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Betsy DeVos used a poll conducted by a pro-education privatization group to justify Department of Education policies

August 21, 2019

On Tuesday, US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, released a statement, which said in part: 

American families want more control and more options when it comes to education, which is why every poll conducted shows the growing, bipartisan support for education freedom. This research is just the latest indication that voices of America’s parents are growing louder in demanding something other than a government-assigned, union-controlled school for their children.

The “research” that DeVos was referring to was a new poll taken by the group, Education Next. The poll, conducted in May 2019, asked 3046 adults a variety of questions. The data from the poll can be seen at this link

While Betsy DeVos emphasized that this poll showed that people support federal funds for education being turned over to state governments, so that states can decide how to use the funding, DeVos failed to mention that the poll also supported other positions.

The poll showed that a majority of people supported things like increased teacher pay, local schools, increased education spending and free college for those who want to attend a public college or university. All of these opinions, reflected in the poll, were casually omitted in Secretary of Education DeVos’ comments.

However, the poll also showed that there was significant support for school vouchers & tax credits, charter schools and Common Core State Standards.

Another glaring omission from Betsy DeVos was that she never identified what the group Education Next was affiliated with. Education Next, according to SourceWatch

is a propaganda outlet for corporate education reform policies such as charter schools, school vouchers, and merit pay. Its editorial board consists of the members of the Koret Task Force, the education task force of the conservative think-tank the Hoover Institute.

None of this is surprising, considering that Betsy DeVos has been spending the past 25 years promoting and defending her own ideological positions on education, positions which seek to undermine public education, attack teacher unions and to re-direct public funds to pay for privatized forms of education, like Charter Schools.

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