Sheldon Whitehouse's Curious, Hypocritical Attacks on Betsy DeVos

President-elect Donald Trump calls out to the media as he and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Left has selected a few of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to try to tear down before, during, and after the nomination hearings coming up in the next week. One of the targets of their ire is Betsy DeVos, the solid choice for Secretary of Education, and one of the biggest voices against her is Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic Senator from Rhode Island.

Whitehouse is very clearly a shill for education special interests, given the nature of his attacks. He has called DeVos a “billionaire whose views on education seem to be out of line with many Rhode Islanders’ values.”

This attack is a clear attempt to paint DeVos as anti-public school, a charge Democrats and activists groups have been throwing at her since she was picked by Trump. What makes this attack so curious is that Whitehouse, and his children, have attended exclusive private and boarding schools, rather than the public schools he chooses to publicly defend.

Which is certainly fine. He defended the choice, saying he wanted to send his children to the best schools for them, which is the entire basis of the school choice movement. Just because someone wants to open up school choice options doesn’t mean they hate public schools.

However, the more interesting fact is that, according to financial disclosures from more than a decade ago, Whitehouse owned stock in a for-profit education company, Edison Schools, which has a history of battling teachers unions and public education (the company has since reverted back to being a private entity instead of a public one).

Now, again, this is all within Whitehouse’s right as a citizen and a parent. Where you choose to send your child to school and what companies you invest in are freedoms we in this country have. However, it is just a tad hypocritical to attack someone for their stances and actions when it comes to education when your own history isn’t the best example, is it not?

I would urge others like me, public education teachers who believe in a parent’s right to choose where their child should go to school, to come out and support DeVos against these mindless, paranoid attacks against someone who wants to give families the right to pick their education.