A rocky appearance for DeVos on '60 Minutes'

Betsy DeVos on “60 Minutes” proves she's a master of nothing

In an interview aired Sunday on CBS's 60 Minutes, DeVos struggled to explain how diverting money from underperforming schools to fund charter schools improved public education in her home state of MI.

"The other thing I think we should point to right away is in her interview for "60 minutes"..."

"This offers a kind of sad glimpse at the way some huge philanthropic and political donors go through life: being told they are geniuses by very accomplished people who want their $; and then totally unready for actual challenge", Smith tweeted.

Research on private school options found that students that chose a private school were more likely to finish high school and even enter college than their peers in traditional schools.

Lesley Stahl: The public schools here are doing worse than they did. But it's worth looking past the obvious gaffes to see how DeVos's fundamental ideas about education run contrary to her department's mission - and how her home state of MI is a ideal example of this. That was on display during DeVos's painful confirmation hearing a year ago, in which she was unable to answer simple questions about education, and, incredibly, suggested that teachers be armed to protect students from grizzly bears.

Nina Rees, CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, declared a year ago that the debate over charter schools was "over" and that charter schools were unequivocally better than their traditional counterparts.

Betsy DeVos: Michigan schools need to do better.

"(Michigan) is dead last on the nation's report card...and this has all happened in the last 20 years as (school) choice has ramped up and proliferated, especially in the city of Detroit".

In the same way, when Devos was asked about arming teachers, she responded with it "should be an option" for the states and communities. "Your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better, is not working in MI where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system".

"[DeVos] absolutely doesn't know a thing about public education or educational policy or what good teaching is or what curriculum is... it's a travesty and yet it fits perfectly in with the Trump administration where you put somebody who wants to destroy the environment in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency". So, if you're going to argue that school choice has made public schools better, you had had better find a whole hell of a lot better spin that "I don't know".

The administration also confirmed Trump's support for a congressional measure known as Fix NICS, which helps local officials improve efforts to enter data into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the congressional STOP School Violence Act, which enhances school security and affords some subsidy for such efforts. Her family's investments have included K12 Inc., a for-profit virtual school company. Maybe try to figure out what they're doing? "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students".

DeVos responded, "Maybe I should".

"I'm not so sure exactly".

You are not misunderstood, Secretary DeVos.

Sarah A. Cordes, the study's author, said her results suggested "that charter schools have small positive spillovers on public school students".

The DeVos interview has already sent a message that schools can be less mindful of stark disciplinary disparities.

Are the number of sexual assaults equivalent to the number of false accusations? Neither the Congressman nor the Department of Education could be reached for comment. Due to the uncertainty, public debate could continue as DeVos' Education Department continues its pro-school choice agenda to the dismay of opponents like the NEA.

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