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

Randolph Lopez
March 14, 2018

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed back Monday after being reamed by the left for her choppy "60 Minutes" interview, accusing the show of ignoring test-score data she provided beforehand and pointing to selectively edited footage.

The interview ran the day before Ms. DeVos was named by President Trump to head the Federal Commission on School Safety, aimed at finding ways to combat mass shootings on campuses.

How bad was it? DeVos said she does not know if there are as many incidents of sexual assault as there are incidents of false accusations on college campuses, a weird and controversial opinion given the numerous studies that have found that about 20% of female college students are victims of sexual assault. And when Stahl redirected, DeVos talked right over her.

"This offers a kind of sad glimpse at the way some huge philanthropic and political donors go through life: being told they are geniuses by very accomplished people who want their $; and then totally unready for actual challenge", Smith tweeted.

Well, the students at Stoneman Douglas may want a "variety of things".

During her interview, DeVos pointed to evidence claiming that Florida's traditional public schools saw better performance than the state-funded charter schools.

STAHL: Now, has that happened in MI? Her family's investments have included K12 Inc., a for-profit virtual school company.

"I don't know. Overall..."

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

If I was a boxing referee, I would have stopped this exchange about halfway through.

But studies have shown mixed results in Michigan, DeVos' home state.

"Have you seen the really bad schools?"

"Well, there are certainly pockets where this - the students are doing well", DeVos said. That is what's known in the business as cherry-picking.

Now, critics ask, how can we expect a wealthy school-choice advocate to represent the interests of all students - particularly those who rely on public education - when she hasn't visited the schools that are most in need of assistance from Washington?

Oil prices move lower after Friday's rig-powered surge
At 0640 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $61.86, down $0.06 or -0.10% and June Brent crude oil is at $65.35, up $0.08 or +0.12%. That compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels.

IndiGo, GoAir Cancel 65 flights as DGCA grounds aircraft with faulty engines
The flight crew carried out actions as per SOP and landed back at Ahmedabad following precautionary measures. The two airlines have been directed not to "retrofit" such engines on to any existing aircraft.

Vikings Reach Out to Drew Brees
Monday is when teams officially can tamper with free agents, and Wednesday is when players officially can sign contracts. Brees' contract will void Wednesday afternoon, and he'll count for $18 million in dead space for the upcoming season.

"Have the public schools in MI gotten better?" journalist Lesley Stahl asked. There is no doubt about it.

Lesley Stahl: No, but your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better, is not working in MI where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here.

"60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl asked DeVos if in MI, students who can't afford to leave public schools are thriving, as the secretary cites.

"Maybe I should. Yes", DeVos conceded.

DeVos tweeted Monday that CBS failed to include two bits of information her department had provided, and said the same Tuesday. Or is she just stopping by the successes?

"Maybe you should", said Stahl.

"I'm not so sure exactly".

DEVOS: Sometimes it does.

"The reforms are helping, but there's so much more to do", tweeted Ms. DeVos.

The DeVos interview has already sent a message that schools can be less mindful of stark disciplinary disparities. She comes across as largely out of touch with the problems plaguing the education system in the country.

STAHL: Yeah, but are they the same? Her "I don't know" answer drew harsh criticism, particularly from MI press.

As this comment suggested, DeVos is, at best, oblivious about race.

DeVos also said that "one sexual assault is one too many, but "one falsely accused individual is one too many".

After the school shooting in Florida, Devos is expanding her portfolio.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

Discuss This Article