Secretary of Education Betsy Devos went on 60 Minutes on Sunday to talk school choice, gun control and improving education in the United States. In the 13 minute interview, DeVos struggled to answer questions and was grilled by 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl about slashing funds to public schools and making false claims regarding the lack of progress in the school system in past years.
“We have invested billions and billions of dollars from the federal level and we have seen zero results,” Devos claimed.
Stahl challenged the Michigan native on that claiming saying that over the past 25 years test scores have actually gone up to which DeVos responded saying that compared to the rest of the world the United States is “middle of the pack.”
DeVos has been heavily criticized for her decision to withdraw funds from public schools that she claims aren’t working, and shifting the revenue over to private and charter schools. The argument has been made that if the public school isn’t working that it should receive more funds, not less. In response, DeVos claims that pulling funds from the public schools has improved them.
“In places where a lot of choice has been introduced… 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 actually — the results get better as well,” DeVos claims.
She soon after backed off that claim when Stahl reveals that DeVos’ home state of Michigan has struggled educationally after having public school funds withdrawn. She saids,
“Michigan schools need to do better there is no doubt about it.”
Betsy DeVos has become one of the most disliked members of the Trump Administration. The billionaire wife of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos came into the spotlight during her confirmation hearing after the inauguration of Donald Trump.
DeVos was blasted by the media for her lackluster performance where she claimed guns were needed in schools with her example being a Wyoming school that she falsely claimed needed a gun to protect against Grizzly bear attacks. She also showed an inability to know the difference between proficiency and growth in regard to measuring a student’s learning ability — a debate that has been ongoing among educators in the United States.
Early during her term, DeVos has been booed out of public school appearances for her position on de-funding public schools, and was protested against at the Bethune-Cookman University graduation, an HBCU in Florida. Students at Bethune-Cookman either turned their backs or walked out of the ceremony when DeVos gave her commencement address.