“The better product”

In this video Betsy DeVos talks about school choice. The president-elect’s choice for Secretary of Education has this to say about charter school choice: “The more choices we have, the more competition we have but also the better product or the better learning opportunity we have for kids.”


To her, children are a product…. and giving choice equates to a better product.

  • Does she have data to support this claim?
  • What is the correlation between school choice and student outcomes?
  • Should children have to compete for quality education?
  • Can she provide evidence that charter schools are a better learning opportunity?

How did students in Michigan (her home state) fare with more charter choices?  Douglas Harris of the New York Times (11/26/16) said, “As one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system, she is partly responsible for what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country.” (read the full NYT article here).

As a researcher, I have some understanding of correlation in research. Mrs. DeVos should provide data to support her claims. To make such a broad stroke statement as that is misleading.

DeVos also said parents want more choice. I would say parents want better schools, and giving choices doesn’t necessarily equate to better schools.

Referring to students as products. That’s a tough one for me.

These are my reflections for today.




Author: Meg White

I am a lifelong educator and I hope to use this blog to reflect on what's happening in public education. These are my musings, opinions, and reflections. If you learn from them, good for us. Ignorance is no excuse. I have co-authored a book, "Questioning Assumptions and Challenging Perceptions: Becoming an Effective Teacher in Urban Environments" (available on amazon)

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