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DeVos' 60 Minutes Interview Is Not Going Over Well

13 March 2018

"Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school, school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems", said DeVos.

DeVos spoke about a number of other issues during her interview, including whether teachers should be allowed to carry guns in schools, rolling back Obama-era regulations, and being the frequent target of protests. What about those kids? We're in Michigan. This is your home state.

"Well, there are certainly pockets where this - the students are doing well", DeVos said.

"Students at charter schools in Detroit ate doing 2x better than their peers", she wrote.

"Maybe I should", DeVos said.

And on Monday, she appeared on Today, where she repeatedly said "everything is on the table" when asked why the Trump administration had backed off from the president's earlier calls to raise the age limit to buy some guns to 21. But asked by CBS' Lesley Stahl whether she had visited low-performing schools to understand their needs, DeVos, an ardent proponent of school choice, admitted to having visited none.

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That's the start of a hard pivot, where suddenly DeVos claims that we can't make any broad statements about schools at all because they're made up of individuals, right after claiming that all public schools do better when they're stripped of funds and students choose to leave them.

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.

Betsy DeVos: Michigan schools need to do better. There is no doubt about it. "If I had to answer every question she had about schools, I would have had to bone up on education for a month". DeVos went on to explain that arming teachers "should be an option" and that she feels a sense of urgency in the subject.

DEVOS: I don't know.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" "I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies", she had said.

DEVOS: Sometimes it does.

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Asked whether Trump tuned in to "60 Minutes", Sanders said, "I'm not sure if he saw the whole thing or not". She also struggled to answer education questions during her contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate last January.

Um, judging by this interview, DeVos is not misunderstood. And, given that she is heading up President Donald Trump's new committee aimed at figuring out solutions to curb school violence, it seemed like a perfectly-timed moment for DeVos to (re) introduce herself to the public.

"Maybe you should", Stahl suggested.

STAHL: Yeah, but are they the same?

Betsy DeVos: I don't know.

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DeVos' 60 Minutes Interview Is Not Going Over Well