MSNBC’s Ruhle Defends School Choice, Challenges Teachers’ Union Prez Weingarten
Something to give—surprised—thanks for this morning: an MSNBC anchor staunchly defending school choice and Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education . . . while ably and aggressively arguing the issues with the head of America’s biggest teachers’ union!
Stephanie Ruhle is the MSNBC anchor in question, and she took on Randi Weingarten, head of the AFT teachers’ union. The topic at hand was Donald Trump’s naming of school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Weingarten, acknowledging that the union is “so opposed” to DeVos, repeatedly accused Trump’s pick of wanting to take a “sledgehammer” to public schools in an effort to “destabilize”them.
Ruhle fought back, casting DeVos as “pro-choice” when it comes to education and pointing out that public schools are failing many children. Ruhle even made the case for Trump himself, saying “America voted. They wanted a change election. They wanted a change candidate. Betsy DeVos represents change. Could one make the argument that’s what America voted for, because status quo isn’t what’s working for this country?”
Readers are urged to view the video and see how Ruhle continued to press her case for DeVos and school choice. Question: how comfortable is the environment for Ruhle in the otherwise almost entirely liberal cast of MSNBC hosts? Ruhle is the exception at the Lean Forward network in that she comes from a private-sector, financial-ndustry background and Bloomberg TV.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. Randi, welcome. After the nomination, you put out a statement where you had said she is the most ideological, anti-public school nominee ever. Is it anti-public school or is pro-choice being pro-kid? We do want our kids to have every chance possible to win.
. . .
RANDI WEINGARTEN: What she’s done is she’s taken a sledgehammer to public education, and that’s why we are so opposed to it.
RUHLE: But is it anti-public schools? Can we say the public schools are truly serving all American kids when every 42 seconds a kid drops out of school? Charter schools weren’t started to hurt public schools. They were started to help kids.
. . .
America voted. They wanted a change election. They wanted a change candidate. Betsy DeVos represents change. Could one make the argument that’s what America voted for, because status quo isn’t what’s working for this country?
. . .
WEINGARTEN: My point is this, the sledgehammer, no one voted in America to take a sledgehammer to public education.
RUHLE: But until now, Betsy DeVos’ job was not to work for the public school. It was to try to help on the fringe, on the outside. The Department of Education has got a $200 billion budget. It’s not underfunded and we know that there are kids living in cities in this country where those cities, those schools aren’t serving them. And if you live in an inner city and you’ve got kids, your best chance of economic mobility for your child is through a great education. And there are schools that aren’t serving our kids.
WEINGARTEN: Those schools need to be fixed like we did in New York City.
RUHLE: They’re not going to get fixed today. And if I had a kid today, which I do, I have children today in school and they went to a public school that wasn’t serving their needs and I was in a position where I could send them elsewhere. Shouldn’t we say we want that choice for our kids?
. . .
WEINGARTEN: She is focusing on only destabilizing and defunding schools.
RUHLE: But maybe she felt she could have the most impact. And when people send their kids to a charter school, do you think it’s because they’re turning their nose and they want to go to a school 45 minutes away or is it because the school that is closest to them isn’t the best for their kid, and what they want is what’s best for their kid?
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.