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

13 March, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • DeVos There is an ‘urgency’ in solving gun violence

On the subject of arming school teachers, which Trump has recommended, DeVos said she could not imagine her first-grade teacher carrying a gun but said it was one solution and should be considered "for those who are capable".

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is fighting back after critics lambasted her performance on CBS' "60 Minutes".

"I don't know overall".

"Maybe I should. Yes".

Betsy DeVos: I don't know.

DeVos didn't get into specifics when pressed, though.

But one kind of school has been left out, she said Sunday on 60 Minutes: schools that are struggling. Scores are stagnant. Students need more options, and we must rethink our approach to education. "And all students means all students".

DeVos' passion for school and community choice also transferred into how she views school safety.

Again asked point blank if the schools in MI, where DeVos hails from and has long advocated school choice, had improved, she said she did not know.

DeVos: The 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, the results actually get better as well.

You could see why she rarely gives interviews.

DeVos was brought into the Trump administration with no experience as an educator but with a reputation for promoting private and charter schools. Maybe try to figure out what they're doing?' Stahl asked, continuing to press her.

"Well, there are certainly lots of pockets where the students are doing well", DeVos responded.

Stahl questioned DeVos on her decades of philanthropic intervention in the school system in MI, where her family has promoted a free market approach to school choice, including for-profit operators of charter schools that receive taxpayer funding.

'I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them, ' Stahl said at one point, notwithstanding her agency's mission of improving education nationally.

During a conference call, the education secretary added "we are committed to working quickly because there's no time to waste". "No student, no family, no teacher and no school should have to live the horror of Parkland or Sandy Hook or Columbine again". If she truly doesn't know the answers to the questions Stahl asked her - or has no opinions about things she absolutely should have opinions on - well, then that is even more worrisome.

Student activists for gun safety have pushed for initiatives much broader than those the White House is now backing, including banning assault weapons.

Stahl pointed out that maybe she should.

She reiterated that support Sunday night, in line with Trump's support for the idea: "It should be an option for schools to consider".

"Michigan also leads the nation in the number of for-profit charter schools, another dubious distinction".

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