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Teachers union leader says DeVos started college founded in 1844, fabricates quote from CRT opponent

The former history teacher added words and changed around order but said it was one continuous quote

Former history teacher and current American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten made a surprising claim on MSNBC recently.

While talking about curriculum transparency laws and parental rights legislation, Weingarten (pictured) said that former Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos* founded Hillsdale College.

Weingarten said on Saturday that journalist, Christopher Rufo, who has exposed critical race theory in schools and businesses, shared the motivation behind the push for transparency “a couple weeks ago, at the college that Betsy Devos founded, Hillsdale College.”

Freewill Baptists founded the Michigan college in 1844 as Michigan Central College and then renamed it nine years later, according to the school. Devos was born in 1958, 114 years after the school first started.

That was not the only ahistorical moment for the former history teacher.

In her segment on MSNBC, Weingarten also used a fabricated quote to try to implicate Rufo.

She said she quoted from Rufo’s speech at Hillsdale.

“To get to universal school choice,you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust, to sow and grow that distrust, you have to create your own narrative frame, and have to be brutal and ruthless in pursuing it,” Weingarten said, allegedly quoting Rufo.

But that’s not what Rufo said.

According to the video from the April 5 talk, Rufo said:

I think you want to create the conditions for fundamental, structural change, to appropriate some language. For example, school choice– to get universal school choice, you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust. Because in order for people to take significant action, they have to feel like they have something at stake.

“You have to create your own frame, your own language, and you have to be ruthless and brutal in pursuit of something good,” Rufo had said about seven minutes prior.

Weingarten inserted “to sow and grow that distrust” and “narrative” and then stitched together two quotes minutes apart.

“Rufo himself said ‘To get to universal school choice, you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust. To sow & grow that distrust, you have to create your own narrative frame,& have to be brutal & ruthless in pursuing it,’” Weingarten stated on April 23 on Twitter.

She posted a follow-up tweet on April 25. “Exact quote: ‘To get to universal school choice, you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust.’ He said people need to ‘create your own narrative and frame.’ He doesn’t care about truth, he cares about attacking public ed,” Weingarten wrote, attempting to correct her fabricated quote. Rufo also never said “narrative and frame.”

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IMAGE: MSNBC

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.