Fact-check: Does Joe Biden want to end school choice?


What Biden says about school choice

The Biden campaign said he’s firmly against using public money for private K-12 schools. Here’s the full statement we received:

“Joe Biden opposes the Trump/(Betsy) DeVos conception of ‘school choice,’ which is private school vouchers that would destroy our public schools. He’s also against for-profit and low-performing charter schools, and believes in holding all charter schools accountable. He does not oppose districts letting parents choose to send their children to public magnet schools, high-performing public charters or traditional public schools.”

As part of a broader education policy outlined on his website, Biden calls for nearly tripling the Title 1 funding for aid to schools serving lower income neighborhoods and raising teacher pay.

The Trump-Pence 2020 website claims that Biden said “that if he’s elected, charter schools are gone.” The campaign links to a comment Biden made at a December 2019 forum on public schools. Biden was attacking Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ policy on student sexual assault accusations. At the very end of condemning that policy on assaults, he said, “If I’m president, Betsy DeVos’ whole notion from charter schools to this are gone.”

Biden didn’t otherwise discuss charter schools or school choice broadly.

Assessing Biden on school choice

EdChoice, an advocacy group that aims “to advance educational freedom and choice,” lists a number of practices that fall under the school choice umbrella. In addition to vouchers, that list includes charter schools, specialized magnet schools (for example, for math and science or the arts) and allowing students to choose which public school they want to attend.

Biden’s platform includes all of those elements except vouchers.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration