A rocky appearance for DeVos on '60 Minutes'

Mar 14, 2018, 06:13
A rocky appearance for DeVos on '60 Minutes'

DeVos disclosed that she has not "intentionally" visited schools which are underperforming.

"Dear President Trump, if you want to meet someone who has an actual IQ problem (as opposed to just being black), meet your Education Secretary Betsy DeVos", Huffman tweeted.

The interview came as the White House announced that DeVos would lead a commission to examine ways of protecting schools and students from gun violence in the wake of the February 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

And she struggled to clarify the administration's position on how to improve school safety in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school last month.

Throughout Sunday, March 11, and Monday, March 12, DeVos took to Twitter to address some of the harshest takes on her 60 Minutes interview. 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 flawless example of this.

In 2016, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey led an effort to add $3.5 billion from state reserves to K-12 schools over 10 years, in addition to regular budget appropriations.

STAHL: Now, has that happened in MI? In fact, we've compiled the most important K-12 education metrics into a quickie issue guide: Michigan's K-12 performance dropping at an alarming rate.

A study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University found that students who moved to another school district through schools of choice policies didn't improve test scores.

"So, now that I have the opportunity to speak unedited, I'm not afraid to call out folks who defend stagnation for what it really is: failure", she said during a speech at the National Parent Teachers association conference in Virginia. Overall, I - I can't say overall that they have all gotten better.

DeVos, who famously explained the need for armed classrooms was due to the potential threat of grizzly bears, responded by saying arming teachers should be "an option for states and communities to consider" while admitting she couldn't imagine her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Zorhoff, ever having a gun "or being trained in that way".

Thankfully, DeVos is doing all she can to combat this noxious scourge of people going to school. She couldn't say, for example, why schools in MI, her home state, have largely gotten worse since the widespread introduction of the school choice policies she lobbied for. They've made it clear that they care more about a system, one that was created in the 1800s, than they care about individual students.

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.

How are MI schools doing? "There is no doubt about it". "The public schools here are doing worse than they did". She expected Jed to do his homework once in school, so she did her homework first on the schools near their SC home.

"I give a lot of credit to the students for raising their voices", DeVos told Stahl.

"The point is that schools should have this tool if they choose to use the tool". After her full year of on-the-job learning, though, DeVos' appearance Sunday on "60 Minutes" showed no diminution in her ineptitude.

Again, it's unclear why DeVos thought this should have been highlighted. Her "I don't know" answer drew harsh criticism, particularly from MI press. People could quite reasonably conclude that education isn't all it's cracked up to be, and they wouldn't go to all the trouble of attending school.

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