The Corner

Other People’s Children

Impromptus today is a mishmash, in time-honored tradition: a little politics, a little policy, a little language, a little music — etc. If you don’t like one of the items, go on to the next one. Or to the one after that.

I mention that I met a couple who have started something like 20 charter schools. They aren’t doing it for their own kids. Their kids could go to the best and toniest schools around — and they do. No, they are doing it for other people’s kids, and for society as a whole.

And this applies to Betsy DeVos, doesn’t it? (She is the nominee — my fellow Michigander — for secretary of education.) In an ideal world, or a kinder world, even her critics would give her credit.

She is very, very rich. For her own kids’ education, she could import V. S. Naipaul to teach them English, Stephen Hawking to teach them physics, Christa Ludwig to teach them singing, Jack Nicklaus to teach them golf …

Jane Goodall to teach them about chimps.

But she has devoted much of her life to making education better for other people’s children, and, in the process, uplifting society at large.

Setting aside their disagreements about policy — shouldn’t her critics give her credit for that? I mean, one could just lounge around the pool, or jet to a ski chalet, or scarf bon-bons — and be done with it.

(I think I’ll have a bon-bon.)