The Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance did everything possible to make Betsy DeVos feel comfortable, surrounding her with allies in the fight for school choice, but it wasn’t enough.

Protestors outside complained, and students in the audience asked unsympathetic questions about her enthusiasm for school choice, her admiration for for-profit charters, and her determination to roll back the Obama era regulations protecting civil rights. Not even her fellow panelists could save her.

When she was asked why she opposed accountability for charters in Michigan, she answered with a non sequitur. She said that the families with means had already abandoned Detroit, and the charters were a haven for those who remained behind. She forgot about the kids still enrolled in public schools, who are apparently non-persons. And her explanation made no sense.

As she left the stage, some students in the room called out, “What does white supremacy look like? That’s what white supremacy looks like.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Education awarded more than $250 million to states and charter chains to open new charters and expand existing ones.

In her statement accompanying the grants, DeVos said:

“These grants will help supplement state-based efforts to give students access to more options for their education, What started as a handful of schools in Minnesota has blossomed into nearly 7,000 charter schools across the country.”

“Charter schools are now part of the fabric of American education, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to work with states to help ensure more students can learn in an environment that works for them.”

Shame on any Democrat who supports the DeVos agenda of charter schools and school choice. This is a flimsy, hard-hearted response to income inequality, poverty, and underfunding of schools that enroll students with high needs.

She is a one-woman wrecking crew, intent on destroying the legacy of Horace Mann and other genuine pioneers and reformers in the struggle for public education. Her legacy will be one of wreckage and destruction, untempered by any compassion for those in need. She should ask herself why she generates such antipathy.