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Biden Suddenly Changes His Position on Charter Schools: I'd Get Rid of Them

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Over the weekend, MSNBC held a public education forum with the 2020 Democrats. Not surprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would eliminate charter schools if he is elected president in 2020.

"And so, the point is, if I'm president, [Education Secretary] Betsy De Vos' whole notion from charter schools to this are gone," Biden said during the forum.

Biden suddenly changed his position on charter schools, probably to appease those on the far left. In fact, back in 2001, he actually supported charter schools and defended their funding on the floor of the Senate.

This is just a bit of his speech (emphasis mine):

What we do know about education is basic. We know if you get two kids of comparable talent or lacking in talent and you put them in a classroom with 70 kids and 1 teacher, they are not going to do as well as if you put them in a classroom with 3 kids and 1 teacher. We know the more focused the attention, the closer to one on one you can get, the product being the same, the better chance you have of succeeding.

We also know if you have books that are legible and available and every student has one--same students, same IQ, same background, same everything--the kids with the good books are going to do better than the kids with the bad books.


Two kids with the same talent, whether they have a 90 IQ or 190 IQ, whether they are creative, not creative, put them in a large class with a comparable group of people, and they are not going to do as well as when you put them in a small class of a comparable group of people. If you put them in the same classroom with a good teacher versus a bad teacher, they are going to do better with a good teacher. There are basics.

What do we know about how education works? 


Guess what. My friend from the State of New Hampshire says he wants a national standard. We did not say we want a national standard. The President said he wanted a national standard. My friend from New Hampshire wants a national standard. They want to judge how fast every kid can run. They want to judge how fast every kid can read. They want to judge how well every kid can write.

OK, fine, but do not do to those kids the same thing as my fictitious example on the track. Do not judge the kid who comes from a school district where they spend $5,000 per pupil, with teachers who have their teaching certificate in the area in which they teach--do not judge them by the same standard that you are going to judge kids who have $1,500 spent on them per pupil, who have a majority of teachers who are not certified in the area they teach, who teach in classrooms that are leaky, some of them unsafe, and without an adequate number of textbooks.

As my dad would say: Give me a break. I do not think the Federal Government can or should, or any government should, decide to equalize everything. As one former President said, life is unfair. Certain things Government cannot do. The Government cannot dictate you to be 6 foot 2, if that is what you  want, or 5 foot 9. The Government cannot dictate that everybody will have the voice of Barbra Streisand or some famous male singer--whoever the heck you like. Life is unfair.


Let me tell you what we can fix. We have an obligation to fix the things we can fix. If you are going to hold a kid to a standard, darn it, give him an equal opportunity, at least in his own State. Give him a shot.

Isn't it amazing that rich, white liberals tell people – especially minorities and those in poor areas – to sit down, shut up and deal with what they have? What happened to Biden wanting to make sure all students had the same opportunities afforded to them? Guess he's taking a page from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's playbook. After all, she continually lies about the fact that she sends her kids to elite private schools while making sure average Americans aren't afforded the same choices.

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