Media's Attacks on DeVos Rife with Factual Inaccuracies

Progressive narrative trumps facts in coverage of Trump education secretary

U.S. News & World Report is the latest media outlet to echo negative characterizations of Betsy DeVos as the U.S. secretary of education in its news coverage.

Reporter Lauren Camera wrote a March 24 story with the headline: “Liberals, Conservatives Agree: Big Mistake for White House to Push Private School Choice.”

From that article: “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, for one. The billionaire and her family have spent millions of dollars lobbying for private school choice policies in her home state of Michigan, and have been major players in the proliferation of charter schools and voucher programs that allow students to enroll in religious private schools in and around Detroit.”

ForTheRecord says: Conservatives and liberals all agree? So, that’s everyone, right?

The mainstream media’s attacks on DeVos have been consistent in that many of them have some factual errors. For example, this article says the DeVos family supported “voucher programs that allow students to enroll in religious private schools in and around Detroit.”

Except Michigan has no voucher programs. Its constitution bars vouchers and any state support for religious schools.

The DeVos family did support a 2000 ballot initiative that would have changed the constitution to allow for vouchers, but it failed.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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