Milbank: Betsy DeVos interview on '60 Minutes' mocked as disastrous
Milbank: Betsy DeVos interview on '60 Minutes' mocked as disastrous
14 March, 2018, 06:17
Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stumbled her way through a tense interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" Sunday night, struggling to answer some basic questions about schools in her home state of MI and admitting that she does not "intentionally" visit underperforming schools. Interviews with DeVos broadcast Sunday night and Monday morning by CBS and NBC show that she's performing below grade level in all subjects - and her deviation below the mean is anything but standard.
DEVOS: They want a variety of things.
"Inept/offensive answers on struggling district schools, disproportionate discipline, guns, and school choice", Robin Lake, director of the non-partisan Center on Reinventing Public Education, tweeted.
Ms. DeVos later released a map of her 60 school visits taken in her first year of office, noting that majority were traditional public schools. She then admitted she has not "intentionally" visited any underperforming schools in her home state. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent to DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 5 about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Betsy DeVos gives every indication that she is, to borrow President Trump's phrase, a "low-IQ individual". In a sick irony, some on the right would use the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida - allegedly committed by a young man who carved swastikas into the magazines for his semi-automatic rifle - as a pretext to roll back civil rights protections for students of color.
Betsy DeVos:Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school; school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems.
Stahl mentioned MI schools' poor performance, something a University of MI study appeared to confirm previous year.
That, in turn, led to this exchange, which began when Stahlsaid taking funds away when a child moved to a private or charter school, leaves his or her former public school with less funds to perform its mission. "Florida, for example, studies show that when there's a large number of students that opt to go to a different school or different schools, the traditional public schools actually, the results get better as well". Where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here. And, of course, her support for school choice, as pursued through vouchers and charters. Maybe try to figure out what they're doing?
Those were the questions Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) directed to Betsy DeVos during her January 2017 confirmation hearing, in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).
I appreciated that Secretary DeVos came to meet with me, but I was extremely disappointed at how the meeting went.
"I'm not so sure exactly".
And don't make things worse by trying to claim that there are "lots of pockets" where things are going well.
You are not misunderstood, Secretary DeVos.
"Everything I heard from [DeVos] in our conversation suggested that this is just the latest effort to delay and shift the conversation away from the gun safety reforms that people across the country are demanding", Murray said.
The DeVos interview has already sent a message that schools can be less mindful of stark disciplinary disparities.
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