Education Secretary Betsy DeVos slammed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a critic of school choice, this week over the representative’s hypocrisy after it was revealed that she got her goddaughter into a charter school.
“This area’s like a lot of where my family is from,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Facebook Live video in 2017, before she was a public figure. “My goddaughter, I got her into a charter school, like, maybe a block or two down.”
“Embracing charters would be a big no-no for Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic socialist base, which calls for the total abolition of charters, arguing that their existence hurts traditional public schools,” The New York Post reported. “Though Ocasio-Cortez has frequently talked about how her own family fled the Bronx to avoid the borough’s failing public schools, she has also publicly stood in total lockstep with anti-charter advocates.”
The Post noted that Ocasio-Cortez’s party said in its New York City platform, “Charter schools act as tools for privatizing education and weakening the power of unionized teachers,” and called for ending “the creation of new charter schools, [banning] the expansion of existing charter schools, and transform[ing] existing charter schools into public schools.”
Ocasio-Cortez also strongly opposed school choice in a tweet last January, writing, “Tens of thousands of LA public school teachers, parents, and students are on a historic strike to improve + protect local public schools from privatization. This is inspiring!”
DeVos responded to The Post’s report by highlighting Ocasio-Cortez’s hypocrisy, tweeting, “How nice that
@AOC claims to have helped her goddaughter get into a public charter school. It’s a shame she works to deny that opportunity to every other disadvantaged family in America. ‘Good for me, but not for thee,’ indeed. #EducationFreedom”
How nice that @AOC claims to have helped her goddaughter get into a public charter school. It’s a shame she works to deny that opportunity to every other disadvantaged family in America. “Good for me, but not for thee,” indeed. #EducationFreedomhttps://t.co/a2RhOEeU0o
— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) February 24, 2020
Ray Domanico, director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute, blasted Ocasio-Cortez for her hypocrisy.
“I am not surprised by the hypocrisy,” Domanico told The Post. “Charter schools are incredibly popular with the communities and populations that a lot of these Democratic politicians claim to be representing … People in the Bronx can find a good school for their young ones now as the congresswoman apparently did for her goddaughter.”
Despite her apparent opposition to school choice, Ocasio-Cortez accidentally made the case for school choice earlier this week during an interview with The Breakfast Club.
“We do need to address situations with charter schools, I think. It doesn’t mean that they’re all bad, it doesn’t mean that they should one hundred percent go away,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The charter school movement, especially in about the 1970s, they were community charters. So, often times it was pastors, community organizers, starting community-based schools. So the school came from the community, it was for the community.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued, “My cousin, and you know my goddaughter, he made a choice given what that was in the South Bronx. And he asked me to help him. Would I help him fill out the form so that he could pursue this choice that he made for his daughter. How are you gonna tell someone no?”