Betsy DeVos repeatedly insists that the current pandemic A) shouldn't in any way interfere with the normal operation of public schools and B) makes it "more clear than ever" that school choice must be a thing, toot de suite. The two prongs of her argument belong to two entirely different pitchforks, but many folks with more coherent debate tools have picked up that second point.
One of those is Rick Hess, who over at EdWeek argues that "Covid-19 Has Capsized the Case Against School Choice." To make his point, he calls back to a point he made back in the spring (you know--100 years ago):The most effective argument made by opponents of school choice has long been the simple assertion that we can't trust choice to yield decent options for every child. And since every child has a right to be schooled, it's important to protect traditional public school systems in order to assure an acceptable default education for every child.
Hess's assertion is that "this line of argument is no longer operative." Covid has revealed that the public system "guarantees a lot less than we imagined."
Hess points to a small list of public school pandemic failures-- missing students, dodgy methods of taking attendance, dumping home schooling requirements on harried parents, insisting that re-opening will require more money. These are all true things, and several are hard to excuse (except the "needs more money" part--the addition of PPE and the additional staff needed to handle daily school stuff in a socially distanced environment cost money).
Hess, as is usual for him, is measured and careful in his criticism:This isn't about the good intentions of district officials or teachers. And it isn't about bombastic claims that public schools are "failing" or that public systems should be blown up. The issue, rather, is that universalist "public" systems aren't delivering what was promised. This makes it harder for those who would denounce school choice's tapestry of options as an inadequate or immoral alternative to make their case.