigration into the US. The fight against alt-right white nationalists is simply too important to give up now.

        1. Please don’t ever stop being you.

    2. Liz wants a Wealth Tax and you claim her to be better than Trump? Even super left wing billionaires are not behind her on this. In fact she needed Obama to calm down the growing storm of billionaire anger.

      1. You’re not from around here, are you?

    1. Like Stalin and Mao, she means to be like Stalin and Mao.

      1. Well at least she doesn’t want to be Pol Pot!

        1. No, but she could use a little Khmer Rouge on those pale cheeks of hers.

    2. “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’”

      -Will Smith

      I don’t usually think of the Fresh Prince as a paragon of wisdom, but he nailed on that one.

      1. It’s very true. There are evil people in the world but no evil person considers themselves to be evil. Evil people are just good people trying to do good, but who have a twisted sense of what good is and a twisted sense of the legitimate ways to reach that good.

        1. And to use coercion to make people be good like them.

          If they need to set up gulags so be it.

          For the good of peoplekind.

  3. Old Joke, but . . .

    How can you tell when Elizabeth Warren is lying?

    1. …her mouth is open.

      Or maybe she’s just awake and formulating her next lie.

  4. There are a couple of items to be remembered here. One is a politician tells lies, some tell small lies while others tells larger lies. The other is politicians will support something that they don’t believe in if they think that they can get a large voting block to support them. In most states public education teachers are under a union contract therefore to get the union’s support Warren would support the limiting of or eliminating charter schools which the unions don’t represent the teachers. The unions see the charter school as a challenge to their control of education which will also have negative affects on the union’s members’ and officer’s lifestyle.
    Lying to get the support of a union is one thing but to promise as the democrat candidates have to gain votes a promise that would cost trillions of dollars a year if implemented it totally another.

  5. Elizabeth Warren…lied to me?

    My entire world has been thrown into upheaval. I just don’t know what to believe now…

    1. Look, since everyone expects her to lie, then if she *did* tell the truth, people would assume the opposite of what she said, which would mean she was responsible for their being misled. So, when you think about it, she’s doing us a favor by lying.

    2. It is not so much that she lies. It is that she is shockingly bad at telling lies, but without the self awareness to know that she is bad at it. Especially about things in the internet age that can be backchecked easily.

      1. The opening of her campaign, complete with “proof” of her Native-American ancestry, is the ultimate example. The lady is screaming at us that, because she may have had an ancestor from 6 to 10 generations ago with certain genetic markers consistent with modern Guatemalans and Peruvians, all the doubters were mistaken. She really is that myopic.

  6. I guess this all comes down to “it depends on your definition of ‘is'”.

  7. “Go help get more resources for [your public school]. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done. You don’t like the building? You think it’s old and decaying? Then get out there and push to get a new one.”

    The solution to government is more government. When you are on the hook to pay for government, only ever gets worse.

  8. Why did Elizabeth Warren cross the road?

    1. Because her employer fired her for being pregnant and her car was on the other side.

    2. Because she’s a lying cunt?

  9. “Go help get more resources for [your public school]. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done. You don’t like the building? You think it’s old and decaying? Then get out there and push to get a new one.”

    It’s better, of course, in the original Italian…

    “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

  10. It doesn’t have to be hypocrisy for her to oppose school choice while having sent her son to a number of high-end private schools.

    She may sincerely believe that having choices other than the local public school are rightfully the exclusive domain of the wealthy and well-connected. She did spend a fair amount of time in the “Ivy League” system, after all.

  11. “Should politicians be held accountable for being hypocrites…” ?

    /bureaucrat surrounded by taxpayer funded armed security while simultaneously enacting gun control

  12. She’s dead in the water now. The Sanders debacle on CNN dealt critical damage and her rampant lies will deal the death blow.

  13. Crackajawea has spoken. Plebes must fall in line.

  14. My disconcern and anguish is not the incompetence and dishonesty of the Warren’s, Biden’s, and liberal commentators of this world.

    But that our country has so many ignorant or dishonest citizens.

    It truly is mind boggling. Disappointing.

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  18. tyrants love their peasants unarmed and ignorant. keep ’em dependent and the plantation maintains its hammer lock . the irrefutable result of public schooling is the trainload of dunces we have now. people that think the corona virus is beer related

  19. to reference the headline…

    politicians ARE held accountable for their lies. her bullshit was called out IMMEDIATELY. in her case all her just-plain-lies were called out same day. the bottom line, on her at least, is that you better be a better liar or your BS will be called. her long history of vanity means her many utterances are easily vetted. HEY LIZ WARREN, YOU’RE SO FULL OF SHIT THAT EVEN JOE BIDEN CAN BEST YOU

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