Stephen Henderson is the editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press. He is not anti-charter; his own children attend a Detroit charter school. He is opposed to lies and propaganda. He has written that the charter movement has done nothing to lift the children of Detroit, and that there are as many bad charter schools as public schools. He has written critically of DeVos’s successful efforts to torpedo accountability and oversight of charter schools.


When it comes to data and research, he says, DeVos is not to be trusted.


He writes:


A true advocate for children would look at the statistics for charter versus traditional public schools in Michigan and suggest taking a pause, to see what’s working, what’s not, and how we might alter the course.


Instead, DeVos and her family have spent millions advocating for the state’s cap on charter schools to be lifted, so more operators can open and, if they choose, profit from more charters.


Someone focused on outcomes for Detroit students might have looked at the data and suggested better oversight and accountability.


But just this year, DeVos and her family heavily pressured lawmakers to dump a bipartisan-supported oversight commission for all schools in the city, and then showered the GOP majority who complied with more than $1 million dollars in campaign contributions.


The Department of Education needs a secretary who values data and research, and respects the relationship between outcomes and policy imperatives.


Nothing in Betsy DeVos’ history of lobbying to shield the charter industry from greater accountability suggests she understands that.


If she’s confirmed, it will be a dark day for the value of data and truth in education policy.