Friday, 22 June, 2018

Betsy DeVos Calls "60 Minutes" a Waste of a Half Hour

The impact of Scott Walker and Betsy DeVos' crusade against public schools has been devastating for Wisconsin Trump's education secretary has stumbled through a series of high-profile interviews, struggling to explain her own department's policies
Lisa Bryan | 13 March, 2018, 11:19

When Stahl asked DeVos about reports that the department is considering rolling back guidance for schools to avoid racial disproportionality in discipline, she replied, "We are studying that rule". Invoking past mass school shootings, she continued, "No student, no family, no teacher and no school should have to live the horror of Parkland or Sandy Hook or Columbine again".

DeVos fired back on Twitter, saying 60 Minutes purposely left out specific data on school performance in MI that her department provided the network.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she's all about choice when it comes to schools. That obliviousness - or worse - is behind one of the more disturbing moments in her "60 Minutes" interview. She had less success in pushing vouchers - which use public money for private and religious school tuition - in the state.

As Stahl pointed out, DeVos implemented a similar strategy with disastrous results in MI prior to joining President Donald Trump's cabinet. We're in Michigan. This is your home state.

DeVos: Yes, well there's lots of great options and choices for students here in MI.

Eden and the Cato Institute's Jason Bedrick wrote at EducationNext in January 2017 about the data from Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), which shows that Michigan's charter schools performed better than public schools.

DEVOS: I don't know.

DeVos: I can't say overall that they have all gotten better.

"Well, one sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many", DeVos said initially.


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

Stahl: Have you seen the really bad schools? "Many of these high performing schools are traditional public schools that have challenged the status quo and dared to do something different on behalf of their students - many where teachers are empowered in the classroom to find what works best for students. There is no doubt about it".

In a broad discussion that covered the school system in her home state of MI and the overall public school performance in the country, the secretary stumbled to answer basic questions pertaining to her current role.

Stahl suggested she should visit those schools to understand what they're doing.

"It's hard for her to establish credibility in speaking about those issues when she hasn't visited an underperforming school as secretary", Mann said.

DeVos: I don't know.

DeVos was a controversial cabinet pick for President Donald Trump, and advocates for increasing school choices rather than investing more in existing schools.

In fact, over those 12 years, Michigan's scores declined, according to the analysis by Brian Jacob, a University of MI professor of economics and education.

Even DeVos doesn't buy her own nonsense. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) noted that charter performance in Detroit was nothing to brag about. Around 90 percent of American children attend public schools.

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