At the Brookings celebration of school choice, Secretary DeVos said that people should choose a school like choosing Uber or some other alternative to the traditional public school. She is clueless about the role of public education in a community and in a democracy.

Picking your mode transportation is a consumer good that you pay for; public education is both a public good and a right.

From the transcript of the video (please post the link if you can find it):

“Separately, the report argues that ‘There is no question that alternatives to the traditional school district model are destructive of the traditional school district model.’

“Many would read this and conclude that such
alternatives (or choices) are destructive of traditional public schools and of the students they serve.

“But I would argue that these alternatives are constructive, not destructive, for students, parents and teachers.

“Let me offer this example from a different part of our daily lives.

“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.

“The truth is that in practice, people like having more options. They like being able to choose between Uber Pool, Uber X,
Lyft Line, Lyft Plus, and many others. Or when it comes to taking a family trip, many like options such as Airbnb.

“We celebrate the benefits of choices in transportation and lodging. But doesn’t that pale in comparison to the importance
of educating the future of our country? Why do we not allow parents to exercise that same right to choice in the education of
their child?”