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Betsy DeVos pushes back against criticism over "60 Minutes" interview

14 March 2018

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STAHL: The whole state is not doing well. It wouldn't have taken an oracle to figure out that the education secretary would be asked about schools in her home state on 60 Minutes, but DeVos was somehow wildly unprepared for the question.

"Michigan schools need to do better".

DeVos said the United States has comparatively stagnated with test scores, pivoting again to school choice as the solution.

DeVos tweeted Monday that CBS failed to include two bits of information her department had provided, and said the same Tuesday. Due to the uncertainty, public debate could continue as DeVos' Education Department continues its pro-school choice agenda to the dismay of opponents like the NEA. DeVos often seemed at a loss for words as Stahl probed numerous most controversial points in her brief career as secretary: her faux pas about historically black colleges; the rollback of transgender student protections and Title IX sexual assault regulations on campuses; efforts to reduce racial disparities in school discipline. Before becoming secretary of education, DeVos had never worked as an educator or a policymaker; she was a donor to education reform efforts favored by the right, such as school choice and vouchers.

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But when pressed about how that's worked out in her home state of Michigan, DeVos couldn't say public schools were doing any better - only that "pockets" had improved.

"I don't know. Overall, I - I can't say overall that they have all gotten better", DeVos responded. When Stahl asked whether, as secretary, she'd ever visited a failing school to find out what went wrong, DeVos said, "I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming".

The wife of Amway executive Dick DeVos and wealthy in her own right, Betsy DeVos is a former two-time state Republican Party chairwoman in MI.

"Arguably, all of these issues or all of this issue comes down to individual kids", Devos said, to which Stahl replied, "Well, no ... it's not". East Point is a charter school-an independent public school-that provides instruction in both English and Mandarin Chinese. I don't know. But I'm committed to a process that's fair for everyone involved. "Tht you don't even feel pressure to study up to prepare for a national prime time interview to make it *seem* like you know what you're talking about is both wonderful & frightening".

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

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Instead, one stunningly flat-footed exchange went viral nearly immediately, calling into question her knowledge about public schools, school choice and the very agency she leads. But it is unclear why DeVos thought they should have been used by Stahl.

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.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is getting less than a ringing endorsement from the White House after uncomfortable television interviews raised questions about her commitment to help underperforming schools and support for President Donald Trump's school safety proposal.

DeVos was questioned in relation to her charter school program, which she touts as a favourable alternative to traditional public schools.

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Betsy DeVos pushes back against criticism over