On Wednesday students at the largely black Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., interrupted a speech by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Some heckled her, while others turned their back. She was supposed to speak for an hour but left after 20 minutes.
This is not the first time DeVos has received a rude reception. Back in February, left-wing protestors channeled their inner Orval Faubuses and prevented her from entering Jefferson Academy in Washington, D.C.
The students at Bethune-Cookman were likely fed a diet of lies and half-truths from their professors about DeVos’s efforts at school reform. For example, back in November, New York Times op-ed contributor Douglas N. Harris cited a study that supposedly showed “Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools.”
In December, Allie Gross of Vice News upped the ante, claiming 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.”
The actual study that Harris cites shows something quite different. Here is part of the conclusion:
Based on the findings presented here, the typical student in Michigan charter schools gains more learning in a year than his TPS [traditional public schools] counterparts, amounting to about two months of additional gains in reading and math. These positive patterns are even more pronounced in Detroit, where historically student academic performance has been poor. These outcomes are consistent with the result that charter schools have significantly better results than TPS for minority students who are in poverty.
Nor did DeVos “gut” Detroit’s public schools.
Until charter schools appeared, parents and children in Detroit were stuck with the lousy education offered by its public schools, which have long been some of the worst in the nation. Charter schools offered a better alternative, and like any sane human beings, Detroit parents jumped at the chance. It’s pretty basic: People who have long been stuck with lousy product A suddenly have a better option in product B. Guess what? They will choose B in droves. Not surprisingly, such common sense eludes leftists.
It also, apparently, eludes the students at Bethune-Cookman. The fact is that thanks to charter schools black students in Detroit not only have a way out of the dismal public schools but also have a chance at an education that will enable them to escape the Hellhole that is the Motor City.
To the extent that DeVos brought that about, she has done far more for the black community than race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Shaun King, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee combined.
Students at Bethune-Cookman should have given DeVos a standing ovation.
What we witnessed Wednesday is another effect of left-wing ideology: turning people who should be grateful into ingrates.