Marcha 23, 2018

Betsy DeVos Made Pretty Much Everyone Cringe on "60 Minutes"

14 Marcha 2018, 01:59 | Crisanna Felipe

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DeVos There is an ‘urgency’ in solving gun violence

She shared a couple of charts showing National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for fourth-graders in MI, charts she says she showed to 60 Minutes but "which of course they didn't show you".

During a speech past year, she told the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools that charter schools might not meet the needs of every student. As The New York Times pointed out in a June 2017 feature, DeVos and her children all attended private religious schools. She comes across as largely out of touch with the problems plaguing the education system in the country.

DeVos told "60 Minutes" that states with a greater school of choice options for families showed academic improvement.

When Stahl asked outright whether teachers should have guns in classrooms, DeVos offered a noncommittal answer.

The CBS segment implied that Ms. DeVos had no answer after she was asked at a Harvard forum how much money she would make from her school-choice policies, a clip that ended with the moderator saying, "You can choose not to answer that, Secretary".

Nina Rees, CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, declared past year that the debate over charter schools was "over" and that charter schools were unequivocally better than their traditional counterparts. "The public schools here are doing worse than they did". "We need all parents to have those choices".

"[DeVos] absolutely doesn't know a thing about public education or educational policy or what good teaching is or what curriculum is... it's a travesty and yet it fits perfectly in with the Trump administration where you put somebody who wants to destroy the environment in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency".

The Washington Post has a video highlighting four areas where DeVos appeared to struggle with her answers, including on campus sexual assault.

As chair of the American Federation for Children in Michigan, DeVos worked to expand chartered private schools in the state.

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.

DeVos responded: "I don't know".

"Overall, ... I can't say overall that they have all gotten better", DeVos said. We understand that if DeVos had her way, schools would have her version of religion imposed on them.

Betsy DeVos: Maybe I should. Yes. A report released last week raised concerns about large drops in student proficiency among third graders in the state and found that MI had the biggest declines compared to 11 other states that use a similar exam. "I will stipulate that charter schools are doing better, but that is a awful outcome for everybody involved".

However others were less than impressed with Stahl's interview style.

They found that the literature provided some support for the argument that charter schools improve public school performance and "almost none" for the opposite hypothesis. But it is unclear why DeVos thought they should have been used by Stahl.

The White House also directed the Justice Department to support states to partner with local law enforcement to provide "rigorous firearms training to specifically qualified volunteer school personnel", said Andrew Bremberg, director of the president's Domestic Policy Council.

According to CNN, White House officials were "alarmed" by her sit-down with veteran CBS journalist Lesley Stahl.

Over the weekend, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared on "60 Minutes" in an interview with journalist Lesley Stahl - and she did not do well, failing to appropriately answer even the most basic of questions about USA education.

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