Education Reform

FOX News, WSJ Are Shocked, Shocked that Biden Might Appoint a Leader of a Teachers’ Union as Secretary of Education

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FOX News and the Wall Street Journal–both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation–express shock and astonishment that President-Elect Joe Biden might appoint Lily Eskelsen Garcia as Secretary of Education.

The Wall Street Journal article is here, where WSJ editorial board member William McGurn is taken aback that Biden would do such a thing:

Everyone has understood that a Biden Education Department would mark a change of direction from the past four years. But to elevate to education secretary someone whose career has been spent fighting any reform aimed at relaxing the teachers unions’ stranglehold on the public schools would be an astonishingly bleak admission about whose interests come first.

“Appointing either Weingarten or García would be the biggest union payback since Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education in 1979,” says Jeanne Allen, who is founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform and worked in the Reagan Education Department. “It’s a sign that the teachers unions now own him lock, stock and barrel.”

How fitting to quote someone who collects millions of dollars from big donors to push charter schools and fight to privatize public funding, especially someone who worked in the Reagan administration. Why should Biden care whether right-wingers approve of his choices?

Thomas Barrabi of FOX News is equally dismayed that Garcia is under serious consideration because she was a vocal critic of Obama era education reforms (which were almost identical to the “reforms” promoted by George W. Bush) and was especially critical of standardized testing. How dare she! Imagine Biden appointing someone who was critical of Arne Duncan! Indeed, the NEA voted to condemn him and Race to the Top (which was, by the way, a costly catastrophe).

Here’s the clincher: The prospective candidate was critical of the Obama administration’s approach to education reform when Biden served as vice president. Eskelsen Garcia was particularly wary of an emphasis on standardized testing as a measure of success for both students and teachers, telling NPR in 2014 that she felt it did “more harm than good.”

Sounds like Lily is thinking about the wellbeing of students and teachers, unlike the WSJ and FOX News, which want more of the same failed policies as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

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