A rocky appearance for DeVos on '60 Minutes'

13 March, 2018, 11:21 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • DeVos There is an ‘urgency’ in solving gun violence

That obliviousness - or worse - is behind one of the more disturbing moments in her "60 Minutes" interview.

"When Lesley Stahl says, 'What about your terrible record in Michigan with school choice?' the answer should be, 'Actually, Michigan charters performed substantially better than traditional public schools there, '" he says.

So when Stahl asked DeVos, "Has that happened in MI?", referring to DeVos's claim that results are better at private and charter schools, DeVos dodged stating, "Well, there [are] lots of great options and choices for students here in MI". We're in Michigan. This is your home state.

DeVos: Yes, well, there's lots of great options and choices for students here. School choice advocates support cutting public school funding and shifting it to charter, parochial and private schools.

"I don't know. I don't know". Asked whether DeVos would be the face of the commission, Sanders said today, "I think that the president is going to be the lead on school safety when it comes to this administration".

When Stahl asked outright whether teachers should have guns in classrooms, DeVos offered a noncommittal answer. "I am committed to making sure that students have the opportunity to learn in an environment that is conducive to their learning", DeVos responded.

'Have you seen the really bad schools?

DeVos challenged, "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general, because schools are made up of individuals schools attending them". But DeVos couldn't articulate whether public schools in MI have fared well under her policies.

Devos is such a believer in charter schools that she has refused to look back to see the damage left behind in the wake of her own success. "There is no doubt about it".

In the tense exchange, correspondent Lesley Stahl questioned whether it's wise to remove funds from public schools and inject them into charter schools, as DeVos had a hand in doing in MI. Lhamon told me about one elementary school where a black girl was suspended for poking a student with a pencil.

In the same way, when Devos was asked about arming teachers, she responded with it "should be an option" for the states and communities.

After DeVos said that "billions and billions and billions" of dollars have been invested in public schools with "zero results", Stahl noted that test scores have risen over the last 25 years. Nobody mentioned the charts she cited in her tweet, comparing MI standardized test scores to national averages. Stahl pressed her, asking, "Yeah, but are they the same?" Liberal critics say this drives public school standards down and promotes privatization.

Again, it's unclear why DeVos thought this should have been highlighted. "Charter schools were a little better, 14 percent of the kids were proficient".

According to The New York Times, DeVos rescinded rules that allowed colleges to decide whether a student was responsible for a sexual assault using a "preponderance of the evidence", or the lowest burden of proof.



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