Trump's Secretary of Education was quizzed about school performance in the USA, in an interview with Lesley Stahl on the CBS 60 Minutes program on Sunday.
The public displays of acrimony between California lawmakers and President Donald Trump's administration continued on Sunday, with Representative Jared Huffman labeling Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as "rich, white, and dumber than a bag of hammers".
Whenever DeVos speaks, it feels as though the sum total of human knowledge is somehow diminished.
DEVOS: Michigan schools need to do better. If DeVos was coached to be as vague and non-specific in her answers as possible, she should get rid of the person giving her that advice.
Her conservative defenders accused "60 Minutes" of waging a biased attack on Ms. DeVos complete with frequent references to her wealth-she's a billionaire-and a dig at her "sheltered life in MI".
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DeVos has spent millions of dollars on school efforts in MI, and has consistently pushed for school choice. For instance, when asked about sexual assault, she could not say whether the number of false accusations was lower than the number of actual rapes or assaults.
"I have not", DeVos confessed.
By this point in the interview, DeVos' body language shifted from open and warm to closed and tense with pursed lips, making her discomfort obvious to even the most casual observer. Betsy DeVos: I couldn't believe it when I read it, but you have to admire their candor.
When you come from a family wealthy enough to ensure you never had to step into a public school until you'd already used your inherited wealth to undermine your state's entire public school system, wealthy enough to foot the seed money for a private army, and wealthy enough to buy you a cabinet position, it might be understandable that you see society the way that the DeVoses do.
"I have not. I have not. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies", she had said.
"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".
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In a "60 Minutes" interview, DeVos said that she had not visited any underperforming schools during her tenure as secretary. After 10 minutes of DeVos, the human brain loses the ability to perform simple arithmetic.
After the recent school shootings, Trump was very clear, "We can't just keep setting up blue ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband, and they meet and they have a meal and they talk". If this is the caliber of the top education official in the land, it hardly speaks well for getting an education. State and local taxpayers account for most-90 percent-of education funding for K-12 schools.
As it happens, this is exactly what Trump needs to secure the future of his political movement. "I have better things to do with a half hour of my time". Exit polls showed a huge education gap in the 2016 election.
DEVOS: "Yes, well, there's lots of great options and choices for students here".
"Well, there are certainly pockets where this - the students are doing well", DeVos said. DeVos, who once said traditional public education is a "dead end", is proving by example as the nation's top educator that education generally is a dead end.
"It's hard for her to establish credibility in speaking about those issues when she hasn't visited an underperforming school as secretary", Mann said. The "60 Minutes" correspondent noted that MI schools were not doing well.
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