Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made headlines this week at Harvard University. I’m still confused as to why Harvard invited her to speak at an event allegedly focused on public education–she never attended a public school, never sent her own children to a public school, never studied education, and has never taught anyone anything–and the reaction to her talk suggests that a lot of folks agree with me.
Perhaps because Betsy doesn’t know much about schools…or students…or teachers…or education, she tends to reach for analogies for what schools are like that just don’t make much sense. Her last tortured analogy was that schools should be run like Uber…
“How many of you got here today in an Uber, or Lyft, or another ridesharing service? Did you choose that because it was more convenient than hoping a taxi would drive by? Even if you didn’t use a ridesharing service, I’m sure most of you at least have the app on your phone.
Just as the traditional taxi system revolted against ridesharing, so too does the education establishment feel threatened by the rise of school choice. In both cases, the entrenched status quo has resisted models that empower individuals.
Nobody mandates that you take an Uber over a taxi, nor should they. But if you think ridesharing is the best option for you, the government shouldn’t get in your way.”
Betsy’s analogy here conveniently ignores the fact that taxi companies are not remotely “like” public schools.