A 2017 video has emerged of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken opponent of public charter schools, revealing that she helped get her own goddaughter into one.
The New York Post has the story:
“This area’s like a lot of where my family is from,” AOC says as she strolls along Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx. “My goddaughter, I got her into a charter school like maybe a block or two down.”
It’s unclear exactly how Ocasio-Cortez managed to finagle the favor for her goddaughter, or which school she attended. There are at least five — including South Bronx Classical Charter School I and Bronx Charter School for the Arts — within walking distance of the Hunts Point subway station where the video cuts out.
Ocasio-Cortez was caught saying:
“My cousin, and you know my goddaughter, he made a choice given what that was in the South Bronx. And he asked me to help him. Would I help him fill out the form so that he could pursue this choice that he made for his daughter. How are you gonna tell someone no?” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Well, Ocasio-Cortez is willing to say no to everyone else, except of course those near and dear to her.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos duly noticed the hypocrisy, tweeting:
How nice that AOC claims to have helped her goddaughter get into a public charter school. It’s a shame that she would deny that opportunity to every other disadvantaged family in America. “Good for me, but not for thee,” indeed. #EducationFreedom
Interestingly, when it came to her own goddaughter, Ocasio-Cortez could make a good case for charter schools. She makes pretty much the same arguments other families make when they want an alternative to failing public schools but cannot afford a private school.
Reason points out that this isn’t the first time that AOC has inadvertently made the case for school choice:
At an October rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), she shared that her family left the Bronx for a house in Westchester county, so that she could attend a higher-quality school.
“My family made a really hard decision,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “That’s when I got my first taste of a country who allows their kids’ destiny to be determined by the zip code they are born in.”
The congresswoman has correctly diagnosed the problem. Whether or not a student is able to attend a decent public school too often turns on the neighborhood he or she happens to grow up in.
Ocasio-Cortez is not the only prominent foe of public school choice who does not practice what she preaches. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s education plan is hostile to school choice.
She said at a speech before the National Education Association that if a parent wants to move a child to a public charter school, urge the parent to work harder for the public school instead. “If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school,” Warren said.
She sent her own son to a private school.
Why don’t these two politicians want other people’s kids to have advantages?
The National Education Association, where Warren was speaking, and other teachers’ unions, adamantly oppose public charter schools. They also provide enormous financial support for the Democratic Party.