In another impressive exchange during yesterday's budget hearing, Betsy DeVos exhibits the selective ignorance so common in the GOP cult of Trump, but this time in relation to her precious charter schools. Oh, don't you come for her charter schools, Rep. Mark Pocan.
Don't you dare question the charter schools that, according to a recent study from the Network for Public Education, has wasted $1 billion of its grant money, illegally discriminated against children in the admissions process, pushed out low-performing students, and whose CMOs (Charter Management Organizations) had serious conflicts of interest with the schools they managed. The authors of that study just "had it in" for charter schools, can't you see that?
DEVOS: You're wrong about charter schools.
REP. POCAN: They're not performing academically. 40% are closing down that you're giving grants to. That's a waste...
DEVOS: That is not true.
REP. POCAN: That's a waste...
DEVOS: That has been a totally debunked report. It was nothing but propaganda by an individual who has an IN for charter schools.
(NARRATOR VOICE: It is not a debunked report. Au contraire.)
According to The Washington Post:
The Education Department’s office of inspector general has over the years issued reports citing problems with the program, most recently in 2016. It found that of the 33 schools it reviewed, most had conflicts of interest with the organizations managing them, known as charter management organizations (CMOs).
Burris and Bryant wrote: "We found troubling examples of CMO’s that received massive grants that engaged in practices that push-out low-performing students, violate the rights of students with disabilities and cull their student bodies through policies, programs and requests for parental donations.”
By all means, though, let's get back to the numbers.
DEVOS: *mouth open catching flies*
REP. POCAN: Do you have an idea? Numbers?
DEVOS: I don't have a state...a national...
REP. POCAN: You're the Secretary of Education and you don't have this? You know this report's wrong, but you don't have a number?
DEVOS: Charter schools are chartered by states. They are not chartered by the federal government.
REP. POCAN: Yeah, but you know that that number's not right, but you don't have a correct number. Is that what you're telling me?
DEVOS: What I know is parents and families are choosing to send their children to charter schools. Parents and children are going to charter schools.
REP. POCAN: So, you don't know. So you don't know the answer. That's a yes or no, so you don't know the answer. That's a yes or no, so you don't know the answer.
Of course she doesn't know the answer. Why would she? All that matters is making the money and putting the "Christ" back in "educhristian!" Oops. I meant "education."