March 23, 2018

DeVos struggles to answer basic questions on '60 Minutes'.

13 March 2018, 03:56 | Darnell Patrick

Education Secretary Betsy De Vos on CBS’s “60 Minutes” television show on Sunday

Education Secretary Betsy De Vos on CBS’s “60 Minutes” television show on Sunday

The controversial cabinet member from MI had trouble explaining poor school performance in her home state despite her own multi-million contributions to programs that support vouchers for public as well as private and religious schools.

But when pressed about how that's worked out in her home state of Michigan, DeVos couldn't say public schools were doing any better - only that "pockets" had improved.

"Now, has that happened in MI?"

Even before becoming Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has been one of America's most influential proponents of so-called "school choice".

In one much-criticized exchange, Ms. Stahl asked if she had visited any "really bad schools", and when Ms. DeVos said no, the interviewer replied, "Maybe you should".

Asked if the two were the same, DeVos remarked, "I don't know".

DeVos responded: "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.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got a less than ringing endorsement from the White House on Monday after a pair of uncomfortable television interviews raised questions about her commitment to help underperforming schools and support for President Donald Trump's proposal to curb school violence. She told Stahl that there have been no positive results from federal investments in public school, but her claim is simply incorrect.

And it didn't end there.

Lesley Stahl: The public schools here are doing worse than they did.

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"Here's what we shared with '60 Minutes, ' which of course they didn't show you: MI, like much of the nation, isn't doing well enough to prepare students".

"I can recall a number of moments in the past of several decades ago that I think today would just be viewed as unacceptable, yeah", DeVos said.

"I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming", DeVos said.

'Maybe you should, ' volunteered Stahl. "If I had to answer every question she had about schools, I would have had to bone up on education for a month".

DEVOS: Maybe I should. Yes.

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

The White House is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety, to be chaired by DeVos, that will explore possible solutions to school shootings.

DEVOS: Sometimes it does.

"The reforms are helping, but there's so much more to do", tweeted Ms. DeVos. "But I'm committed to a process that's fair for everyone involved".

That led Stahl to challenge DeVos on whether she believed the number of actual assaults on college campuses was equal to the number of false accusations.

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