This Interview With Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Is Cringeworthy at Best

Pauline Gross
March 13, 2018

This is at the core of DeVos' argument in favor of charter schools - more options will force public schools into competition and they'll have to improve. But she was backed into a corner when Stahl asked DeVos to explain how school choice has worked in Michigan, DeVos' home state.

"We are studying that rule", she told correspondent Lesley Stahl.

Since 1993, MI has been home to the lowest test score gains in the nation, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress.

"Well, there are certainly lots of pockets where the students are doing well", DeVos retorted. When asked if she has visited the "really bad schools" she frequently criticizes, DeVos answers that she has not.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened", DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

"I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them".

"The whole state is not doing well", Stahl pushed.

On the heels of a 60 Minutes performance so bad it reportedly alarmed White House officials, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took to Twitter to try to defend herself.

And it didn't end there.

Elizabeth Mann, an education expert with the Brookings Institution, said that DeVos' failure to tour struggling schools undermines her credibility as an advocate for the children that they serve.

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Devos is such a believer in charter schools that she has refused to look back to see the damage left behind in the wake of her own success.

"Maybe I should, yes".

"Maybe you should", Stahl suggested.

"Maybe I should. Yes", said the secretary.

"But I don't think they have [gotten better] for too many kids".

DEVOS: Sometimes it does. Now she's giving more interviews as the Trump administration rolls out its new school safety plan - and she's still hesitant to give specific answers. The reforms are helping, but there's so much more to do.

The interview also addressed the movement for gun control founded by student survivors of the Parkland, FL, shooting. I don't know. But I'm committed to a process that's fair for everyone involved.

DeVos' answer follows her decision in September to rescind an Obama-era policy requiring college campuses to investigate reports of sexual assault with a low preponderance of evidence under Title IX. It's also important to note that the majority of sexual assaults are never even reported to authorities.

During her confirmation hearing a year ago, DeVos memorably supported the idea of arming teachers - perhaps against grizzly bears, she joked.

Other reports by GizPress

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